Amole Gupte was the person who was supposed to direct the Hindi film, Taare Zameen Par, which was in the end directed by Aamir Khan. The film was an exceptionally powerful film that featured a well researched and superbly constructed writing from Amole himself.
Amole Gupte makes his directorial debut with yet another film with children as its focus. The teasers of the film revealed students in a similar light of taare zameen par. But the film is different from TZP but yet another brilliant portrayal of the life of a school boy.
The film has a very simple storyline and works with only few characters and all of them centered mostly around a school. The writing is makes itself seem plain simple by giving characters that could not be more real. But I'm not quite sure if the ending of the film satisfied me enough though I have a half mind feeling that it was an intelligent ending.
The films highlight should be the performance of the child artists in the film. Partho, son of the director himself plays the title character. He gives a splendid performance as the super smart student Stanley. Divya Jagdale also gives a stunning character of Mrs. Iyer, the science teacher of Stanley. Amole Gupte as Kadoos is bang on right from his look at the dabbas! The casting of the children should have been a complicated affair but all the children have given a remarkably rewarding performance.
The film has been shot using a Canon EOS 7D camera and carries a digital and candid look throughout. Though I'm not a fan of such a look I'm sure that it has helped in the makers in getting some exceptionally brilliant shots of the school children who carry the film. Stanley Ka Dabba may not be a film that is as affecting as Taare Zameen Par but it definitely has its heart at the right place and lots of smart kids.