25 December 2007 | Chrysanthepop
A Beautifully Simple but Impactful Little Fable
Bharadwaj comes up with another interesting piece of cinema that's somewhat different from his other works. 'Omkara' was the last Bharadwaj film I'd seen and 'The Blue Umbrella' clearly excels that. Compared to 'Maqbool' and 'Omkara', 'The Blue Umrella' is a much more abstract and symbolic piece and yes, one of the main characters is played by an umbrella.
Based on Ruskin Bond's novella, it is a very simple storytelling but uses a lot of symbolic elements and makes minimum but brilliant use of technical props. The cinematography welcomes us to the beautiful location and to the character's lives and minds. Each frame of the simplistic setting of North Himalaya is a treat to watch The use of colours is very effective and adds to the abstract nature e.g. what does the blue umbrella symbolize? What do the characters Kishore and Biniya represent? Well, that's for you to figure out. In my opinion the film symbolizes beauty, greed, love, pride, desire and forgiveness. The songs are charming with lovely lyrics that will very much appeal to children. The dialogues are witty and clever.
About acting, the young Shreya is mature and very subtle as Biniya. I was amazed by Kapur's performance. I had last seen him in films like 'Maqbool', 'Dharm' etc, but here he was mind blowing. I can understand why he's referred to as one of the best actors as he seemed to quite naturally pull off Nand Kishore.
This is one of the purest films to emerge from India in recent times. Though it's categorized as a children's film, it's not. It has a powerful message, is a visual treat and film-making at its simplest but most efficient.