Archive | May, 2011

Movie Review – Stanley Ka Dabba

25 May

Probably the one quality that describes childhood the best is innocence. Amole Gupte captures this very quality with immense penchant in his latest offering – Stanley Ka Dabba. After Taare Zameen Par, this film once again enunciates the sensibilities of Amole, both as a filmmaker and as a parent. Stanley Ka Dabba is an ode to the gamboling freedom of children and a satire at the worried adult lives of the twenty first century.

Stanley, the protagonist is a forth standard student of the Holy Family School. The first few minutes of the film showcase the sheer fun that Stanley (Partho) has with his gang of friends in the school. The screenplay quickly presents a sketch of every character in the narrative. The Hindi teacher Babu Verma (Amole Gupte) who digs into the lunch boxes of students and teachers alike, the typical Science teacher Mrs. Iyer (Divya Jagdale)  who only means business and the charming English teacher Ms. Rosy (Divya Dutta) who is probably every boy’s crush. Stanley is clearly the favorite buddy of the entire class. His entertaining anecdotes are popular with everyone in the class. However, he gets in the bad books of Babu Verma for he never gets his tiffin box. The turning point of the story is when Verma scolds Stanley and asks him to enter the school only if he has a Dabba. Almost from the first frame, the director builds an enigma about Partho’s life out of school. Where does he live? What do his parents do? And most importantly, why doesn’t he get his Dabba? Stanley’s Dabba strongly symbolizes the reality behind his enigmatic existence.

One of the key highlights of the film is the effortless and warm performances by the child actors. Partho is adorable in every bit of his presence on the screen and his gang of friends made me nostalgic indeed! The film has been made through acting lessons over the weekends and the children have not missed a single day of school. Divya Dutta shines bright as Ms Rosy and Amole Gupte wears the “Khadus” title in an entertaining yet convincing way. The film never flashes out of the boundary of subtlety. There are no preachy dialogues nor are there any tear jerking scenes. It is the sheer simplicity that the narrative has to offer which captivates the audience.

The background score is predominantly used for narrating parts of the screenplay. In my humble opinion, the songs may not really be good to listen unless one has the images of the film to map the lyrics to. Having said that, Shankar Mahadevan’s stirring rendition “Nanhi si Jaan” lingered on my mind for quite a bit.

Stanley, figuratively puts forth several questions which we probably overlook easily while going about our daily chores. His mysterious Dabba while on one hand states that it is love and affection which can bind us all together; it also throws light on the probable fallacies in our societal notions and jaundiced opinions on the other.

There is a little bit of Stanley in every one of us! Stanley Ka Dabba is a journey back in the years of our lives which are probably the most cherished by most of us.  It expands the horizons of perceptions outwards and peaks inwards with a sensitive flavor that creates a  heartwarming experience. For all those who want to watch a simple film which can probably give your cerebrum something to ponder, go for it!

My Rating:

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