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Anant Nag, Suhasini Maniratnam, Mukhyamantri Chandru, Ashok Mandanna, Pallavi Dattu

india Updated: Mar 17, 2003 20:41 IST

Finally, here comes an unusual, thought-provoking film, which deals with the urban day realities of Indian life. Director Prakash Belawadi, though, rejects the idea of Stumble being an ‘arty’ film. The tendency to rush into something without fully comprehending the subject is human. The result thereafter may be good or bad but the fact remains that, this lack of understanding causes people to stumble and that’s the crux of the story.

Anand Rao (portrayed sensitively by Anant Nag) is a successful banker, but decides to invest all his life’s savings (which he takes from his office in the form of VRS) in a Mutual Funds set up. And loses it all. The collective savings of his co-operative bank are swindled away by its board of directors, headed by a street-smart politician Diwaker (played brilliantly by Mukhyamantri Chandru).

The idea is to float a new IT setup headed by Darshan Khosla a.k.a. DK, who’s more about buzzwords than goals. DK chooses to part ways from his idealist partner, Prashant Bhide and messes it all up by sacking the immense talent (read young enthusiastic team under Bhide, which includes Rao’s daughter Madhu) who could’ve created the software needed in the new organization.

So while Rao has lost his job, Madhu, his daughter (played very sensitively by Dattu) loses hers, courtesy DK. The trauma that the family is already facing is compounded by the fact that Rao’s son who is a software engineer in Chicago is also handed the pink slip and returns home but chooses not to inform his parents about it, out of shame.

As the family slips into collective depression, the mother (Suhasini) despite her work pressures tries to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the household.

Stumble is a forthright tale about naïve individuals who still believe. They are the idealists whose dreams are shattered rather rudely and there is no recourse really, but to try and get back to their earlier lives with a bit more understanding and a lot more wiseness.

Belawadi’s direction could’ve been better but the subject holds, despite it shortcomings. For instance, surely something could have been done in the sound department. That was one area sorely lacking.

Since the film is in English (how could the Bangalore based community of IT chaps be communicating in any other?), the stilted accents take away the naturalness from the characters. Thankfully, the film’s content is powerful enough to ensure that one watch at least.

First Published: Mar 17, 2003 20:41 IST