After National award winning Maqbool (Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth) and critically acclaimed Omkara (again Shekespeare’s Othello) now comes yet another drama – The Blue Umbrella from Vishal Bardhawj. ‘The Blue Umbrella’ too finds itself in similar terrain. Only the object of desire here is an umbrella, blue in colour.
Pure and unadulterated â€” two words that do justice to Vishal Bhardwajâ€™s cinematic adaptation of Ruskin Bondâ€™s novella THE BLUE UMBRELLA. That Vishal is an adept storyteller is known by now. In THE BLUE UMBRELLA, he goes back to his directorial debut. If MAKDEE was about a village girl and a witch, THE BLUE UMBRELLA is about an umbrella that becomes the object of envy in a hamlet in Himachal Pradesh.
The film’s delicately perched theme and baby-soft mood, largely brought on by the mellow and cold textures of Dalhousie’s hilly climate, are bolstered by some genuinely lucid, near-lyrical photography by Sachin Kumar Krishnan.
To see the little girl romping in the rain-soaked valleys with her newly acquired blue umbrella is a sight reminiscent of images out of Vittorio de Sica or Satyajit Ray’s early works.
The director isn’t blown away by the visual and lyrical powers bequeathed to him by a team and theme that create a dreamscape out of the muted mellow resources of Ruskin Bond’s novella.
Through sharply drawn vignettes and a razor-acute humour, Bharadwaj builds up a gradual momentum in the narration as the umbrella becomes a stalking point between little Biniya and the village crank Nandkishore Khatri (Pankaj Kapur) who covets the girl’s umbrella and finally disgraces himself by stealing it.
‘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?