In Amole Gupte's cinematic world, artists don't 'act'. Don't get it wrong. Performers of course, portray their roles, but not with the burden of cinematic expectations. Amole's brief to the actors? Be natural and go with the flow. The producer-director-actor believes in keeping it simple and taking inspiration from life. Stanley Ke Dabba also celebrates struggles and complexities of life that comes in the natural course, but inspires you to stay put and fight with determination. The film has a strong message, but a light pace, that entertains you and moves you at the same time. So has Kids Cinema finally arrived in India with Stanley Ka Dabba?
Amole Gupte says, "Stanley Ka Dabba is not just a children's movie. It is for a seven-year-old as well as for a 170-year-old. So even if you are an adult, you can watch it to refresh your childhood. The film would remind you of your school-time, as well as kids like Stanley you might have met during that time. Aapko apne baare mein sochna hai to apne baare mein sochiye, Stanley ke bare mein sochna hai to Stanley ke baare mein sochiye."
Amole Gupte is the producer-director-actor in Stanley Ka Dabba
Watch video: Amole Gupte gets candid
The director is clear about the message he wants to send across through the movie - the importance of education. And he has certainly succeeded in his attempt as the movie has been decalred tax-free now.
Watch video: Stanley Ka Dabba declared tax-free
He says, "Uniform is a great leveler. Had it not been there, the status issues would have cropped up in school itself. In the film also, because of the uniform, the pride of the kid is intact. This also underlines the importance of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan. A kid might be facing a lot of hardships in the life, but if he is getting education, the future is secure."
The film has been shot in a candid way. It picks up slices from life and serves it in a cool 'dabba', meant for a kid with good appetite. So what makes it different from a typical Bollywood flick? Unlike a lot of new-crop directors, who are largely inspired by World Cinema, Amole Gupte attributes his inspiration for shots and other technical aspects to the old cinema.
"While I was in FTII (Film and Television Institute of India), I got to watch Sant Tukaram, the only film so far that has got the Golden Lion Award in Venice Festival. Nobody talks about that movie now. Filmmakers like V Shantaram, Gajanan Jagirdar, Bimal Roy, Ritwick Ghatak, all the geniuses made films, which were considered mainstream cinema at that time. I wonder why 20-30 years down the line we stopped making such kind of films. Why should we take inspiration from World Cinema, when we have such brilliant filmmakers at home?
About candid shots
There is nothing technical about it. I just shoot it the way it happens in real life.
About natural performances
Children don't act, they are natural. Adults are not patient like kids. They make an effort while acting.
Inspiration behind Stanley
There are millions of kids like Stanley that inspired me.