Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
Starring: Pankaj Kapur,
Shreya Sharma (Child artiste)
Cinematographer: Sachin K Krishan
is an ideal scenic, lush-green small mountain village
somewhere in Himachal Pradesh, where everyone knows
everyone else. Having plenty of time around, Nandkishor
(Pankaj Kapur), a shabby shopkeeper in this village - is
lying on a charpoy, headphones plugged into his ears,
listening to his fortune.
mechanical voice assures him that one day he would be
richer than the richest man on earth. He enjoys it...
This leaves Nandkishor being hurt and annoyed, and his
pride stung. He proclaims one day he too will own such
an extraordinary and colourful umbrella. A few weeks
later, the whole village is shaken when a bright red
umbrella arrives at his door.
Nandu's umbrella is the talk of these villagers who once
suspected him in the first place. Parading merrily
around like he owns the town, letting eager villagers
“touch the umbrella” he even poses grandly with tourists
who want to have their picture taken with this umbrella
man. Ironically, now the same village even wants him to
preside over the annual wrestling match, supposedly a
status symbol in this tiny town.
(Shreya Sharma), an eleven-year-old girl who finds a
beautiful, blue umbrella, and everyone is enchanted by
its form and beauty including the small shopkeeper
While the girl
goes on flaunting her blue umbrella all around this small
town, to her friends and everyone, Nandkishore has his
plans to swindle the umbrella from her. Biniya, though
ready to share her possession with friends, steadfastly
counteracts any offers attempting to part the umbrella
from her possession. As she merrily goes bouncing around
the village, quite a few village people would want to
wrest the umbrella from her grip.
umbrella is stolen. The heartbroken girl suspects this
crafty shopkeeper –Nandkishore, and she gets the policemen
to ransack his shop which fails to lead to the missing
blue umbrella. Well what now?
Here the inventive child Biniya carries out her own
investigations to uncover her umbrella thief. The film is
simple in its narrative and the proceedings become
interesting after the umbrella goes missing. The story not
just captivating, but heart touching too.
Child actor Shreya Sharma is
remarkable and is very natural throughout the movie.
Credit ought to go to the director who could manage such
an unusual performance from the debutante.
The movie unfolds masterfully,
though at a slow pace with the story beautifully
describing issues of loss, longing, exclusion and
loneliness brilliantly on the whole.
Its an engrossing film which
has a well-balanced blend of fable and realism.
- Aniz Filmvala