Stanley Ka DabbaCast: Partho, Amol Gupte, Divya Dutta; Director: Amol Gupte; Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Life becomes difficult for Stanley and his friends who lead a carefree school life when gluttonous Hindi teacher ‘Baburam Verma’ has all his eyes on their ‘dabba’( tiffin box). Stanley becomes the eye sour as he ends up having feast though he never gets his own ‘Dabba’. He is asked to bring his ‘Dabba’ or not to attend school by his ‘Hindi’ teacher. The story deals with the suspense of the ‘Dabba’ and how Stanley meets the challenge.

The highpoint in the film is the sterling performance by Stanley ( Partho) and the gang of kids. It’s a part of your school life which you will revisit with picture perfect portrait of caricatured teachers and carefree school life. Kids take away all the laurels as they bring their sensitive, mischievious carefree school life on celluloid. The direction and performances are so subtle that it looks like a slice of life rather than a reel life. A poignant journey which will make you both laugh and cry is a must watch.

After writing ‘Taare Zameen Par’, Amol Gupte writes and directs ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’. The story is written from a child’s point of view but could have been well knit with other characters. The way he has presented carefree kids and adults with secret anguish could have better portrayed. But the beauty of the story lies in the simplicity which presents a heartwarming slice of life.

Partho as Stanley has played his character brilliantly with a subtle and natural performance. He has beautifully portrayed the fear and insecurities of a growing child and brought out enough understated emotions to the character.

A very heartwarming performance is given by Divya Dutta as Miss Rosy, an archetypal catholic teacher whose sweet words can actually reform a child.

Amol Gupte as Hindi teacher ‘Verma’ has also given a brilliant performance of a caricatured gluttonous teacher who is more interested in ‘Dabbas’ rather than hindi lectures.

Kudos to Director Amol Gupte who chose the topic of child’s psyche for his directorial debut. He throws light at the everyday life of a school going child but creates a character in return who tugs at your heartstrings with his indomitable spirit. The best part about his direction is that he is so magical with kids that he let them effortlessly blossom in front of camera and presented a poignant journey which was last seen eons ago in Satyajit Ray’s ‘Pather Panchali’.

The beauty of the dialogue lies in the sheer simplicity and authencity where kids speak their heart out. The play of light and the work of camera really compliment the storyline. Close-up shots have been used to highlight the emotions of each character. The use of camera to capture the tiniest details of a child’s emotions is worth watching. Music is not great, lack punches but you may reckon and have the feel of ‘Taare Zameen Par’ hai with its background score.

Watch it for young Stanley whose simplicity and innocence stays in your heart even after the film ends. This movie is a magical work from Director Amol Gupte where the kids’ performances are flawless and effortless. This touching heartwarming piece of reality is a must watch for both young and adults as it gives you an insight to the deeper minds of a child.

Source: Daily Bhaskar

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