Leaving all the controversy surroundings Taare Zameen Par behind, Amal Gupte returns to grab the limelight once again and for all the right reasons. After watchig his directorial debut Stanley ka Dabba one is bound to compare it with Amir Khan’s (Or Amal Gupte’s?) Taare Zameen Par, and undoubtedly Stanley ka Dabba outshines TZP.
Stanley ka Dabba is a beautiful, heart warming, simple story about a school boy Stanley, his friends and his teachers. The movie is entirely focussed on school life and speaks about the innocence of childhood and exposes the hypocrisy of the adult world. One may recall Laurent Cantent’s French movie ‘The Class’ while watching this movie. Like Ishaan of Taare Zameen Par, Stanely too leaves a great impact on us.
Staney is a very bright boy and popular with his schoolmates. He is adored by all his teachers except the Hindi teacher Babubhai Varma. He hates Stanley because he never brings lunch box. Vermaji too never brings dabba, and prefers snatching tiffin from the dabba of every kid in his class and steals food from fellow teachers too.
Unlike Vermaji, Stanley is a very charming and self-respecting kid who never asks for food from his friends; he would rather fill his hungry stomach with gallons of water. The movie is based on Stanley’s heroic efforts to remain dignified no matter how much Verma’s attempts to humiliate him. Stanley tell his friends many times about his mother’s cooking skills; they occasionally wonder why he doesn’t bring his food to school. However they are always very happy to share their lunch with him despite Stanely’s reluctance.
A small budget movie with great substance in the form of a sound story and good acting make this movie marvellous. The child acors in the movie are its greatest asset. These are bunch of kids with natural, inborn flir for acting. Stanely (played by Partho – Gupte’s Son) is a delight to watch. Child actors like Abhishek Reddy, Saisharan Shetty, Monty Sarkar, Leo Crasto, Ganesh Pujari and Walter D’Souza make the movie look so real.
Hindi teacher Verma, played by Amal Gupte himself, is fantastic. Miss Rosie (played by Divya Dutta), Stanely’s favourite teacher, is also good to watch.
Amal Gupte’s Stanley ka Dabba is a classic and is worth watching. It’s an elegant and smart attempt from the debutant director.
Stanley teaches us innocence, dignity, passion and quality of life which we often tend to forget. Stanely emphasises optimism too.