The Blue Umbrella is an instant classic. It is simple, heart warming and metaphorical at the same time. It is based on a novella by celebrated author Ruskin Bond. Bond's story captures the mood and the uncomplicated lifestyle of a small hill town spot-on and Vishal Bharadwaj renders it on the screen flawlessly.
A little girl (Shreya Sharma) trades her lucky charm for an umbrella with a Japanese tourist. The beauty of the umbrella takes over the whole of the town. Everybody falls for it but none more than the stingy shopkeeper Khatri (Pankaj Kapoor). He wants to have it by hook or crook. What Khatri finds and looses in his quest for the umbrella is the rest of the story.
This film is a reminder of the fact that Pankaj Kapoor never got the recognition he deserves. He is one of the finest actors this country has ever produced. He single-handedly turns 'The Blue Umbrella' from an ordinary film into extra ordinary achievement. The nuances he brings to his role - a twitch of his face, a gait to his walk, everything - works to etch the character in the minds of the viewer. A splendid performance is all I can say in short.
The little Shreya is endearing. We are as heart broken as she is when she looses her umbrella; and we rejoice with her when she dances with it.
The biggest credit of all, however, goes to Vishal Bharadwaj. It takes courage and commitment to make the kind of films he has made so far. A gem of a film !