Danny Denzogpa, Geetanjali Thapa, Tisca Chopra and Adil Hussain.
Deb Medhekar

Went to the theatres with a healthy apprehension for movies adapted from my favourite novels, but Bioscopewala showed the bigger picture and bowled me over, writes Shubarna Mukerji Shu.

Adapting Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala might be one of the most tempting affairs for any director, but doing justice to a book that sets imaginations free, is yet another. Bioscopewala is a story that one might relate to on many counts. To begin with, there is the fact that no matter where you go, your childhood often comes back to you in bits and pieces. Mini (Geetanjali Thapa) too experiences the same…

Mini, who is a stylist, seems like a perfect descendant to her photographer father (Adil Hussain). While both are creative, they don’t have much in common. Their distance, their relationship is completely shattered with the death of Mini’s father. The plane crash, shakes Mini up. While she gets into completing the formalities every child has to after losing her parent, she makes a visit to her childhood home. It is over there that their erstwhile servant introduces her to Rehmat Khan – a prisoner who her father had worked towards getting an early release from the prison. Seeing a stranger in her father’s house, Mini is too upset and wants to ensure that Khan is booted out the first thing.

But going through her father’s possessions, she remembers that Rehmat Khan is the man who has been a very important part of her childhood, her dear Bioscopewala, who taught her to weave stories and use her imagination. She owes a lot to Rehmat and decides she needs to go about paying him back for her wonderful childhood memories.

She begins with trying to figure out why he was imprisoned in the first place, she even goes to his hometown in Afghanistan trying to get him to unite with his family….

The film is wonderfully shot by Rafey Mehmood, he gets the different timelines so beautifully marked with his cinematography that the experience of the movie becomes that much more enriching. Though, some of the dialogues are a wee bit too cliched, the film touches you as it is meant to.

Those who want to experience the odd comfort Kabuliwala brought to its readers, will be leftsatiated, because Bioscopewala has quite frankly some of the best actors put together. The film stands apart because of some really superlative acting. Of course, as an audience, having Danny Denzongpa back on the silver screen also might play a part into getting our judgement biased, but no one will blame you once they see the film.

The movie is both sweet and suspicious, leaving you wanting to run back and read a few pages of the Tagore short story. Thank you Deb Medhekar, for bringing back the classic.

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