The Blue Umbrella (2007)

Once read this somewhere : 'Nothing can make you smile like a fable'. True, absolutely. There is a child in all of us. And we need to pamper it. Pamper to be calm from inside. Pamper to be calm from inside. Pamper to know and to teach that child, difference between right and wrong. And all these sweet little fables prove such a perfect medium to convey these things. I always wish to get more time to read [in that case, I envy Librarian's job :P yes, Beth]. Sigh..cause I can manage a little time for it.

And with that little time, one can always rely on great stories turned into movie adaptations by none other than Vishal Bhardwaj. He has always been such a great story teller. Be it on TV earlier or his debut movie 'Makdee'; he has always perfect art of story telling like our very own Grannies do. And again, his great music sense meeting gems of Gulzar saab, there is no room for sorrowfulness.

Adapted from Rusking Bond's short novel, of same title, The Blue Umbrella tells story of little girl Biniya, played by Shreya Sharma. A cute little  girl living in beautiful village surrounded by ice clad mountains. She is of 'Papa Ki Pari'; and beloved of the village. Except the shop keeper Nandu Khatri [Pankaj Kapur]- who runs a small Tea and Snacks stall. Nandu is greedy, mean and attention seeker but also child at heart. He lives alone and gets help for shop from Rajaram. The loneliness has made him more rustic.

On one beautiful day, Biniya accidently finds an umbrella and instantly falls in love with irresistible Aasmani Chhatri.  Coming to know it belongs to tourists, she barters her Bear Claw locket with the umbrella. And now it becomes life for her. Everywhere she carries it. Plays and sleeps with it.

On the other side, Nandu is getting envious of her, getting all the attention.

Meanwhile on one dark day, Biniya finds out that her beloved umbrella is missing. and goes into deep trauma. Blaming on Nandu, that he has robbed it, police checks but nothing is found. After a few days, Nandu gets a parcel of similar designed Red Umbrella all the way from Delhi. Now Nandu goes high on it, and becomes center of attraction of the village. All admiration comes his way, while Biniya can not forget her loss, and Nandu's new found admiration-she can't come out of sadness.

Does she get her beloved blue umbrella back? Who is thief ? and how interestingly Biniya bonds a relationship with loner Nandu Khatri..that's more to find out on the movie.

Charm of the movie lies in sheer beauty of it. The location is stunning. And equally beautifully designed Umbrella-the central character. [Designer: Sariska Rai] Hills of Himachal Pradesh looks oh so lovely on screen. Cinematographer Sachin Krishn is hero of the movie, indeed. Each frame is a portrait.

While Vishal had the story ready in the books, his characterization and direction is just so perfect. The execution is just so intriguing we feel like living inside the movie. Being one of the character.

Shreya Sharma does perfect job in her debut film. She's clever yet cute little girl. And shows affection to rather lifeless umbrella very effortlessly. Also she doesn't look overgrown as many of bolly kids are. As the movie progresses you can note how multi shade her role is. In a certain scene, I was impressed by her act, that at one moment she's jumping with joy and very next moment she's hiding her tears.

Pankaj Kapur-man of all seasons. One can never go wrong when expecting things from him. His character who is both mean and childish at times. One can see that inquisitiveness in his eyes. He perfects each and every moment he is on screen. Final 20 minutes of the movie, simply breaks your heart by his splendid performance. What a great actor !!

Music is as always-fantastic. What more can you expect from the duo Vishal-Gulzar!! First song 'Mera Tesoo' is a fun kid song. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to play on Diwali. Where we light a torch [with oiled cloth tied on a stick] and visit door to door to collect money to keep the light burning whole night. :)

Or was it Desi Halloween?

Another beautiful track is 'Neeli Aasmani Chhatri'. Visual delight. Watch it below. Such a beautiful picturisation and similarly great lyrics. Love it . Third song 'Burfan Burfan' has sad feeling and sung by Sukhwinder another lyrical bliss.

And at last, this movie had Aamir Khan !! Cant believe? see following pic closely :D,

and another pic, showing the Best slogan-must for all shops, below.

Overall, its one fantastic movie which is wrongly categorized as 'Children's Film' [even awarded at National Awards]. Come on, we all are children at inside. The sweet little child, who fears from darkness, feels insecure when alone, needs caring hugs and always having questions in those inquisitive eyes.....aren't we??

My Rating
: 5 / 5
Running Time : 90 Minutes
The movie is available online at Watch it !!


  1. It looks simply wonderful! Plus the song is really beautiful. I tend to shy away from movies about children (as I have my fair share of children at my job), but this one looks really good. Plus, I'm quite intrigued at what happens during the last 20 min that you've hinted at. I have the feeling that it would require tons and tons of kleenex.

  2. Shell
    Yes, its a wonderful fable. Most of us shy away from children movies just because they 'are' children's movies. But what one can get from it, that can never be found on other tales. There is always a meaning that touches everyone's life. But yes, given the movie should be well made like this one is. Otherwise it would end up like just another joker act. Funny but shallow.And well, you may need 'some' tissues not tons and tons :P or else if you are too sensitive, there u go. :)

  3. 5 stars justified! :-)

    Pankaj Kapoor is an acting genius. Loved his performance.

    It's good to see UTV funding such films..not many production houses would do that in India.

    In my opinion, 'Barfaan' is one of Vishal's best compositions till date. The track is very haunting..reminds me of the lonely mountains and takes me back to those school expedition days in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Lovely!

  4. Have you read the Ruskin Bond novel?

  5. I can't wait to see this. It looks so lovely--gorgeous screencaps, Darshit!

  6. Anonymous19:31

    What does the shop slogan say?

  7. Anonymous19:31

    What does the shop slogan say?

  8. Thanks so much for this review, Darshit. I've stayed away from this, but I know our tastes are similar when it comes to films of this kind, and now I cannot wait to see this. Some of the shots remind me of Tahaan!

    Hilarious bit about that shop slogan (@anonymous -- Udhaar prem ki kainchi hai, i.e. debts cut ties of love, lit. debts are the scissors of love, LOL).


  9. Anonymous12:58

    Absolutely lovely film. I enjoyed it very much. Indeed all the actors have done well esp the kid and Pankaj Kapoor was of course awesome as he is known for his talent.

    Indeed UTV and Percept pictures (Pritish Nandy Communications) fund good movies. I would recommend Pritish Nandy's "Meerabai Not Out" as a must watch. Mandira Bedi and the hero (new actor) have done well. The story itself is very nice and after a long time we have a story revolving around a truly middle class indian family

  10. Bhargav Saikia

    UTV is doing really great job. Otherwise there was a time when only NFDC was funding such movies, that too with limited budget. Apt budget has made this movie gorgeous.

    Heard the OST after watching the movie. Barfaan is such an amazing track. So is the title song, which got stuck in my mind for whole day.

    And your school expedtion days must be interesting given gorgeous hills of sikkim. Photoes??

    I haven't read the novel yet. Must find it out, and some more work by Ruskin Bond.


    Thanks ajnabi. Its such a brilliant piece of cinematography. Himachal Pradesh looks lovely. Would look forward to read your thoughts.

    Hi, theBollywoodFan has already answered your question. Thanks for stopping by.


    I love such kind of movies which are not publisized much but so impressive. This movie took it so long in the making but finally it got its due. And yes, Tahaan is identical because of same backdrop - the Burfaan Burfaan. :) Also Looking absolutely forward to Sikandar - finally releasing on 21st August.

    Thanks for the translation :)


    Hi, welcome to my blog. Yes, this was lovely movie. the kid is Shreya Sharma she was fantastic. So is Pankaj Kapoor, as always. Bollywood is blessed having such a great actor. He can never go wrong whatever he does.

    As I said earlier, UTV is really doing a great job. Though i haven't seen 'Meerabai not out' but would try. Pritish Nandy is yet another favorite of mine. His movies like Chameli, PKSE, Shabd are some of my favorites.

  11. I've been meaning to watch this since I saw it turn up on Rajshri. Your review just bumped it up! I do love children's films, especially these kinds that are sensitive and subtle as well as heart-warming. I remember watching some of those old Children's Film Society movies long ago - I'd dearly love to find them again...

  12. You'll love this movie. those older NFDC funded movies were good too. I hope you'll find some of them. Btw, have you seen Tahaan? It is a really good movie with brilliant performances by kids. I have another movie lined up in similar theme, keep watching. [and yes, I recently saw Sikandar, but was disappointing for me. here's my review

  13. 5 Stars justified,,, I loved the film too,,, As rightly pointed, it certainly has more to offer than a Children's film. An overly well made film, I remember watching the promos of this film a few years ago but never took the film seriously till I saw it today...

    Pankaj Kapoor is a fine actor, I wish he was seen more!

    @ur comments
    I liked Tahaan tooo :D little slow but cinematic journey at its best! Sikandar was disappointing. I could barely watch the film once.

  14. hey Bikram singh Bathh
    Thanks for your instant comment. Don't know why Vishal went away to make movies with swear words, one by one? Though he's good at those movies too, i feel he should make another kiddie movie.

    Glad you loved the movie. I too love to escape to imaginery world of kids movies. If given a chance, do read Ruskin Bond's works. It lovely.

    Yes, Tahaan was another fabulous movie with kids, and Sikandar disappointed me a lot.


Related Posts with Thumbnails