'Nil Battey Sannata'
U; Drama
Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Cast: Swara Bhaskar, Ria Shukla, Ratna Pathak Shah, Pankaj Tripathi
Rating: 3 stars

What is refreshing is the way Iyer presents the relationship between a maid Chanda (Swara Bhaskar) and her 14-year-old daughter Apu (Ria Shukla). A rebellious teenaged daughter's interaction with her optimistic and sometimes irritatingly intruding mother is as real as it gets. Iyer shows a confident, steady handed direction even as she is dealing with Apu's interaction with other kids, never going overboard and keeping it as close to reality as possible.

Iyer's trump card is also with the kind of performances that she's eked out of the central characters. Swara's Chanda is vulnerable at times but is strong willed and determined to make the best out of her seemingly hopeless situation. Swara has managed to capture the moods of this character fantastically well.

The young Ria who plays the obnoxious teen Apu is a natural in front of the camera. But even then it is Pankaj Tripathi who stands out with his superb portrayal of Mr Srivastava, the whimsical but good-hearted principal of the school that Apu studies in. He effortlessly infuses joy and delight into his character and the goings on. The ever-dependable Ratna Pathak Shah in a friendly role is a pleasure to watch.

While the first half is smooth and keeps you involved, the second half falters at many points and the climax seems too convenient and hurriedly wrapped up.

Courtesy: Mid Day

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