All great films require…

In “Amar (all great achievements require time)” the filmmakers attempt to capture and depict the daily life of a young Indian boy living in poverty. The film highlights the drudgery of the daily struggles that Amar must face in order to survive and succeed in his environment. The filmmakers use atmospheric audio, time stamps, and close ups of Amar to help convey their message.

This film contains no music and almost no dialogue aside from some brief readings done by Amar. Instead, the filmmakers attempt to insert the viewer directly into Amar’s life by using the ambient audio that surrounds him. The viewer hears the water splash onto Amar’s face as he wakes up early in the morning, the sound of the spokes on his bicycle wheels as he delivers papers, and the noise of the city traffic buzzing as he works his day job. The effect of this atmospheric audio is that it both gives the film a sense of place and grounds the viewer in that place with the relatable sounds of everyday life.

Throughout the film time stamps appear on the screen to show the progression of Amar’s day. These time stamps are a crucial element in capturing the length and tediousness of a typical day for Amar. The film makes it seems as though Amar moves from one job/activity to the next with little to no downtime in between. Amar is constantly working to accomplish something, and the time stamps give the viewer an idea of the busyness of his day and of his commitment to accomplish all of his daily tasks.

The most emotionally affective visuals in the film are the close-ups of Amar’s face as he moves throughout his day. Most of these close ups occur while Amar is riding his bike in the transition from one location to another. Though Amar is constantly in motion throughout the film, but the expression on his face during these close ups is always peaceful and relaxed. These shots reveal Amar’s stoicism and how he is content to move through what many would consider a stressful ordeal without any negative effects on his psyche. At times Amar will flash a brief smile, these moments are powerfully uplifting. The filmmakers inspire viewers by capturing the calm determination evident on this young child’s face.

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