Madhukar Nandagudi’s review published on Letterboxd:
Mothers were the only Gods without non-believers.
Of Mirrors, Memories and Mothers: a tale of reminiscence, grief and indentity.
Catarina Vasconcelos' The Metamorphosis of Birds, at its core is about the semi personal expansive tale of her family spanning generations but moreso than their stories, it's that their lives become the vehicle to explore the the themes of mortality, of a time long gone, of finding oneself in the vastness of life and above all its an ode to all the mothers who have lived and who will live and celebrating their lives of love and sacrifice.
Eyes are a constant presence in the movie, the closeup of eyes are a reminder that they are the window not just to the outside world that surrounds us but also to the inner world filled with memories and regret, and the reflection of mirrors being just as constant in the frame signifies how we view ourselves in the world and coming to terms with our own identity.
The significance of abundance of trees in the movie are made much more apparent in the movie, being a direct correlation between a mother who is ever-loving and ever-giving with that of the tree which are attributed to the same selflessness.
And finally the exploration of mortality and grief, of not just physical death but also of a time spent in vain and of the regret that follows, that moving on from grief begins with letting go of somethings that are too dear to us but are necessary to live our life beyond the tragedy.
The Metamorphosis of Birds is a profound movie that is rewarding the more you spend time on it and is almost as soothing and nurturing as a mother's presence.
The movie is definitely the best I've seen of this year and among the best I've seen in my life.