Justalkin Episode 75: Kalki Koechlin, Anushka Sharma and others; stars who have played physically disabled characters
Is it really Game Over if it’s just begun? This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com. The reviews for new movie Game Over are insanely good. Although Taapsee Pannu has done some out and out commercial films, she has done some incredible movies like Pink and Badla, and Naam Shabana. No surprise that she’s done great in Game Over because it’s a lot of work. You cannot switch off from a character like this very easily. And for this role, Taapsee was in a wheelchair for 25 days. I’m sure it took a tremendous amount of time just to get used to that feeling, not to mention workouts for just your upper body! We’ve read and seen some incredibly inspiring stories about people who’ve overcome all sorts of challenges in real life. God knows we need inspiration sometimes! Let’s take a look at other movies which featured protagonists who were physically challenged. And instead of making us go “Awwww, look at that poor person”, it actually had us go “Whoa that was pretty badass!”
Kalki Koechlin in Margarita with a Straw
Margarita With a Straw was an incredibly forward movie that came out in the year 2014. It’s a beautiful story about a girl who discovers herself and her sexuality, while she is bound to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy. What’s great about this movie is that she’s a regular girl in every way except she’s in a wheelchair. This movie is one of the finest showcases of the amazing Kalki and her acting skills. Kalki Koechlin displays just the right amount of confusion, the perfect amount of rebellion, and pulled off the physical aspects of someone with Cerebral Palsy on camera. It’s not a condescending movie which was made so you could take pity on this character that Kalki plays. It’s a movie that has flaws, no doubt, but I think you’ll find that the character she plays is much more awesome than most people you’ll meet on a regular day out there in the world!
Parvathi in Bangalore Days
Bangalore Days was a breath of fresh air in many ways. Many plots that culminated beautifully. Dulquer Salman’s character falls in love with a voice he hears on radio. And when he eventually discovers that the person behind the voice is handicapped, he starts to feel sorry for her. But the movie didn’t disappoint with just another sob story about how she couldn’t walk but found her Prince Charming who took her out of her misery! This girl is so darn awesome, she, in turn, ends up inspiring the hero himself! Parvathi plays this RJ who really lights up everybody’s lives when she goes on air. She’s just one step ahead of everyone in the inspiration game.
Professor X from the X-Men
Professor X does what no ordinary man would dare to do. Have a building full of people that other people are afraid of. And he mentors them, avoids massively huge fights from breaking out, consults with the government, tries and keeps the bad guys at bay, and he’s doing all of this bound by a wheelchair. There are different versions of just how Professor X came to be paralyzed. But one of them suggests Magneto sent a shot very close to his spine and that’s why he can’t really walk anymore. What’s really cool is that James McAvoy and Patrick Stewrat, who both play Professor X at different points of time in the character’s life, have their own set of wheels. It’s no Batmobile but Professor X’s wheelchair is actually cool enough for you to want to own one.
A French movie called ‘The Intouchables’ that first came out in 2011 was officially remade in Telugu, titled Oopiri. That wasn’t the last we’d hear of it. The Hollywood one recently came out, it’s called ‘The Upside’, and it features Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. Bryan Cranston plays a quadriplegic who decides that he needs someone to take care of him, and whom should he find but Kevin Hart who is a convict on parole. Cranston’s character suddenly finds that life is pretty awesome when he meets this convict who likes living life on the edge! And he doesn’t mind that at all! He’s not one of those people who says “Oh my god I’m already in a wheelchair, what if something worse happens?” He’s the kind that goes “Oh my god I’m already in a wheelchair. What’s the worst that could happen!”
Anushka Sharma in Zero
Zero was, well, literally that at the Box Office. I don’t think it even recovered whatever they spent to make the movie. Shah Rukh Khan plays a dwarf; I don’t think we'll dwell on that character, because he’s pretty full of himself even though he’s only half of himself. But Anushka Sharma - although she did a terrible job at acting, you’ve got to give it to her dedication. She apparently moved around the sets on a wheelchair so she could actually understand what needed to be done and be convincing on screen. And the only nice thing about the movie is that Anushka Sharma’s character is a really gutsy one. A person with cerebral palsy, but someone who works at one of the top space research institutes. Seriously. That’s the only good part.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is obsessed with fiction and fantasy and fables. But before that, he moved you in very different ways. Completely different from how Deepika Padukone shows her moves. He made “Khamoshi: the Musical”. Manisha Koirala plays this young girl who really loves music and enjoys it, and on the other end of the spectrum is her life with her parents, who are both deaf and mute. Nana Patekar plays the dad, and nobody needs to tell you just how incredible an actor he is! Yeah I know he’s drifted off to random movies like Welcome, but imagine having to make sure you emote everything with your body language! And his character actually goes through a lot of highs and lows in one single movie! He did it, man, he did it. So did Seema Biswas, who played the mother, Flavy. Khamoshi, but, a musical. Sanjay Leela Bhansali has his way with words!
Shreyas Talpade in Iqbal
Iqbal has a very special place in the heart of everybody who has seen it. It’s a really warm, heartfelt story about a young boy who wants to play cricket. Yeah, most young kids in India want to play cricket, but this guy is deaf and mute. Nagesh Kukunoor has a really nice way of telling stories like this where he adds in a little bit of fun, so you’re not really feeling sorry for this character. You’re just appreciating his awesomeness! What a debut Shreyas Talpade made! He got to work with a brilliant director like Nagesh Kukunoor, he had the incredible Naseeruddin Shah as his co-star, the movie was about cricket, something our entire country obsesses over, but he didn’t have any dialogues! He still managed to shine.
Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi
The movie features a boy who is deaf-mute, but that doesn’t stop him from being someone you should watch out for! He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve! Unfortunately, a lot of scenes from the movie are copied from Hollywood classics. But Ranbir Kapoor managed to pull off a very good performance of this young Nepali boy who can’t hear, can’t speak but oh boy does he feel! Even though he’s physically different from other people, he plays pranks on people, he’s street-smart, he knows how to get by, he’s goofy, and he’s not even afraid to break the law! He always has the cops after him! Honestly, one of Ranbir’s best performances till date!
We do still have movies that believe emotions are everything and the more you try and make someone cry the better. But when movie makers decide to add a character with physical challenges, and don’t make you feel sorry for them, just present it as it should be, you know they’ve mastered their craft. This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com.Read More