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Stanley's Tiffin Box (2011)
"Stanley Ka Dabba" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Family  -  13 May 2011 (India)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,821 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 12 critic

A school-teacher, who forces children to share their food with him, forbids one from entering the school until he brings his own Tiffin/Lunch-box.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Partho A. Gupte ...
Stanley (as Partho)
Numaan Sheikh ...
Aman Mehra
Abhishek Reddy ...
Abhishek
Sai Shara Shetty ...
Ne batatawada khaya!
Monty Sarkar ...
Dabba Gang
Leo Crasto ...
Dabba Gang
Tijo Thomas ...
Dabba Gang
Ganesh Pujari ...
Dabba Gang
Walter D'Souza ...
Right-handed Bench-mate
...
Rosy Miss (English teacher)
Divya Jagdale ...
Mrs. Iyer (Science teacher)
...
Rajendranath Zutshi (History teacher) (as Raj Zutshi)
Rahul Singh ...
School Principal
Aditya Lakhia ...
Parshu (Peon)
Shashank Shende ...
Stanley's Chacha
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Storyline

Stanley studies in an all-boys Holy Family High School in Andheri East, Mumbai. While his class-mates bring their very own Tiffin-boxes, Stanley does not do so on the pretext that his mother is away, and shares food with Aman Mehra and others much to the chagrin of the Hindi Teacher, Babubhai Verma, who not only cajoles fellow-teachers, but virtually forces children, to share their food with him. With extra classes being imposed on both students and teachers, and the recess-breaks being doubled, parents are also forced to pack more food in lunch-boxes. When students evade Babubhai and continue sharing food with Stanley, he calls the latter aside and warns him that he cannot attend school until and unless he brings his own food. Watch what impact this has on Stanley, teachers, and his class-mates. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A little story with a BIG heart

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

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Release Date:

13 May 2011 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Stanley's Tiffin Box  »

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User Reviews

A Heart warming marvelous film
25 May 2011 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Way back while watching François Truffaut's "400 blows" a desire to watch a matured Indian film on a child protagonist cropped in my mind. Thanks to the changing wave of Indian cinema Aamir Khan gave us the brilliant Taare Zameen Par in 2007 which was the creation of Amol Gupte (He was the creative director of the film). In 2011 Amol Gupte came up with heart warming Stanley Ka Dabba which reflected the potential he had showed with the screenplay of TZP. Stanley Ka Dabba starts with a highly zoomed shot of a warm day with a school kid (that's Stanley superbly played by Partho) with bruised face, little shabby yet jubilant walking towards the camera. As he enters the school and changes the calendar followed by a sleepy moment of ecstasy within himself reflects the monotonous schedule of a lonely child who is happy with his own supposed peaceful existence. He is the star kid who is good at everything from books to ball without any air of arrogance. His friends and teachers all love him except Khadoos , an appropriate title given by the 4th standard student to their Hindi teacher Verma Sir (played by Amol Gupte). Verma sir is an unapologetic glutton who pounces on others tiffin (dabba) be it the teachers or students. The cold war between Verma and Stanley starts with later not bringing much awaited Dabba for Verma sir to pounce upon. With a beautiful cat-and-mouse game the student gang of Stanley makes Verma run all around the campus everyday till the group is caught red handed. Without revealing the climax it is the emotional journey without getting too filmy that touches the right chord. With Verma realizing his mistake to the oxymoron brutally sweet climax it keeps the viewer engaged and at the end one leaves the hall pondering on certain aspect of Indian society that needs to be taken care for freedom of more Stanleys in real life.

Amol Gupte made a path breaking debut with Stanley Ka Dabba which tells simple uncomplicated story even though it reflects a complicated story about some harsh Indian reality. To tell his story the writer (again Gupte himself) did a commendable job in creating few characters around which the story revolves and took his sweet time in creating each characters. The teachers are sketched out of reality. Rosi Miss (played beautifully by Divya Dutta) is the loving English teacher who is a lady with gentle heart is someone everyone of us again identify. Similarly there is a strict science teacher Mrs Iyer (played by Divya Jagdale) who is not among favorites. Each teacher has been given adequate screen time as needed in the screenplay. Verma Sir (aka Khadoos) is a well edged character and when one expect a filmy flashback on Verma sir's life the writer keeps it subtle making Verma a symbolic extension of Stanley (and different Stanleys in the society). But then to keep Stanley and Verma in the same plane would be blasphemous. While Stanley is symbolizes Friendship and humanity Verma reflects selfishness within.

The technical department played a crucial role in defining the mood of the theme with fabulous use of camera(DOP by Amol Gole) that zooms in amateurishly to speak about the restlessness with Stanley's character or in the scene where Verma Sir looks at the dabba. The scene reflects Dabba being an important character in the narrative. Deepa Bhatia does a commendable job in the editing department and same goes to the sound designer who specially during the rehearsal sequences uses right beats of guitar telling us about the joy inside Stanley. The music is effective by Hitesh Sonik who uses the right instruments for respective moods added to it awesome lyrics by Amol Gupte again to add on to the cream. Specially "apne andar kahin chupa hai ek Stanley" the lyrics speaks some thousand sentences. And the poems in the film are intelligently human that reminded me of the marvelous poem in another masterpiece film Udaan. (like Udaan I sincerely hope Stanley too wins lots of awards in film festivals and awards)

Amol Gupte avoided filmy clichés and forced emotions while writing the story. He didn't go overboard and in his own lethargic space creates a beautiful world of Stanley and provides a cushion of happiness for the audience. But then suddenly in the flight of happiness he punches hard with a thudding twist that breaks the cushion. Yet the end is optimistic and about hope. The movie didn't come with a sledgehammer and all to tell audience about some problem instead it just tells a story about a sweet child n his problem n how he moulded his life to live in an innocent and optimistic way. A heart warming tale of friendship and belonging that makes "Stanley Ka Dabba" a must watch.


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