In a world that needs greater environmental awareness, there’s no better place to start than with children. The Wishing Tree does just that.
Rhombus Films, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment & Forest, has put forward THE WISHING TREE, a small magical tale talking about a tree that makes dreams come true – of course caveat being ‘sacche dil se maango to” – but that should not be difficult for children right?
Opening on a plump school girl being made fun of, the plot revolves around how she discovers the magical tree during one of her lowest moments. Her encounter with a personification of Mother Nature a la Shabana Azmi and her acceptance of her logic makes her a believer.
To cut the long story short, the plot revolves around 5 children making their way to the wishing tree and having their dreams come true. And while they see the magic in the tree, like all naysayers, the rest of the populace only see the negative (what’s new in that). It culminates in the children forming a human chain to save the tree – pretty much like the Hug a Tree movement.
I liked the cross section of children portrayed – the plump one who always gets made fun of and yet is the protector of the weak, the silent one who is dyslexic, the movie maniac, the little one led astray. I also liked how the parents of the child who steals are so patient and understanding and do the right thing – we really need more portrayals like these rather than melodramatic wailing that normally occurs in Indian films. I loved the fact that the kids were not constantly wielding cellphones! What a huge relief!
I found the plot weak in parts and the scripting a bit trite. For a children’s film some bits were unnecessary.
The cinematography especially in the number with Shabana is spectacular and pulls at your heartstrings as we introspect on the Earth that we ae destroying. The music is ho hum and could have been better. The songs could have been avoided – but that’s just me.
The animation is lovely and not too overwhelming to take away from reality – it brings about the right amount of themagical, surreal touch.
What came out loud and clear is the message of what trees give us and the fact that each tree is indeed a wish-fulfilling tree, a Kalpataru. What came out is the respect for the environment and how Mother Nature can give to us what we want provided we respect her. And I do hope with Amitabh Bachchan’s voice the message that the film has to give goes out loud and clear to the children of today and the keepers of the Earth of tomorrow.
Hope to see more endeavours like this in the future.