Ruskin Bond’s writings will never stop mesmerizing the readers, especially the kids. Bond’s stories have always had a special place for children and the children too always had a special place for him. He is heralded as an icon when it comes to children’s literature, even though his work has encompassed a wider spectrum. This Indian writer of the British descent has penned over a hundred short stories and a range of widely appreciated novels.
One of his most popular stories includes ‘The Blue Umbrella’. The story has now been adapted to the big screen by one of the most talented and solicitous directors in the business- Vishal Bharadwaj. Vishal’s OMKARA released this year got high critical acclaim and once again highlighted the soft-spoken director’s keen cinematic sense. Well, literary adaptations are nothing new to Vishal as his previous movies MAQBOOL and OMKARA were based on William Shakespeare’s masterpieces ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Othello’ respectively.
Vishal’s debut directorial flick MAKDEE delighted the kids and grown-ups alike. With THE BLUE UMBRELLA, the director once again tries to tell a story revolving around a little girl, Biniya. Biniya, an 11 year old from a tiny mountain village in North India discovers a radiant blue umbrella. She has never seen anything more striking and beautiful.
But the umbrella does not escape the greedy eyes of Nandkishore Khatri. Nandkishore Khatri runs a small tea stall in the village. He is a miserly old man who has a fondness for pickles and swindling kids off their little possessions. Nandkishore is smitten helplessly by the beauty of the umbrella and goes to remarkable lengths to acquire the Blue Umbrella but fails miserably. He has given up all hope and declares that he will forsake it and move on…
However Nandkishore is not the only one to covet the umbrella. The umbrella's arrival disturbs the tranquility and harmony of the village. Biniya's secret weapon gives her an enviable power over the small town, as the umbrella assumes mythical status.
One fine day the umbrella goes missing! The villagers are sympathetic to her misery but are convinced that Biniya's carelessness has resulted in the loss. Alone and betrayed Biniya decides to take matters into her own hands.
What follows is a journey of Biniya and Nandkishore to a discovery, which is bitter sweet and wisdom far beyond the Blue Umbrella. THE BLUE UMBRELLA is a metaphorical tale yet also contemporary. It questions the basic premise of mankind's quest for superiority over others. It also raises pertinent questions on the concept of material happiness and futility of the whole process.
THE BLUE UMBRELLA is a heart-warming film about desire, about the zealous attempt to fulfill it and finally its conquest.
The film is directed by Vishal Bharadwaj and produced by UTV. Sachin Krishn is the cinematographer who had earlier worked on the cult horror flick VASTUSHASTRA. Nandkishore is played by the versatile Pankaj Kapoor who has done MAQBOOL with Vishal, prior to this. One of the finest actors in Bollywood, it would be a pleasure to watch Pankaj in a unique role as this one. Biniya will be essayed by Shreya.
The film has received favorable reviews at the International Film Festival of India held in Goa this year. It has been invited for a world premiere at the Pusan Film Festival. This will surely be a treat for all the Ruskin Bond admirers as they get the opportunity to see the lovely characters and of course the beautiful snow lands that the celebrated writer has made so immortal in his writings.