Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Blue Umbrella

Vishal Bharadwaj's The Blue Umbrella is a quietly enchanting film about a young girl who lives in a small mountain village. One day she acquires a blue umbrella from some visiting Japanese tourists that the town instantly starts to covet. Everyone, from the village schoolmaster's wife to the shoeshine boy, has their eyes on the umbrella and chief among these is the town's shrewish shopkeeper, Nandkishore. There is a delectable scene where Nandkishore is trying to entice the girl to give up the umbrella by offering what he thinks is an irresistible bargain:

"Chay mahinay tak roz do toffee do biscuit, haftay main aek alu ka paratha gajar ke achaar ke saath, deepavali pe do phooljari, holi pe aek pichkari. Itnay saare baeir aur itnay saare shehtoot aur saath main dus kachchi ambian. Theek hai?"

She of course refuses and the umbrella subsequently goes missing, unfolding a sequence of events that charmingly illustrate the fickle nature of possession and how it changes human relationships. The film contains some mild exoticisation of rural life and some slapdash humor that would work fine with another film-maker but looks trivial when used by Mr. Bharadwaj. These minor glitches aside, the movie is definitely worth a watch, and seen on a big screen can provide an immersive experience with its rich cinematography and beautiful soundtrack. I don't think I've enjoyed an Indian movie so much since Vinay Pathak's performance in Bheja Fry.


Blogger mystic-soul said...

iit was a great movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bheja Fry is another good one.

8:00 AM  
Blogger The Usual Suspect said...

I cant remember the last time I watched an indian movie...

3:10 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

mystic-soul: yes, it was a gem of a film.

the usual suspect: there haven't been too many good ones lately but The Blue Umbrella is a creditable exception

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw it :D i finallyyy saw it! It was sigh everything true story telling is :). Next time i'm going to jump right at the movies you reccopmend. Or actually save them for an extra glum day because then they feel even more wonderful :D.

Thankooo for this gem of a gift.

*heads out to buy a permanent copy.

Shall be checking out the rest of the directors movies. I've seen Omkara and have been a raving fan...didn't realize this was his or that he had more.

11:10 AM  

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