Holiday Sale! Save an extra 15% on any order. Use coupon code "HOLIDAY15" at checkout.

A PECK ON THE CHEEK

Directed by Mani Ratnam
  • YEAR 4 - FILM 6 / 
  • India / 
  • 2002 / 
  • Tamil & Sinhala with English subtitles / 
  • 136 min
TRAILER
A PECK ON THE CHEEK DVD & Online Streaming
Member Pricing
DVD $14.95 $10.95
Stream-Only $2.99
Non-Member Pricing
DVD $24.95 $10.95
Stream-Only $3.99
"A sweet, funny, fairy tale."
– Adam Nayman, Eye Weekly

Synopsis

In this Bollywood-esque musical, 9 year-old Amudha discovers she is an orphan from war-torn Sri Lanka. In a moment of bravado she and her adopted family decide to face their greatest fears and travel to her violent and turbulent homeland in order to reunite with her birth-mother. Along the way they encounter shocking, terrifying and dazzling wonders and have the adventures of a lifetime. Music by the Academy Award winning composer of Slumdog Millionaire.

FAMILIA
Directed by Louise Archambault
YEAR 4 FILM 5
Michele, a divorced aerobics instructor with a gambling addiction, loses her job and seeks refuge with a childhood friend, Janine, who lives in a seemingly comfortable middle-class suburban neighborhood. Michele's rebellious teenage daughter, Marguerite, and Janine's shy and reserved daughter, Gabrielle, become friends, leading to unforeseen tensions that force both generations to reassess their values. Familia explores the question of how value systems are passed on from mother to daughter and asks: Is it possible to avoid passing on to our children those traits that we despise in our parents?
MORE INFO »
VIVA CUBA
Directed by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti
YEAR 5 FILM 5
In a tale akin to "Romeo and Juliet," the young love between two children living in Havana is threatened by their parents' bitter conflicts. Malú is from an upper-class family and her single mother does not want her to play with Jorgito, as she thinks his background coarse and commonplace. Jorgito's mother, a poor socialist proud of her family's social standing, places similar restrictions on her son. What neither woman recognizes is the immense strength of the bond between Malú and Jorgito. When the children learn that Malú's mother is planning to leave Cuba, they decide to travel to the other side of the island to find Malú's father and persuade him against signing the forms that would allow it.
MORE INFO »
THE PIANO IN A FACTORY
Directed by Zhang Meng
YEAR 9 FILM 9
When Chen's estranged wife reappears asking for a divorce and custody of their daughter, the musician girl decides she will live with whoever can provide her with a piano. Chen's struggle thus begins. When efforts to borrow money and even steal a piano fail, Chen concocts a preposterous plan - he'll make a piano from scratch! He persuades a bunch of reluctant, but loyal, misfit friends to help him forge the instrument in a derelict factory from a heap of scrap steel. Though crude in design and tune, the factory piano awaits its first and final performance from his little girl.
MORE INFO »
LUCKY
Directed by Avie Luthra
YEAR 11 FILM 2
How could a recently orphaned, 10-year old homeless South African boy ever be called Lucky? Over the grave of his dead mother, Lucky makes a promise to make something of himself. Leaving the security of his remote Zulu village for the big city with the hope of going to school, he arrives on the doorstep of an uncle who has no use for him. Lucky then falls in with Padma, an elderly Indian woman with an inherent fear of Africans, who takes him in as she would a stray dog. Together, unable to speak each other's language, they develop an unlikely bond. Through an odyssey marked by greed, violence, and, ultimately, belonging, Lucky shows how a child's spirit can bring out decency, humility and even love in adults struggling to survive in the new South Africa.
MORE INFO »

Editorial Reviews

May 27, 2005

By Jonathan Curiel

In his native India, Mani Ratnam is heralded as one of the country's finest directors -- someone who consistently explores complex issues in dramatic settings -- and in "A Peck on the Cheek," we get Ratnam at his best, albeit with a few glitches.
The story revolves around a family that has an adopted girl named Amudha. The girl's birth mother, Shyama (Nandita Das, the great actress from "Fire" and other Indian movies), gave her away after fleeing the Tamil area of Sri Lanka, where separatists have waged a bloody campaign against the central government. After learning the truth about her adoption, the 9-year-old Amudha (P.S. Keerthana) persuades her parents (Madhavan and Simran) to search for her biological mother -- a journey that takes the well-off couple and their wide- eyed daughter through the minefield that is Sri Lanka.

What they witness is unnerving and edifying -- unnerving because they put themselves in the middle of a dangerous war, edifying because it makes them understand the pressures that Shyama faced when she relinquished her daughter. Ratnam conveys the conflicted feelings of Amudha and Shyama to great effect. Ratnam also conveys the stunning beauty of the island nation of Sri Lanka. (The film was shot in southern India, whose landscape mirrors that of Sri Lanka.) He even includes a few episodes of singing that lighten the film's atmosphere.

On the downside are several scenarios that seem entirely implausible. How is it, for example, that Amudha's family is the only one in a Sri Lankan park that happens to get surrounded by soldiers who then get into a major firefight with Tamil guerrillas? Also, audiences unfamiliar with the history of Sri Lanka will wish "A Peck on the Cheek" had a written prologue that explained who the Tamils are and why they're rebelling against the government. (The film's title apparently comes from a line by the Tamil poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar.)

Still, "A Peck on the Cheek" explores universal themes of displacement, struggle and family -- themes that will register whether an audience is in San Francisco or somewhere in Sri Lanka.

 

--Jonathan Curiel/ San Francisco Chronical - Review

September 2005

By Adam Nayman

This lavish Indian comedy-drama is unsure of what it wants to be, but still manages to be charming and consistently entertaining. A Peck on the Cheek is a sweet, funny, fairy tale about the adopted daughter of loving parents who wants to find her real mother, even if it means running away from home. The structure is a little ungainly -- there's an ill-advised subplot about guerrilla fighters in Sri Lanka and an epic framing device set in the past that's underdeveloped. But the performers are expressive, and the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous.

--Adam Nayman/ Eye Weekly - Review

Write a review »

Customer Reviews


Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review


maryuska - Customer Review
An insightful and nuanced portrayal of the emotional undercurrents of a girl, her adoptive mother, and the birthmother who relinquished baby at birth. The adoptive mother struggles to accept what it means to be the mother her daughter needs, despite her own feelings of fear, resentment and betrayal, by helping her daughter find and face the past. Their journey brings the child face to face with the hard realities of life that tore her apart from her native family. With the tender open heart of the young, the girl offers her love to a birthmother who has closed herself to the past, in a willful effort to forget the tragic circumstances of separation. Reluctantly the birthmother opens herself to her daughter's love, and then gives her the gift of life again by walking away. Unable to change the past, the three have reconciled themselves to the reality of their present lives.

Photos

Click photo to enlarge. Then copy as you would any online image.
A PECK ON THE CHEEK Movie Photo
A Peck 1
A PECK ON THE CHEEK Movie Photo
A Peck 2
A PECK ON THE CHEEK Movie Photo
A Peck 3
A PECK ON THE CHEEK Movie Photo
A Peck on the Cheek poster (hi res)