Children can look forward to 'The Blue Umbrella'

Aug 8, 2007 IANS

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Vishal Bharadwaj returns to the marquee with the interesting tale of "The Blue Umbrella" and displays his excellent craftsmanship yet again. An adaptation of Ruskin Bond's short story of the same name, the film about mankind's quest for superiority over others releases Friday.

The heart-warming story is Bharadwaj's second children's film after the successful "Makadee". In "Makadee", the director introduced talented Shweta Prasad to the audience. "The Blue Umbrella" will see another new child artiste, Shreya Sharma. Veteran actor Pankaj Kapur teams up with the little girl in the movie.

The story about desire and zealous attempts to fulfil it revolves around an 11-year-old girl Biniya (Shreya Sharma) who lives in a small village tucked away in the mountains of North India. One day she discovers a vibrant blue silk umbrella and it brings new joy in her life. Biniya is hooked on to it because she has never seen something as striking and beautiful as her umbrella.

Neither has Nandkishore Khatri (Pankaj Kapur), a miserly old man who runs a small tea stall in the village. He has a fondness for pickles and swindling kids of their little possessions.

Khatri is smitten by the beauty of the umbrella and tries all the tricks under the sun to get hold of it but fails miserably. Constant failures dishearten him, and finally Khatri gives up all hope and decides to forsake it and move on.

However, Kharti is not the only one after the umbrella. The umbrella's arrival disturbs the tranquillity and harmony of the village. The umbrella gives Biniya enviable power over the small town as it assumes mythical status.

The little girl's pleasure is short lived because one fine day her prized possession disappears and she is heartbroken. Although the villagers are sympathetic, they are convinced that her carelessness has resulted in the loss.

Feeling lonely and betrayed, Biniya decides to take matters into her own hands. What follows is Biniya and Khatri's bittersweet journey of discovery, which leads them to wisdom.

"The Blue Umbrella" is a metaphorical tale but at the same time it is contemporary. It raises pertinent questions about the concept of material happiness and futility of the whole process.

Bond's stories have a special place for children. Bharadwaj too has a knack for making children's films. So movie-buffs, especially children, can expect an interesting movie.

This is Bharadwaj's third screen adaptation. Earlier, he received critical appreciation for adapting two of William Shakespeare's plays "Macbeth" and "Othello" as "Maqbool" and "Omkara".

Since "Hanuman" and "Krrish" happened, quite a few children's films have hit the screens but none of them has been worth watching. One hopes "The Blue Umbrella" appeals to the audience.

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The Blue Umbrella


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