Stanley Ka Dabba

Today I saw the movie ‘Stanley Ka Dabba.’ I have not seen a movie that was equally heart-warming and heart-wrenching in the recent past. It is a movie that will make you happy, sad, angry, and take you through a myriad of emotions. It will take you back to your school days. It will also make you hungry 🙂

This movie will help you realize and reemphasize your belief in the goodness of humanity and the existence of pure and selfless love and kindness. It will help you better appreciate the help other have given you, kindness that you received, and the caring and sharing that you enjoyed. It will make you want to become a better person.

The plot of the movie is simple and straightforward. It is the story of Stanley—a fourth standard student. Stanley is very popular in his class as he is a great entertainer. Most of the teachers and all his classmates love him. Stanley never brings a ‘dabba’ (lunch box) to school, but his friends share their lunch with him. Their Hindi teacher—also known as ‘Khadoos’—never brings lunch but eats the lunch of his colleagues and students. ‘Khadoos’ doesn’t like Stanley as Stanley’s friends avoids him preferring to share their food with Stanley. One day ‘Khadoos’ finds Stanley and friends having a great time. He becomes so angry and asks Stanley not to come to school without his own dabba. Stanley misses his classes and his absence is felt by his friends and class teacher who are saddened by the fact. One day Stanley returns to school and this time with his own ‘dabba’. He presents the mouth watering dishes in his ‘dabba’ to ‘Khadoos’ and asks his permission to return to his class. ‘Khadoos’ realizes his mistake, resigns, and leaves the school after writing a letter of apology to Stanley. In the meanwhile, Stanley’s performance in an inter-school cultural festival is appreciated by all. The rest of the story reveals who Stanley is, why he was not bringing his ‘dabba’ and so on.

All the actors, especially the kids have performed well. The movies was written, directed, and produced by Amole Gupte and he also stars in it as ‘Khadoos.’ His son Partho Gupte gives a stellar performance as Stanley. All the actors in the movie from the peon to the headmaster have acted really well. It is a simple movies made on a very low budget. But the constraints on budget no way affect the quality of the movies—it is simply awesome.

This move is a result of theater and cinema sessions conducted on Saturdays and vacation days, each session not exceeding five hours including 2 recesses and without a single day of school missed by the children. More information about the movie at

A must see movie—see it and show it to your kids—it will be an enriching experience.


  1. Paresh said,

    August 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I too liked that movie, but, couldn’t be all out effusive about it (my reviewer’s antennae to blame I feel). I liked your review. Please do it more often. Udaan will be a good film to write about.

  2. Alexis Leon said,

    August 14, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Paresh: Paresh, you are a professional reviewer, so you have to consider a lot of other factors into consideration like logic, technical perfection and so on. Since I am an ordinary viewer, I can ignore all the other stuff and write from the heart. But the fact that the entire movie was shot using a Canon 7D, with no script is simply amazing. The kids and all the actors improved on the spot and that creativity of the kids and the way adults reacted to it is quite outstanding. For me it is a special movies, just like Taare Zameen Par:-)

  3. Paresh said,

    August 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Ecjactly Dear 🙂 this is really a lump in the throat kind of film where you are with the characters all the while. On the side, it made me look at my Ma as an artist, meticulously filling my dabba with symmetrical pieces of roti rolled & curry on the sides yet they don’t get mixed up when it is opened in the afternoon, day in & day out 😛

  4. Roji Jacob said,

    August 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks Alexis for the review. I should try to get hold of it for kids
    Roji Jacob, CETA-89

  5. Alexis Leon said,

    August 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Roji: Hi Roji, good to hear from you. Do get it, the DVD if you can as it has the deleted scenes and also how the movie was made as bonus features. It should be available there or else you can ask someone coming from India to get it for you. I am sure the kids would love it.

  6. Jane Ninan said,

    August 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Alexis, hope you are doing well. Got to see ”Stanley ka dabba” this afternoon on TV. It was a lovely movie and loved it all the more because I work with children. I’m not a Hindi movie fan but found this one so enjoyable and relaxing compared to the usual stuff.
    ”This is All I have to say” was a good book. Just got my second book from FLIPKART.COM..HOWZZAT BUTTERFINGERS written by Kyrunissa who happens to be my friend from TVM.
    Btw Flipkart’s office is in my layout 🙂
    Look forward to more of your reviews and articles.

  7. Alexis Leon said,

    September 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Jane: Nice to that you liked the movie. Glad that Flipkart is close to you. Lucky you 🙂