Australian Council on Children and the Media

Crow's Egg, The

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Not recommended under 10; parental guidance recommended 10-13 (Themes and violence; in Tamil with subtitles)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Crow's Egg, The
  • a review of Crow's Egg, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 November 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to themes and violence (also in Tamil with English subtitles so may be hard for young children to follow)
Children aged 10-13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes
Children aged 13 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Crow's Egg, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, coarse language and violence
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Crow's Egg is an Indian comedy drama (in Tamil with English subtitles) about two impoverished young brothers, Periya Kaaka Muttai (J Vignesh) and Chinna Kaaka Muttai (V Ramesh). They live in a slum with their mother and grandmother, and spend their time stealing and eating eggs from crow's nests. This leads them to refer to each other as Crow's Egg the Elder and Crow's Egg the Younger. After begging their mother and grandmother for various unaffordable toys and possessions, they are eventually given a television. This gift sparks a desire in them to try pizza, after they witness a particularly engaging advertisement where a man happily eats a pizza of his own.

The boys work on saving up enough money to purchase a pizza by picking up and selling charcoal that falls off passing trains. Over time, they raise enough money to buy a pizza but the employees at their local pizzeria refuse to serve them. Initially this is the result of being dressed too poorly, but after the two work hard to earn enough money to purchase adequate clothing, the pizzeria worker labels them ‘slum dwellers’ and turns them away again.

A video of the children being chased away and struck by the pizzeria supervisor ‘goes viral’ and the media pressure that ensues forces the pizzeria owner to publicly apologise to the boys for the discrimination. He offers them ‘Free pizza for life’ but the boys eventually realise that perhaps the dream they were chasing all along was the wrong one.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Poverty; discrimination; impact of the media; family and relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • When the boys approach the pizza store with their new clothes and adequate money to make a purchase, the pizzeria supervisor approaches the boys and slaps the older brother – this is caught on camera by several bystanders, and is replayed by the media.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Nothing apart from the violent scenes descibed above

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scene, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • We hear that the young boys’ father is in prison – the reason for this is not disclosed within the film.
  • The boy’s arrive home one day to find their grandmother has died. They both experience considerable guilt regarding this, as they insulted her during their last conversation with her.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be worried by the unfair treatment of the boys by the staff in the pizzeria and their guilt at the death of their grandmother.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

There is limited product placement, including:

  • Apple laptops
  • Sony televisions

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • 'shit', 'crap' and 'pissing'

In a nutshell

The Crow’s Egg is a heart-warming story about two young slum-dwellers who go through a process of personal development before discovering what is truly important in their lives. The film highlights the desire of the young brothers to explore places and tastes they have never experienced, but also presents joy in things that are both simple and familiar. The movie depicts the strength and importance of friendship and familial bonds, but also explores darker themes such as poverty, racism and discrimination.

Younger children may be upset by the violent and discriminatory treatment of the boys and the film is in Tamil with English subtitles, so may be hard for non-readers to follow. It is therefore not recommended for children under 10 with parental guidance recommended for older primary school aged children.

The film raises a number of issues for discussion with older children, including:

  • The nature of poverty, and the issues faced by individuals living within low socio-economic contexts.
  • The issue of child labour, and the ways in which children in disadvantaged populations help to keep their families alive.
  • The widening social gap between rich and poor groups within countries such as India, as a result of globalisation.
  • The power of the media to change lives.
  • The difference between wants and needs.

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