Films | Movie Reviews | STANLEY KA DABBA – Movie Review

STANLEY KA DABBA – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on May 14, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – AMOLE GUPTE, DEEPA BHATIA (Co-producer), FARAZ ANSARI (Co-producer)
DIRECTOR – AMOLE GUPTE
WRITER – AMOLE GUPTE
CAST – PARTHO, AMOLE GUPTE, DIVYA DUTTA, DIVYA JAGDALE, SHASHANK SHENDE
MUSIC – HITESH SONIK
Can a little child’s life revolve around whether or not he gets tiffin to school? More importantly, can a full-length feature film revolve around that? Stanley ka Dabba does and Amole Gupte, the writer, director and producer shows us how touching and enjoyable a ride it can be at the same time.
Stanley is an eight year old boy studying at the Holy Family High School. Bright, innocent and honest, he has many friends in the fourth standard he studies except Khadoos. Khadoos is Verma Sir, the Hindi teacher who loves eating out of other people’s tiffins. Quirky you may say, but Verma Sir’s habit is less of a quirk than a fine example of psychological detailing but more on that later.


So Stanley does not get tiffin from home and his friends, generous and simple as we are in our childhood, share their eats with him. But Verma Sir does not like this and unleashes that unreasonable adult authority we so often do on children. The film then goes a tad bit deeper into Stanley’s world and opens another picture of a cruel social reality the boy is a victim of. Through it all Stanley comes out shining simply because of his honesty, resilience and strong sense of self-respect.
And that is the stark difference between him and Verma Sir. Verma Sir identifies with Stanley but having given up on the finer values continues to live on baser instincts today. He wants to be like Stanley, have friends like him and be a person of his own not a victim of his deficiencies. The film draws a beautiful contrast between this adult and child world making you love every moment of engaging with all that is simple, honest and innocent. Like how we were always meant to be.

To call the film sensitive would be almost to label it as trying to peek into another world from a corrupt one. But Stanley ka Dabba is a film by, of and from this innocent, simple, real world of children and adults. It doesn’t have to try to be sensitive, hence remains true and honest to this world till the end. Be it Stanley’s little moments of sparkling talent, the support of his friends, the love and indifference of the teaching staff, the film carries instances of real-life and infuses it with the tender world of Stanley beautifully.
Stanley ka Dabba carries a social message but so subtly has it been weaved into the plot of the story that it never feels like a cause film. But it is and beyond the social cause it is the more tender cause of understanding the world of our children. A lovely film.

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