My favourite filmmaker has disappointed me again. I went to see The Blue Umbrella hoping for more of his magic, but - while it was doubtless a good film - it fell short. Once again, while the cinematography was haunting, the story failed to grip me. I found it rather too slow for a children's movie, with none of the lightheartedness of Makdee. I haven't read Ruskin Bond's original story, so can't compare it with the movie, but in spite of a wonderful performance by Pankaj Kapur, the movie failed to touch me. The music was good, though not great, the songs seemed forced, the children looked silly dancing in perfect tandem, the make up on the little girl was glaring.
Given the woeful state of children's films in India, The Blue Umbrella, with all its flaws, is definitely welcome. But with my hero-worship of the director, not to mention my intense admiration of Ruskin Bond, I had expected more magic. Maybe not the perfection of Makdee, but - who am I fooling? I had expected another Makdee, just as I'd hoped for another Maqbool in Omkara. But the guy seems to have lost his touch.
Next time I want to watch a Vishal Bharadwaj movie, I'll sit home and watch a DVD of Maqbool or Makdee.