A still from ‘Hichki’.
A still from ‘Hichki’.

Ten unusual Indian film takes on disability

Rani Mukerji plays a school teacher battling a neuropsychiatric disorder called Tourette syndrome in'Hichki'

New Delhi: In her comeback vehicle Hichki, which releases this week, Rani Mukerji plays a school teacher battling a neuropsychiatric disorder called Tourette syndrome. While Indian films have often been accused of parodying differently abled people, here are 10 offerings that went off the beaten track and came up with unusual and inspirational characters.

Koshish (1972): Gulzar’s landmark film depicts the struggle of a deaf and mute couple (Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri) in a desensitized society. It won Kumar the National Film Award for best actor.

Sparsh (1980): Naseeruddin Shah played a visually impaired school teacher in a film centered on the lives of the blind. It co-starred Shabana Azmi and was directed by Sai Paranjpye.

Moondram Pirai (1982): In Balu Mahendra’s Tamil romantic drama, Sridevi played a woman who regresses to childhood after a car accident. The massively acclaimed film co-starring Kamal Haasan was remade in Hindi as Sadma with the same cast and director.

Anbe Sivam (2003): Kamal Haasan played a scarred and deformed socialist who changes a young ad filmmaker’s (R. Madhavan) life after a chance meeting. The Tamil film was directed by Sundar C.

Black (2005): The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film revolves around a deaf and blind girl (Rani Mukerji) and her teacher (Amitabh Bachchan) who later develops Alzheimer’s disease. The movie that won Bachchan the National Award for best actor made Rs23 crore at the box office.

Iqbal (2005): Nagesh Kukunoor’s coming-of-age sports drama narrates the struggle of a deaf and mute boy who aims to play for the Indian cricket team. The film, starring Shreyas Talpade, Naseeruddin Shah and Shweta Prasad, won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues and made Rs3 crore in box office collections.

Taare Zameen Par (2007): Aamir Khan’s directorial debut explores the life and struggles of a young dyslexic child (Darsheel Safary) who comes into his own after being mentored by a kind art teacher at school. It won the National Award for Best Film on Family Welfare and made Rs61 crore in box office collections.

Barfi! (2012): Anurag Basu’s comedy drama depicts its deaf and mute protagonist (Ranbir Kapoor) as a fun loving, charming young man through his relationships with two women, one of whom is autistic but equally spirited (Priyanka Chopra). It earned Rs105 crore at the box office.

Bangalore Days (2014): Parvathy Thiruvoth Kottuvata, better known to Hindi audiences for her turn in last year’s Qarib Qarib Singlle, played a paraplegic in the cult Malayalam film, who is however, a feisty, independent radio jockey. The movie directed by Anjali Menon also featured Nazriya Nazim, Nivin Pauly, Dulquer Salmaan and Fahadh Faasil in lead roles.

Margarita with a Straw (2015): Director Shonali Bose’s coming-of-age drama narrates the story of a cerebral palsy patient (Kalki Koechlin) and her relationship with a blind girl. The film won a National Film special jury award for Koechlin and made Rs5 crore in box office collections.

All figures have been sourced from movie website Box Office India

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