Summer has come a little early as a lot films have been released right after India won the Cricket World Cup. The films that I had the heart to experience were Dum Maaro Dum, Chalo Dilli, Shor in The City, Stanley Ka Dabba, Thor, Source Code, The Lincon Lawyer, Fast Five and Rio. I carefully left films like Game, Haunted, Naughty @ 40 as they are not for the faint hearted.
Out of all these films, the one film that deserves to be mentioned before any other is Stanley Ka Dabba. All those people who are thinking of comparing it with Taare Zameen Par are on a totally wrong track because the only similarity this films has with TZP is that it is also a film that needs to be seen and applauded. Stanley is an extremely simple film without any Bollywood melodrama whatsoever. In fact you would hardly find anything like a typical Bollywood film because it is so experimental in its construct. Right from camera work (film being shot almost entirely in natural light), to the direction of Amole Gupte which is a class apart. He has this great ability to extract natural performances from kids and this film proves it further.
All the performances are top notch starting from Divya Dutta who would be the teacher in every kid’s dream school. All the kids are adorable especially Aman – The kid with the biggest dabba, but the finest kid is undoubtedly Partho who is so sincere and cute that your heart goes out to him in the very first scene. Amole Gupta as Khadoos is so good that you actually hate him for who he is.
Stanley is a clean, honest and sweet film that is delicious till the last bite. It’s a film that gives you a very realistic glimpse into the actual life of a 4th grader because Marks are not the only thing important in this world. How one chooses to live life is more important, which even a 4th grader can teach us at times.