"Stanley ka Dabba" is about this lovable, talented kid who for some reason does not get a tiffin to school. He is popular and has good friends in his class who share their tiffins with him. He is great at making up stories and comes up with a valid excuse almost everytime. Then, there is the Hindi Prof., who also does not get any tiffin to school. He eyes everyones lunch boxes and coaxes them to share. The film is about the tiff between this professor and Stanley over a Tiffin Box! And it's sumptuous :)
What really sets apart this film is the fact that the film successfully teleports you back to your school days. The children are amazing, the professors are spot on and the dialogues are sensible. The most rocking part is the story and the storytelling. A simple story told simply, without falling into any trenches of banality! Amol Gupte has his finger on the pulse of the children and depicts their story in a beautifully sensitive manner. The film is not uproarious, but makes you smile almost throughout.
Both Jr. and Sr. Gupte do a stellar job as the 2 lead characters. Then there are a couple of friends of Stanley - Aman Mehra and Abhishek, who do a wonderful job too. It also gives out a great message, but in a non-preachy, non-needy and non-melodramatic manner. Infact, its Zor Ka Jhatka, delivered Dheere se! If anything, the film could have been 15 minutes shorter. Amol could have edited some events that happen in a repetitive fashion, but that can be easily overlooked coz the film hits the heart greater than the mind.
Amol Gupte might have lost an opportunity to direct "Taare Zameen Par", but by writing and directing "Stanley Ka Dabba" he has proved that he has the capacity to make a good film. There is a difference between TZP and SKD. TZP was a polished, high budget, melodramatic FILMY hindi movie. SKD is raw, mini budget and pleasant film with nothing much to lose. If budgets can be cut and more such films can be made, then I would go for 10 SKDs instead of 1 TZP any day ! SKD is a must watch.. Go for it...But don't take your Dabba's along, becoz Stanley has a sumptuous Dabba for all of us.
Rating : 7 / 10