Vishal Bhardwaj is one film maker who has worked on different subjects throughout his film making career. For a ‘Makdee’, there has been a ‘Maqbool’. And for an ‘Omkara’, he now has ‘The Blue Umbrella’ as an offering. With each of his released films gaining critical as well as mass acclaim, it doesn’t come as a surprise that his ‘The Blue Umbrella’ too is now being readied for release after being completed even before ‘Omkara’ was announced.
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala of UTV, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is based on one single theme – “Desire…How far can one go to fulfill it?”
Desire is not a bad thing to have after all. Though the repercussions of the same could take different shapes, the fact cannot be denied that it exists amongst all of us. And this is one theme that has given birth to number of stories over the centuries and presented in different formats, be it dark or feel-good!
‘The Blue Umbrella’ takes a latter route as it narrates a tale set in a small village amidst mountains of Himachal Pradesh.
This is a village where a 10 year old girl Biniya [Shreya Sharma] lives. She lives a simple life, a part of it is spent in taking the cows out for grazing. In one such outing of hers, she sees a group of folks who are enjoying a picnic in the scenic outing. What attracts her attention is a blue umbrella that the group is possessing. On the other hand the group also falls for her leopard claw locket.
A swap happens and Biniya is now the proud owner of the blue umbrella!
Elated with her possession, Biniya has all the reasons to smile as she keeps the umbrella close to her heart. This umbrella has something special about it. Not just it is beautiful, it also has a mystical feel about it that makes it an object of everyone’s desire.
Desire…How far can one go to fulfill it?
Ask Nandkishore Khatri [Pankaj Kapur], a tea stall owner, who has fallen in love with this umbrella! He goes to all lengths to convince Biniya to hand him over this umbrella but to no avail. He offers her a price which he believes would be an irresistible one to be let down but that doesn’t help either.
Soon an entire village gets to know about this umbrella and each of them set their eyes on it….especially due to the fact that the news goes out about it being American made! Whether it is Masterji, the village doctor or Rajaram [Nandkishore's 10 year old servant] – just about everyone is scheming to get hold of the umbrella.
And as expected, the umbrella goes missing!
From her heart, Biniya is sure that the umbrella has not just lost by itself….it has been stolen. And now begins her search to get it back! What she gets in bargain is a discovery which is sweeter and more beautiful than the umbrella.
‘The Blue Umbrella’ is an allegorical tale especially relevant to our time. The umbrella serves as a symbol to the sky above and to possess it means to rule the world. We all want to rule the world but will it make us happy? To what length can we go to own it? And finally, if it is so beautiful and worth fighting for, should we not share it?
The umbrella, which has deftly been kept in the foreground by the director, symbolizes every human emotion from love to longing, from desire to greed.
Based on a Ruskin Bond novella by the same name, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ aims at adding a new dimension to today’s genre of kids’ films by combining entertainment with a morality tale. The film has astounding performances by Pankaj Kapur & Shreya Sharma.
Having being screened at some of the top-notch film festivals abroad, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is all set to captivate the minds and hearts of the young and the young at heart on 5th January 2007 all over.