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Times of India
Raju runs away from home and lands in a big city, in the railway station. He ends up befriending Jollu, another kid who has run away from home, who ends up being his mentor and guide as Raju joins Solution's illegal scavenging gang. The film traces Raju's experiences.
Railway Children has already made quite a name in the festival circuits and also has fetched itself National and State Awards. The film is adapted from a book on children who live on sidelines of a railway station and their lifestyles and ill-habits as well as the various perils that they encounter in their daily lives.
Railway Children is in its own way Sandalwood's own Kaaka Muttai or Slumdog Millionaire in terms of trying to narrate a story from the underbelly of the big, bad city. The film begins with the introduction of Raju, a young child who has run away from home. He is in the train and lands in the city, where he tries to find a way to earn his livelihood. Solution, a local head of a bunch of scavengers, takes him under his wing, where Raju befriends Jollu, who ends up being Raju's mentor and guide in the station. The duo dream of a life bigger than what they are living and they seem to be on course. What happens then forms the rest of the story.
The film is not for the ones who want to their fast paced commercial stories. Instead, this film unwinds in its own leisurely pace, offering a strikingly real and scary peek into the lives of children who run away from homes and live near railway stations. Manohara, who plays Jollu, is outstanding and excels in entertaining the audience. Parimala too has her own quirks, while Yash Shetty is menacing as Solution.
Railway Children might not be the obvious choice for cinegoers who are waiting for the big ticket releases, but it is definitely worth your time if you like atypical cinema.