The ApunKaChoice movie review of Stanley Ka Dabba. Those who think the art of storytelling is dead and buried under the epitaph of technical brilliance will have their answer with Stanley Ka Dabba.
Writer-director Amole Gupte who wrote and worked as the creative director for Taare Zameen Par treads into the kids’ zone again. His directorial debut is a simple and deeply moving tale of a boy who gets the rough edge of his gluttonous teacher’s tongue just because he doesn’t bring his lunch box (dabba) to school.
During the lunch break Stanley (Partho) gets to dig into the dabbas of his classmates and in turn regale them with his delightful stories. No wonder he is adored by the kids and even his doting English teacher Rosy (Divya Dutta). But he’s certainly not on the good books of the chop-licking Verma sir (Amol Gupte) who is more focussed on gobbling up the students’ lunch rather than teaching them Hindi. That Stanley doesn’t bring his lunch and takes a share of his classmates’ peeves Verma no end and he vents his anger on the hapless kid.
But there’s a story behind why Stanley doesn’t bring his dabba. Its unravelling leaves you with a lump in the throat.
Never falling prey to the desire for technical finesse, Gupte keeps Stanley Ka Dabba raw and uncluttered. More importantly, he populates the film with very relatable characters: like the snooty Science Teacher (Divya Jagtale) who dismisses innovative thought in favour of the syllabi. There’s the English madam who has a soft spot for Stanley. Above all, the tetchy Hindi teacher who chides Stanley.
It’s a simple story with a soul throbbing in every frame. The performances are topnotch, particularly by Partho, Gupte’s son. Gupte himself is a terrific actor as he verily proves once again after Kaminey.
All in all, Stanley Ka Dabba is a film that can change your attitude towards kids, reason enough for you to make time for it.