Friday, May 13, 2011

Stanley Ka Dabba

Here's your surprise!

Director: Amole Gupte
Cast: Partho, Amole Gupte, Divya Dutt

Amole Gupte's directorial debut Stanley Ka Dabba pictures a kid who never brings his dabba (tiffin box) to school, gets attracted to his classmates' tiffins, gets scolded by his "khadoos" Hindi teacher and sometimes just manage to satiate his hunger with tap water. The kid is Stanley. From bruises on face to his incapability of bringing tiffin, he finesses with false reasons for all, cutely wrapped in his juvenile voice. Dressed with unwashed clothes, torn pocket and bag, one really expect a dark story beyond it. No teacher seems bothered to know his social status. Though somewhere on a predictable note, the story telling promises it in a refreshing way.
Gifted with talent Stanley never fails to please his sweet Rosy Miss (played by Diya Dutt). At the same time, his science teacher Mrs. Iyer (Divya Jagdale) is never impressed by Stanley. Babubhai Verma, the "khadoos" Hindi teacher, played by Amole Gupte himself, has a lust for food which becomes his weakness that deviates him from teaching Hindi in class to discussing the size of tiffin boxes of children. Why doesn't he ever bring his own tiffin? No reason. Their speculations on Stanley that comes in such different ways may remind you of the school teachers you had.

In the sequence, where Stanley and his mates are in hide and seek with Mr. Verma, the scene where they see him in a reflection in the steel tiffin cover, shows the creative skills of the director. Stanley's dabba gang has varied characters who marks their presence with genuineness and innocence, from the tiffin rich kid to the true friend (all kids being the actual students of the same school who were shot in various theatre sessions and workshops in weekends without missing their school). After a tiff with the Babubhai, Stanley rises like the star in his own way. Don't miss the concert performance!

In such a simple-straight story telling which is yet beautiful, how does it matter much even if the back cast performances are felt amateurish, where some are camera attention seeking? Not much, really. With Partho - the star kid, Amole Gupte, Divya Dutt making their presence very genuine, the film flows gracefully. Also, the art-direction right from the kitchen to the classroom makes the movie look more surreal. Cinematography has a special attempt here under natural lights. Background score sounds well and also the song picturisation adds flavor to it. Jhoola Jhool in the voice of Hamsika Iyer being my personal favorite.

With not much packed in it's first half, Stanley Ka Dabba offers you a light hearted, not-at-all spicy, healthy treat in its course of less than 2 hours. It brings smiles, tears and not only serves you a delicious entertainment but also a cause to realize! Watch for it! Not overcooked with drama, this Dabba feasts you with a part of life, and limiting itself not to be a movie for cause.

Stanley Ka Dabba! Have it!


No comments: