Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala comes to life with Danny Denzongpa

The highly-acclaimed short story Kabuliwala by Rabindranath Tagore is being adapted into a feature film and the trailer for the same just arrived on the internet. Titled Bioscopewala, the film stars Danny Denzongpa as the titular character and it is every bit intriguing.

An extrapolation of the original Tagore story, Bioscopewala extends the story from where Kabuliwala ends. The trailer introduces us to a now grown-up Mini Basu (Geetanjali Thapa) and how she loses her father in a plane crash. In an attempt to reconnect with her childhood, she stumbles across her dead father’s old friend, who was the operator of a Bioscope show (hence, the name change) that she loved in her childhood. There are a number of poignant shots of a fascinated young Mini (Miraya Suri) playing around with the bioscopewala. The bioscopewala spends his days longing to meet his daughter who lives in the war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. Saddened by their loss, Mini takes it upon herself to reconnect this man with his daughter and unravels his mysterious character along the way.

The trailer sets up the premise pretty well and yet does not reveal a large chunk of the story. Danny, last seen in Naam Shabana, does a fine job at portraying the various emotions of the iconic character of kabuliwala even with minimal dialogues to deliver.

Though the essence of the story remains the same, that of partition and longing for one’s own land and people, the film seems to be trying to introduce a parallel narrative of the magic of stories and storytelling as well. As Mini says in the trailer, “This man taught me how to tell stories, he taught me how to make things up. I live every waking moment in an attempt to find out about the man who played such an important part in my life.”

Rabindranath Tagore’s short story Kabuliwala was released in 1892. The story follows a Pashtun merchant from Kabul, who comes to Calcutta for selling dry-fruits every year and while living in India he becomes friends with a five-year-old girl Mini from a middle-class aristocratic family as she reminds him of his daughter who lives in Kabul.

Presented by Fox Star Studios in association with Star India, Bioscopewala is produced by Sunil Doshi and directed by Deb Medhekar. Also starring Tisca Chopra and Adil Hussain, it will release in theatres on 25th May 2018.

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