Romance, comedy and autobiography --- celebrate the day with these watches
On International Sign Language Day, September 23, here are six movies and web series that portray differently abled characters beautifully, thereby spreading awareness.
This 2021 web series is an anthology of four short stories. Ankahi directed by Kayoze Irani stars Shefali Shah, Manav Kaul, Tota Roy Chowdhury and Sara Arjun. Samaira is on the verge of hearing loss. She understands sign language. While her mother Natasha is compassionate towards her, her father Rohan is busy with work and unwilling to accommodate his daughter’s needs. When Natasha meets Kabir, a hearing impaired photographer, does luck favour her in befriending someone who understands her pain and dilemmas? Would Kabir be able to give the comfort that she expects from her distanced husband?
The quest of Barfi, who can neither hear nor speak, trying to find true love is at hear of the movie. Directed by Anurag Basu, this 2012 film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Ileana D'Cruz in lead roles. This romantic comedy is about sustaining oneself in the world by accepting and winning over one’s disabilities. Once rejected because of his shortcomings, Barfi finds love in the most unlikely of people, for love connects through the heart, not through physical capabilities.
This National Award-winning movie is considered one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s masterpieces inspired by American activist Helen Keller’s life. Black stars Rani Mukerji in the role of Michelle McNally, a girl with impaired vision, speech and sight, who relies heavily on her teacher Debraj Sahai, played by Amitabh Bachchan. The frustration and coming to terms with one’s inability are beautifully featured in the movie along with the special student-tutor bond.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
A romantic comedy like no other, Four Weddings and a Funeral directed by Mike Newell in 1994 gave overnight fame to Hugh Grant who plays Charles, the protagonist. Charles’ hearing impaired brother, David, is his constant support and counsels him in times of need. David’s crucial move in a wedding gives the movie its much-needed climax. Through David, the movie sends out the message that everyone deserves an equal life of respect, understanding and love.
Directed by Nagesh Kukunoor in 2005, it stars Shreyas Talpade and Naseeruddin Shah. Iqbal portrays the grit and determination of the hearing impaired and mute protagonist, Iqbal, in making it to the Indian cricket team. One cannot forget the role of his sister essayed by Shweta Basu Prasad whose persistent support and encouragement gives hope to Iqbal to pursue his dream despite all odds.
The Miracle Worker
This 1962 biographical film directed by Arthur Penn on the life of Hellen Keller and her struggles broke all records. The film stars Patty Duke as Hellen Keller and Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan. Keller, who loses her sight and hearing in the aftereffect of a severe disease is unable to communicate with others. This cocoons her into a world of frustration, violence and loneliness. Things begin to change when her tutor Anne Sullivan begins to slowly peel off the layers of insecurity within her and makes her a confident and communicating individual ready to face the world. The Miracle Worker has been remade twice in 1979 and 2000.