“Nil Battey Sannata”, I know you are wondering what it means. Let me help you. We frequently use this phrase for cases which are “hopeless” from the part of the country I belong to. Another one very close to this is “Zero Battey Anda”. I hope, now the meaning is clear!
I was drawn towards this movie mainly because of two reasons: 1. It’s name, reminded me of my childhood, and 2. Swara Bhaskar as Lead, this means it is going to be something different and thought provoking.
I will first being with the story of the movie which is the “STAR” element. This is the story of a mother who works as a household maid and different other professions, struggling hard to educate her daughter. The character of the mother “Chanda Sahay”, is played by Swara.
Her character has been drawn meticulously. The way she does her hair, she ties her sari, her bindi, her bag, her watch, her overall get up; has been done really well to put her into this character. Her dialogues are perfect with the nuances and tones of local dialect and trust me, nobody else could have played “Chanda” better than her!
Another important character is “Apeksha Sahay” who is referred as “appu” by her mother and is played by Ria Shukla. She is one of the most stubborn, difficult to handle kid who doesn’t want to study. She looks perfect with her two braids and her salwar kameez. While her mother wants her to focus on study, she is busy watching TV or dancing to the numbers like every other child does.
This story has challenged the thought process where people think that a person, can become what his/her father/mother is. Apeksha doesn’t want to study because she think she will ultimately become a maid because that’s what her mother is. But, Chanda has decided that her daughter will not do what she is doing. She takes the courageous step of going back to the school where her daughter is studying so that she can teach her daughter after learning the subject herself.
While “Appu” has no dreams what she wants to be in life, her mother has a dream for her. She wants her to be in Civil services after a small encounter with the collector. She ultimately convinces her daughter to study harder and tells her the power of dreams. If you can dream about something, you have all the ability to achieve it. I loved the concept more so, because I have my cook who works hard so that her daughter doesn’t have to cook food for her living. And her daughter studies at Don Bosco, one of the most reputed schools in my locality. It’s important that we challenge the belief of our children and let them explore their capabilities to the fullest.
The director Ashwini has sketched all her characters perfectly as per the plot. The choice of locations and other characters has made this movie real. The dialogue writer had done a brilliant job. Special Mention to Pankaj Tripathi who has played the role of a “Principal” of the School. His dressing sense, his style of teaching reminded me of my school teachers. Dr. Deewan played by Ratan Pathak has motivated “Chanda” on every point to take up the challenges and has given new dimensions to her thoughts.
The movie has also highlighted our education system which runs on this coaching centres, which are just money making machines and have no place for poor kids. This movie is a must watch if you have kids at home and please take your kids along. It’s important for them to understand the efforts parents take to give them the best possible education and they should use this opportunity to make the best out of it. I am sure after watching this movie, you will realise that Nil battey Sannata is “Lambe Race ka Ghoda”. A movie truly made by heart and soul!