Dil, Dabba, Etc

After being overshadowed by the stardom of Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par which was supposed to be his directorial debut but he had got reduced to a mere writer and creative director, Amol Gupte has come-up to claim his territory as the best children’s movie maker and prove his mettle as the director with yet another poignant tale of a school boy   (played by Partho Gupte) who manages to steal the show and your heart and fills you with profound feelings of sympathy and sensitivity.

This is an incredible story that showcases the small world of a child which starts from home till the school and delves into the challenging life of Stanley who does not bring a “dabba” (tiffin box) to the school. Then there is another person who does not bring his lunch box, Mr.Verma, Stanley’s Hindi teacher known to the students as “Khadus”(played by Amol Gupte, extremely convincing).In Stanley, the “Khadus” gourmand finds a competitor in eating the students’ lunch boxes, though Stanley is a guy with a lot of self-respect and dignity and shares his friends’ food only when they asked him to.

As the story unfolds, it gets eventually revealed how Stanley ends-up hostility with Verma and how he manages to get a “dabba” for himself. I think I guarantee after recovering from the mesmerizing experience of the movie, the first thing you would do is eating food. You would, definitely, recall your own school days when your mom used to pack your tiffin and how you used have it in the recess with buddies.

The film reinforces the stereotypical images attached to different subject teachers. The science teacher is shown very unemotional, disciplined and strict with not allowing anything empirical but everything theoretical. The Hindi teacher chews pan, has oily hair and wears 70’s trousers and shirts and holding very traditional views. On the contrary, the English teacher is polite, loving, affectionate, modernised and broad-minded. Divya Dutta suits as the English teacher though she has not much to explore.

Stanley is very good at English, both at writing and speaking. He is very imaginative and loves to make cock and bull stories to lure his classmates by his strong way of story-telling and manages to hide his real social and financial background from everyone. Stanley’s imagination only makes him fly high in the sky and escape from the appalling reality. The scene in which he continues drink a lot of water , every now and then will make you cry.

On the whole, this is an aesthetic piece of heart-mending cinema. A simple story told in an enchanting  way. The story manages to hold your attention throughout the film. It is one of the many tales that are in our surroundings but we pay no heed to them. Amol Gupte is successful in sensitizing adults towards the problems and miseries of children and their tiny worlds.

The cinematography is mediocre. Screenplay is amazing and it is successful to keep you in suspense and you are left relentlessly asking “What is the problem with Stanley, why does he not  bring a tiffin?”Music and lyrics are connected to the script, therefore, sound only good while watching the movie but not that good to hear on music player.

It’s a must watch

Parnil Yodha