This weekend was heavy on movies — Zombieland, Sita Sings the Blues and The Blue Umbrella. I just want to mention The Blue Umbrella. One line reviews are posted on the Movies tab.
Vishal Bharadwaj is one of the handful of filmmakers who makes movies about children, through their eyes. His directorial debut, Makdee — which I hear was the first movie in which Shabana Azmi acted sans makeup — was one fine example and The Blue Umbrella is another. It’s a simple Runskin Bond story of a girl, Binniya, in a village in Himachal Pradesh and her new umbrella — nothing complicated.
But what a treat it was to watch ! Four things are superb in this movie :
1. Cinematography : Sachin Krishn deserves special mention. This was the first movie after Santosh Sivan’s Tahaan that made me take notice of the camerawork. The shots are creative, the colors delightful and the landscapes of Himachal : splendid. This is a movie where every frame is worth being proud of. Remember the trailer of Rajneeti that I loved ? The same guy is handling the camera there.
2. Music : Just like Makdee, Vishal Bharadwaj write songs through the eyes of a child here. He captures the innocence not just in writing, but in tune and singing as well. I have had the album with me for more than 4 years and it is still a great listen. The background score is equally nice.
3. Acting : Pankaj Kapur can’t do much wrong. The child actress, Shreya Sharma — surprisingly — doesn’t get too much screen time. Closeups are slyly avoided and she doesn’t get any heavy scenes either. She is fine in her bits. All others get a few seconds of screen time and don’t spoil the experience.
4. Upagna Pandya : The girl who sang the songs of Makdee and now, The Blue Umbrella. I have no idea who she is and found very little information about her on the internet, but man, is she a genius !! I challenge you to show me a more expressive singer. Upagna also takes a whole lot of load off Shreya. See for yourself (listen in HQ) –