Bollywood films made on physical or mental disabilities

TNN | Last updated on – Jan 12, 2018, 08:05 IST

1/11Bollywood films made on physical or mental disabilities

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Films are rightly touted to be the mirrors of the society we live in. While the Hindi film industry is catching up on the social issues that the Indian society faces, it has also been conscious of the people with physical and mental disabilities. There have been instances in Bollywood when it has not only dealt with the subject of disability with sensitivity and compassion but also has been very instrumental in changing the perception of the people and society as a whole towards the differently-abled ones. Let us take a look at some such films…

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2/11Kangana Ranaut and Amitabh Bachchan’s untitled next

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The Megastar and ‘Queen’ of Bollywood are all set to come together for a film. To be directed by ace director R Balki, the film is reportedly based on the life of Arunima Sinha who was the first Indian amputee to scale Mount Everest. Kangana will reportedly be playing the role of an amputee while Big B will be seen essaying the role of her mentor.

Kangana will reportedly prep up for the role to adapt to the body language and differently-abled person.

3/11‘Zero’

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Shah Rukh Khan is all set to take up a new challenge in his upcoming film. The superstar will be seen playing the character of a dwarf in Aanand L Rai’s directorial. Although nothing much has been said or reported about the film or his character in the film, the teaser of the film released recently shows Shah Rukh Khan in his dwarf avatar dancing on some Bollywood tunes.

The film also stars Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif as the two female leads. Katrina had reportedly revealed that the film was initially titled as ‘Katrina Meri Jaan’ and that Shah Rukh Khan was not a part of the film initially.

4/11‘Kaabil’

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Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam starrer ‘Kaabil’ gained appreciation from both the audience and critics alike. The film features a love affair between two blind people played by Hrithik and Yami and how it turns into a revenge drama is the crux of the story.

Apart from the basic plot, the ‘visually impaired’ factor has been used in a very positive manner throughout the film. Hrithik, during the course of the promotions of the film, reportedly said that he had met blind people as part of his preparations. According to the actor, blind people are contributing to the society and living their lives just as normal people. He also stated instances of there being blind photographers, blind cricketers, blind CEO’s of the company, lawyers, singers, guitarist and emphasised that they are doing better than us.

The actor also urged for a better infrastructure for differently-abled people so that they can have greater access to public places — especially in multiplexes, as he belongs to the film fraternity. In this regard, he appealed multiplex chains to implement better infrastructures.

5/11‘Margarita with a straw’

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A Shonali Bose directorial, ‘Margarita With a Straw’ features Kalki Koechlin, Sayani Gupta, Revathi and William Moseley. The film is about Laila (Kalki), a teenager with cerebral palsy who moves from New Delhi to Greenwich Village for higher education and comes of age following her complex relationship with a blind girl. Although the film moderately well at the box-office, it garnered positive reviews at international festivals.

While most of our films end up showing up the struggles and constraints the differently-abled in this world, ‘Margarita With a Straw goes beyond this. Hailed for her power-packed performance in the film, Kalki also spoke about the onlookers misunderstanding her for a real person with cerebral palsy while shooting the film.

6/11‘Barfi!’

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Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi!’ starred Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz in the lead. Priyanka played the role of an autistic girl ‘Jhilmil’ in the film. Director Anurag Basu had reportedly said that initially, he wanted to cast a new girl for the role as he feared that established actors will overshadow the character. And with Priyanka too, Anurag had the same feeling. However, after certain workshops with the actress, Anurag was convinced that PC would be able to pull it off without harming the character. And later the director was indeed glad to have chosen her.

Ranbir Kapoor too played the character of a mute in the film. According to reports, the actor took inspiration from award-winning actors like Roberto Benigni, Charlie Chaplin and his own grandfather Raj Kapoor for the role. Due to the protagonist’s physical disability, Basu reportedly did not want to use any sign-language but, some behavioural patterns in the film.

7/11‘Guzaarish’

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Written, composed and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ‘Guzaarish’ featured Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles. The film narrates the story of a paralyzed magician-turned-Radio jockey (Hrithik) who files a petition in court seeking permission to end his life.

Hrithik is seen playing a quadriplegic in the film. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali reportedly wanted to cast some mature couple for the lead roles. After watching ‘Dhoom 2’ and ‘Jodha Akbar’, he was convinced that Hrithik and Aishwarya would be able to pull it off.

The film received a mixed response from the audience and critics alike.

8/11‘My Name Is Khan’

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Starring one of the most favourite jodis of Bollywood, Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan, ‘My Name Is Khan’ was reportedly one of the most expensive films in 2010. Shah Rukh plays the role of a Muslim in the film who suffers from Autism.

Speaking about how the actor got into the skin of his the character of ‘Rizwan’ in the film, Shah Rukh reportedly said that he met Londoner Chris Aston who suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome. He also reportedly added that he used to behave and practice even when he was at home to nail their mannerism and body language.

The film was directed by Karan Johar.

9/11‘Taare Zameen Par’

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Produced and directed by Aamir Khan, ‘Taare Zameen Par’ featured then 8-year-old Darsheel Safary. Darsheel played the character of Ishaan in the film who was dyslexic.

The film reportedly raised awareness of the issue of dyslexia and prompted more open discussions among parents, schools, activists, and policymakers. The film was also screened at The International Dyslexia Association where it received a standing ovation. It also gained positive response from the audience and critics alike.

10/11‘Black’

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Another one from the master hands of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ‘Black’ starred Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan in lead roles. While Rani played the role of a deaf and blind girl, Amitabh played the character of his mentor who at the later stage of the story develops Alzheimer’s disease.

Apart from being a commercial success, ‘Black’ went on to become the second highest grossing films in 2005 worldwide. The film reportedly drew inspiration from Helen Keller’s life and struggle.

Zamir Dhale, deaf-blind and proficient in tactile signing language, was constantly on the sets of this movie. He reportedly stayed in Shimla during the time of the shooting to help Amitabh and Rani understand the world of the blind and the deaf. He also taught them the usage of sign language and how to communicate with such people.

11/11‘Paa’

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tarring Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balan, R Balki’s ‘Paa’ threw light on a rare genetic condition known as ‘progeria’ which leads to quick acceleration of ageing process in children.

Big B played the role of ‘Auro’ who suffers from the genetic disorder. 12-year-old in the film, he looked five times older than that due to his medical condition. The film also pays emphasis on the father-son relationship where Abhishek is seen portraying the role of his father.

One of the notable things in the movie was the Amitabh’s prosthetic makeup.

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