The film won the award for Best First Film of a Director and Best Child Artist (Minon) for the small boy who enacted its main role .It also won the Silver Crow Pheasant Award for Best Feature Film (Audience Prize) at the 18th International Film Festival of Kerala.
I have known Siddharth for long and knew his sense of humour even under dire situations he went through and won over .
story and script is also by him
Its about a small boy of around 8 to 10 years born in a workers family with a disabled special child as his sister ,the boys name Anil Kumar Bokharo becomes the butt of jokes in his class because of that name
his father a factory worker had named him after the legendary industrialist Bokharo hoping his son would rise one day to become an entrepreneur like his namesake had
his father loses his job in the factory where he had worked for years ,he is loyal sincere and honest but becomes the scapegoat for the strike organised by the local trade union while others get back to the job ,everyone knows about this injustice including the factory CEO but circumstances make them helpless to take him back .
The family falls into very difficult conditions where even a meal a day becomes a challenge
Sivanandan the loving father is a gentle person who never blames anyone for his misfortunes he neither rants nor despairs but pours his love to his children ,his wife works hard as a coolie to make the fires burn in her house taking the disabled child with her
she often gets angry with hers sons dreamy ways as he is their only hope .
A new school master ( Indrajith ) joins and he is a bright young man with concern for his students ,he on hearing that the free midday meal would be stopped shortly devises an idea of children who can to bring two packets of food every day one for themselves and other for those who cannot bring that
Bokharo asks his mother for the food packet ,her despair is shown as anger to her son while the father hugs the boy and consoles him feeling sad he could be of no use for his children
Both actress Lena who is the mother and Murugan as the father have really lived their roles and bring tears to our eyes in every scene ,
she does manage to give her son the coveted food packet one day but when he needs it every day to school like his friends she shows her frustration on him .
she happens to meet the master and tells him the situation in the house and asks him to spare Bokharo from the new rule .
The master visits their home and tells Bokharo he had never insisted and it was only for those who could bring the packet to benefit those who could not .
He now has a special eye on the boy who is a hope for his poor parents ,he also realises that Bokharo is bright and very observant child .
One day he gives him a job of compiling 101 questions for a small general knowledge booklet he planned to publish and he would promise Bokhara one rupee for every question which would be given only on completion ,his motive was to encourage the boy to start enquiring and also to make his first earning with sincere work .
to Bokhara the quest diverts his mind from his knawing hunger and despair in his home as he open eyed watches the world and its small wonders while questions and answers tumble in his creative mind which he dutifully compiles in his meticulous hand
when 50 questions were completed and on the day when there is no money even to buy medicines for fits for his sick sister he desperately pleads to his master for the fifty rupees to be given immediately as he desperately needs it his master gives him that and nothing more so that he would know the value of money .
the story meanders with their life sunk in poverty and hope receding ,the final scene comes when Bokharo puts his one hundred and first question to his master touching our hearts .
A simple story through an unfortunate child's mind directed with finesse and enacted by brilliant actors
Dr V.P Gangadharan the well known medical oncologist has a single stellar scene in the movie the significance would be known by its end
please see the film as we need to encourage such good films but be prepared to be touched .