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The Blue Umbrella (2005)

Young Biniya lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in the mountainous and snowy region of Himachal Pradesh in India along with her widowed mom and wrestler brother. She entertains ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Nandakishore 'Nandu' Khatri
Shreya Sharma ... Biniya
... Robot Owner
Rahul Kumar ... Tikku
Paramjit Singh Kakran ... Rajaram
Piu Dutt ... Binya's mother
Aasmaan Bhardwaj ... Biniya's Friend
Urmila ... Biniya's Friend
Dollram ... Biniya's Friend
Kamal ... Biniya's Friend
Salil Golu ... Biniya's Friend
Puja ... Biniya's Friend
... Biniya's Friend
Manvi ... Biniya's Friend
Rishabh ... Biniya's Friend
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Storyline

Young Biniya lives a poor lifestyle in a small village in the mountainous and snowy region of Himachal Pradesh in India along with her widowed mom and wrestler brother. She entertains various tourists, and while doing so with some tourists from Japan, trades in her bear-tooth amulet with a blue umbrella. She and her umbrella become very popular with both tourists and the local villagers. A restaurant-owner, Nandkishore Khatri, takes a fancy to this umbrella and attempts several times to buy if off of her - in vain. Then one day while tending to her two cows, the umbrella goes missing. The entire village sympathizes with her. She suspects Nandkishore, and the police turn his house upside down but are unable to locate the missing umbrella. An embittered and upset Nandkishore orders a red-and-white Japanese umbrella and, in turn, becomes immensely popular with the local villagers as well as with tourists. The question remains: where did Biniya's umbrella disappear to, and will she ever ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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10 August 2007 (India)  »

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Chatri Chor  »

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User Reviews

 
A Brilliant Blue Umbrella
22 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

Who could have thought that an umbrella would turn out to be one of the most compelling characters seen on the cinema screen in 2007? But then, when the filmmaker in question is a master craftsman called Vishal Bhardwaj, pretty much anything is possible. The music director turned filmmaker is a force to reckon with- one of the finest directors seen in a long time- churning out masterpieces with alarming versatility and consistency. This man simply does not cease to amaze, and The Blue Umbrella is yet another stunning film from him- and personally, my favorite Vishal Bhardwaj film so far.

Words do not suffice to describe the amazing beauty, simplicity and purity of this movie, based on the popular novella of the same name by Ruskin Bond. But Vishal Bhardwaj expectedly goes much, much beyond the source material and takes the story to an altogether different level. The umbrella comes to life in this charming fable, symbolizing so much- from love and beauty to desire and materialistic evil.

The Blue Umbrella is a charming story, but it is also a powerful film exploring multiple themes of greed, innocence, ostracism and loss. Stunningly shot by Sachin K Krishn in the locales of Himachal Pradesh, the film is also breathtaking lovely, and the umbrella in all its splendor, set in contrast against the mountain scenery- green in summer and stark white is winter- is a sight to behold.

The writing and dialogues are trademark Bhardwaj- witty, sharp and humorous, with even a cheeky reference to Quentin Tarantino playfully thrown in- Bhardwaj, of course, is a huge fan of the Pulp Fiction director. And the songs in the film hark back to the days of Lakdi Ki Kaathi- as Vishal shows yet again how brilliant he is with children's songs, with Gulzar's joyful lyrics perfectly complimenting his tunes.

But what's really incredible about the film is the sheer spirit of humanity that pervades and shines through the entire film. It is indeed ironical that the film that has been named the 'best children's film' at the recently announced National awards is actually not a kiddie flick at all. But The Blue Umbrella can make you feel like being a child all over again- rather like Nand Kishore in the film, who despite all his vices, still retains the child in him.

Vishal Bhardwaj has an amazing knack for extracting great work from child actors, and débutante actress Shreya is yet another awesome find after Makdee's Shweta Prasad. The role of Biniya does not demand histrionics, but Shreya shows remarkable resilience and maturity, playing Biniya confidently and holding her own even before the veteran actor alongside her in the film.

The actor I talk of is of course, Pankaj Kapur- a horribly underrated actor, and a favorite with Bhardwaj- who has been giving powerhouse performances one after the other of late- whether it be in Maqbool or the more recent Dharm. Pankaj Kapur plays Nand Kishore with such obvious delight, watching him in this film is pleasure beyond words. One of the most riveting and memorable characters he has played, this undoubtedly is the finest performance I have seen in the movies this year.

In fact, Pankaj Kapur is so good in this film, he almost brought tears to my eyes. Watch it- because performances like these don't come once too often. And because films like these do not happen every other Friday....unless you want to wait for Vishal Bhardwaj's next film. I, for one, actually can't wait.


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