Justalkin Episode 62: Masoom, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and more; movies that gave child actors a platform to shine
Nothing lasts forever. And unfortunately, it also applies to summer vacations. This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com. Although some of us haven’t had the luxury of taking two months off for quite a while now, summer vacations are a part of the year that we’ll always cherish. As kids across the country get ready to go back to school, to the process of homework and grades and exams, let’s take a look at some movies where kids shone on screen and gave adults a run for their money!
Masoom. Such a sweet title. Such a heavy plot. It stars Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi as a couple who face a rift when the former’s illegitimate child comes to live with them. The child is played by Jugal Hansraj. The couple’s two little daughters are played by Urmila Matondkar and Aradhna Srivastav. Even though the adult star cast is quite formidable, the kids really hold their own. It draws a very sharp contrast between the adults’ reaction with that of the kids’ - how children find it easier to adapt to newer situations. It’s not a new movie but we could still learn from it.
Shweta Basu Prasad has dealt with her fair share of controversies as an adult, but she was an incredible actor as a child. She had to play two characters in Makdee - a set of twins. The feisty prankster Chunni, and her docile good-girl twin sister Munni. It talks about bravery and questioning tradition and myths, as Chunni goes into a “haunted” house to rescue her innocent little twin sister. Shweta Basu Prasad brought out the contrast in the characters in an excellent manner. Being Vishal Bharadwaj’s debut as a director, he has given his all to the film and you can see it paid off in the number of awards this movie won! All of them were worth it.
Chota Chetan/ Kuttichaitaan
My dear Kuttichathan first released in Malayalam before it was re-edited and released in Hindi and Tamil. This is India’s first ever film to be shot in 3D! And they made sure villages had access to the technology too, so kids across the country could watch it in 3D. It had some really good child actors who befriend a spirit and also talks about how kids face their own troubles, like alcoholic fathers and trying to get away from the clutches of other adults. Still one of the best films for kids, featuring kids.
Bhoothnath addresses irrationality as kids that in fact helped us overcome scary situations, like encountering a ghost at night in the kitchen. Aman Siddiqui plays a young boy named Banku who befriends a ghost and calls him Bhoothnath. There are some sentimental angles to the story, and the kid does overact sometimes but you can blame the writers for that. Bhoothnath Returns also had a great cast, with Parth Balerao playing a streetsmart kid who helps a ghost contest elections. Maybe kids were a little less scared about ghosts after watching these films.
Taare Zameen Par
Taare Zameen Par features Darsheel Safary in the lead role, playing Ishaan Awasthi, a young child who has dyslexia. Seemingly one of the first films in Bollywood to address issues like these. It also stars Aamir Khan in a pivotal role as a mentor. Most scenes feature Darsheel Safary without dialogues, just reacting to the world around him. So much more than acting, because this requires some serious skill! The movie won both National and film awards!
The genius Nagesh Kukunoor made a film about kids, and the nicest thing he did was to give them real kid problems. Not problems that adults think kids have. The kids play their roles really well, right from Rohan Dey who plays Rajesh, to Ulrika Krishnamoorthi who plays Malathi, and there’s also Nandita Das who plays the role of a faculty member. The child actors give this role all they’ve got. And that’s one of the things that went on to make the movie a hit!
Chillar Party is about a bunch of friends who try and win a neighbourhood cricket match but become national heroes in the quest to save their dog, Bhidu. It had the backing up from several big production houses like Salman Khan Productions and UTV Motion Pictures. Explains how they could afford Ranbir Kapoor for an “item” song, but a very valiant effort to feature the lives of boys named Aflatoon, Encyclopedia, Fatka, etc.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan starts off as a movie about adult problems but they quickly take a backseat when a little girl enters the scene. Harshaali Malhotra plays a young eight-year-old Pakistani girl who loses her way home and finds herself in India and Salman Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui play the oddballs who are nice enough to take her back. She plays a mute girl in the film, which meant she had to emote even better in scenes where she was present - a very challenging task!
In times where parents can’t get their kids to do homework, there are other kids who are slaying it on screen! Here’s to hoping we all get to retire in style like some of these kids already have. This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com.Read More