A mother means a world to a daughter. Some are born with this realization, and some realize it in the due course of their life.
"Nil Battey Sannata" is a heart touching story of a mother, her daughter and their "math-ful" life.
Chanda Sahay is a diligent young single mother who runs full-time errands to make a living for self and most importantly her reluctant daughter A for Apeksha. I said A for Apeksha, cause she complains to her mother for giving her name with an alphabet that comes first in school attendance, coming in the way of her lack of discipline, sincerity and responsibility.
Apeksha is a typical young daughter, besotted with movies but shy aways from her responsibilities. While Chanda runs household errands in town, works in shoe factory, washes clothes at Dhobi Ghat and utensils at a shady Dhaba to support her daughter's education, Apeksha is a clueless, ambitionless young teenager, least interested in studies and thinks education as a worthless favor to her mother.
Apeksha's lack of ambition, irresponsible nature and zero inclination towards continuing education gets Chanda all worried and she finds a solace in her mistress Dr. Dewan. Dr. Dewan, well played the spontaneous Ratna Pathak Shah, understands her concerns and helps her selflessly to overcome this issue. she helps 9th standard pass Chanda to resume her education by taking admission in the same class as her daughter. How Chanda fares from being an awkward student in class till making her daughter an IAS officer, is a beautiful story told on screen through Nil Battey Sannata.
About the Characters
The film rides on superlative performances where actors have become characters. From Swara Bhaskar [Chanda] to Dr. Dewan [Ratna Pathak], Appu [Ria Shukla], Principal [Pankaj Tripathy] to the young class fellows, every character is a story in self. Even Sanjay Suri in a cameo as State Collector shines in his part.
My favorite had been Swara Bhaskar since the frame 1. A word about Swara Bhaskar- When I first saw Swara Bhaskar in Tanu Weds Manu, she caught my attention more than the lead actress with her "to the point" characterization and delivery. She gave a noteworthy performance in Raanjhana, making you believe that rustic roles are best made and delivered by her.
In her role of a single mother who works as a maid, a washer-woman, a grinding mill employee to a shoe factory working, running around the town, donning multiple hats to ensure livelihood, she breathed the character in every frame and looked commendable.
The dialogue, the screenplay and overall direction was brilliant. The movie also highlighted the sad state of commercialization of education without preaching too much. Songs were minimal and added to the flow.
There will be some moments that may not go well with the flow, especially the smart placement of brands like Maggi, MDH and Zandu Balm. However, you have to give in to the director Ashiwini Iyer's advertising background and smart implementation of brand placements without the irritating display of products in an otherwise meaningful story. But then, there were ever popular chowmein, rustic chutneys, local market and Pizzah in the frame to add to the story telling and the small town background.
Nil Batte Sannata is another refreshing chapter in meaninful cinema that is highly engaging and entertaining. It has real to life relevance and yet a freshness of its own. While the movies emphasized on the importance of having a dream in life, the angle of a mother's tryst, unconditional love touched my heart to the core. Having a mom like mine, I could agree no less to it.
The movie is a must watch for every parent and every child. It is a well made film, gripping, entertaining and yet imparting a lesson, all at the same time.
"Nil Batte Sannata is a cinematic tribute to mothers and their meaningful aspirations for their children"Numerounity Rating: 4/5