In a Chennai home live two young brothers with their mother and grandmother. The boys pester their mother and grandmother for toys they can’t afford, and even for a television. Somehow an old television gains entry into their house. The boys see a pizza commercial whose steaming, slow-motion images draws their attention. And from that point on, they dream of nothing but getting their first bite of pizza.

Kaakka Muttai movie poster Photo credit: www.GV.com.sg

Kaakka Muttai movie poster
Photo credit: www.GV.com.sg

Kaaka Muttai is a Tamil-language film written, directed and filmed by M. Manikandan. Kaakka Muttai, meaning “crow’s egg” in English, opens in cinemas this week. It’s a great movie to watch with your young ones as most of them are unaware of the kind of poverty and struggles which less fortunate children have to go through today. So this week, instead of a cartoon, opt to watch this heartwarming tale of two brothers who are not used to getting what they want.

The two young brothers dream of their first bite of pizza Photo credit: www.GV.com.sg

The two young brothers dream of their first bite of pizza
Photo credit: www.GV.com.sg

Simple luxuries in life, like being able to afford to ring for a pizza are often taken for granted. Yet here are two young Indian boys, of this time (and not from an era of the past) who have never even tasted a slice of pizza, and dream to do so. It really makes me appreciate all that I have.

Children of the slums in Kaakka Muttai Photo credit: www.GV.com.sg

Children of the slums in Kaakka Muttai
Photo credit: www.GV.com.sg

Slum movies like Kaakka Muttai tend to reveal a lot about injustice and inequality. They also tug at the heart strings.

Here are a couple of other Indian slum movies which I found both entertaining and enriching.

Slumdog millionaire

Dev Patel as Jamal, being interrogated in Slumdog Millionaire Photo credit: www.fanpop.com

Dev Patel as Jamal, being interrogated in Slumdog Millionaire
Photo credit: www.fanpop.com

Jamal Malik, 18, an orphan from the Dharavi slums of Mumbai, is about to win a staggering 20 million rupees on the Indian version of the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”. He is only one question from victory when police arrest him on suspicion of cheating. Asked to justify his right answers, Jamal explains the origin of his knowledge and his life on the street, his family stories and even that of the girl he fell in love with and whom he lost. The movie takes us on a journey through the shantytowns of India and shines a spotlight on prostitution, class struggles, police brutality, and lack of opportunity.

Marathon Boy

Marathon Boy, Budhia Singh Photo credit: www.hbo.com

Marathon Boy, Budhia Singh
Photo credit: www.hbo.com

Marathon Boy chronicles the treacherous true saga of a frail, dirt-poor four-year-old boy in India and his ambitious mentor-trainer who loves him and makes him famous for running long distance. It is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption, and broken dreams set between the heart-racing world of marathon running and the poverty-stricken slums of India. This true story is about opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a parent and child.

After Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 and Marathon Boy in 2010, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen a good film based on the shanty towns in India, so I’m looking forward to this new movie. Will the brothers in Kaakka Muttai finally earn the Rs 300 needed to buy themselves a slice of the Italian delicacy? I’ll soon find out.