Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Nil Battey Sannata - A fun watch

Apeksha repels even the thought of studying mathematics much like how mosquitos repel mosquito repellents. Apeksha is a spirited and fun-loving, 15-year-old girl for whom waking up in time for school is an everyday struggle. Her hardworking mother, Chanda, played by Swara Bhaskar, dots on her and has a sole aim in life- to get her daughter work towards one. Chanda is appalled when she discovers that her daughter too thinks of working as a maid when she grows up, just like her mother.

A scene from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet

What are we talking about?
Nil Battey Sannata is a slang for a good-for-nothing person. It is a Hindi language film about a mother-daughter duo, caught in the cob webs of poverty and everyday struggles. Apeksha’a rhetoric question to her mother, “Do you even have the means to educate me beyond high school?" is hard-hitting. Why should simple necessities of life like education be a privilege for some people?

Scenes that you must not miss on
There is a school assembly scene wherein the school’s principal, Mr. Srivastava, is picking on late-comers and punishing them. Simultaneously, he is silently gesturing to the other students, to stand still during the national anthem. Did you just undergo a déjà vu episode?
It is characters like that of the school principal which act as litmus test for actors. Pankaj Tripathi does an applaud worthy work and has acted it out with nuance, without being a buffoon. His portrayal would leave you smiling from ear-to-ear for his knack of connecting with the masses. Remember all those silly teachers from back school who till date tickle you with their quirky antics as you reminisce the good old days?  
In one of the scenes, Apeksha’s classmate talks about mathematics being fun and how he enjoys playing with numbers. Through this scene, a very interesting life lesson can be derived: Enjoy whatever you do, life would invariably turn out to be fun and not a burden. Try doing that with education!

A still from the film. Photo Courtesy: Internet
The bigger picture
The story tries to reinforce the importance of education in being self-reliant and the value it brings into one’s life. It is light-hearted, easy on the eyes and mind, and heart-touching.  
The best feature about cinema of this kind is that it dares not to be preachy and articulates its message without breaking into a song and dance routine every now and then. In fact, the songs are fun and incorporated well into the script.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s maiden, simple and fuss-free attempt at bringing out a heart touching film is worth applauding. The movie is finely shot with minimal characters and is intricately detailed. When I got to know that it has been produced by Aanand L Rai, my expectations spiked. Well, when a filmmaker like him backs a project, be assured you will not be disappointed. And with Nil Battey Sannata, he has successfully dodged a bouncer.
Easily relatable and fun to keep the kids engaged with, go watch the film for a fun ride down the memory lane.