Amole Gupta has made this path breaking film Stanley Ka Dabba with a limited budget. It was shot entirely using the Canon EOS 7D camera which saved huge amount in the making.
But do not let this make you wonder about the film. Stanley Ka Dabba is an honest film which will make you laugh, cry and feel for the school children.
Stanley (Partho) is a fourth grade student, talented and popular amongst his friends, also liked by his teachers. But one peculiar thing about this boy, is that he never brings his lunch box or ‘dabba’ to the school.
Imagine this boy in your mind’s eye. He arrives in school much before any of his classmates to drum away his blues on empty benches. He stuffs himself with water instead of the nutritious food that his schoolmates relish during the lunch break.
There is a Hindi teacher Verma Sir (Amole Gupte) who is popularly called as ‘Khadoos’, who likes to eat other children’s lunch. The hindi teacher finds the students sharing their lunch boxes with Stanley, hiding away from him in the terrace. He also warns Stanley to bring his own lunch or else stop coming to school.
This boy, Stanley misses school for a couple of days. He is missed by his friends as well as his teachers. The next day, much to everyone’s surprise, Stanley brings his dabba packed with mouth-watering food stuff for Khadoos.
It is this gluttonous Hindi master, Verma Sir who emerges as the catalyst in helping the boys bond for Stanley’s dignity and rightful place in the school. How Stanley covers up for his lack of social rank with the finesse of the most seasoned diplomat. Who is this child? Why is he anything like he is… is the remaining part of this touching film.
Like most others his ilk, Stanley loves to be amongst friends and win the appreciation of his peers and colleagues. He uses his sparkling wit and innocent wisdom to impress everyone he touches.
At times spinning-a-yarn amongst friends about his mother’s flight, while on occasion conjuring some heartfelt poetry to impress the lovely English teacher, Rosy Miss (Divya Dutta). There are though teachers like the pungent Science Madam, Ms Iyer (Divya Jagdale) whose rigid beliefs smother Stanley’s innovative science experiment with all the contempt at her disposal.
The camaraderie between the boys comes to the fore when they thwart Verma Sir’s desperate attempts to polish off their dabbas with all the guile at their disposal. The gang makes the ‘invincible’ Verma show his true vulnerable self for once as he marches from one possible hideout to another in the school premises trying to binge upon their home made food.
The way he goes about bringing cheer to his colleagues and his little friends is what makes him the Stanley we all need to be in today’s day and age. Wise and sensitive, loving and mischievous: living every moment as if there is no tomorrow.
The film Stanley Ka Dabba reveals how this is child-soldier, rises above his choking real life situation on the way setting a template for all whiners to learn from, even emulate. Stanley, the little protagonist shows how, like the proverbial lotus, can one rise above all the filth around and make the world a better, beautiful place to live in.
Cast of Stanley Ka Dabba –
Partho Gupte – Stanley
ADULT ACTORS in Stanley Ka Dabba:
Babubhai Verma (Hindi Teacher) – Amole Gupte
Rosy Miss (English Teacher) – Divya Dutta
Mrs. Iyer (Science Teacher) – Divya Jagdale
Rajendranath Zutshi (History Teacher) – Raj Zutshi
Principal – Rahul Singh
Parshu (Peon) – Aditya Lakhia
Art Teacher – Kadambari Shantshree
Math Teacher – Shiv Subramaniyam
Akram – Jitendra Rai
Credits & Crew of Stanley Ka Dabba –
Written, Produced & Directed by Amole Gupte
Editor & Co-producer – Deepa Bhatia
Camera – Amol Gole
Music – Hitesh Sonik
Lyrics – Amole Gupte
Singers – Vishal Dadlani, Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, Sukhwinder Singh, Hamsika Iyer, Aditya Chakravarty
On Location Sound & Audiography – Madhu Apsara
Sound Design – Dwarak Warrier
Production Designer – Sheetal Bapadekar
Associates – Archana Phadke, Faraz Ansari
Styling – Coleen Khan Affonso
Costume Design – Nyla Masood
Title Animation – Gitanjali Rao
Technical Head – Neil B Sadwelkar
Executive Producer & Chief Assistant Director – Faraz Ansari
Direction & Post Production Associate – Archana Phadke
DI Colorist – K.N. Naik
Re recording – Sreejesh G. Nair
Stanley Ka Dabba – movie review