‘AndhaDhun’ trailer has intrigued one and all. Ayushman Khurrana as the blind pianist, who may or may not be blind, along with the versatile Tabu and the omnipresent Radhika Apte have everyone sit up and pay attention to the film. But for me, there are two more reasons to watch his film. One – the veteran actor Anil Dhawan, making come back of sorts after his last outing in one of his brother’s film, years ago. Two and the most important reason -The ‘Baap Of Noir’ Sriram Raghavan is back! It’s been years since we’ve seen gems like ‘Ek Thi Hasina’ and ‘Johhny Gaddar’. So until, ‘AndhaDhun’ releases, let’s take a look at some of the Hindi films when the blind protagonists made the audience gasp with awe with their performances –
Anirudh Parmar, a self-respecting visually impaired man, runs a school for the blind and believes that anyone with a physical disability such as his, are more than capable of living a normal life on their own. Kavita, a widow and a social worker, gets drawn towards this man, for his honesty and integrity. Soon they fall in love and decide to get married. But life, as always has other plans for them. Anirudh starts having doubts about their relationship as he feels Kavita is getting married to him, out of pity and kindness. How they mend their differences, forms the story. Often considered as one of his most fulfilling performances by his own admission, Naseeruddin Shah rates ‘Sparsh’ as one of his finest.
A celebrated piano player loses his eyesight during a performance while trying to save his wife from a falling chandelier. Dejected with not being able to see, he secretly starts looking for the cure and on a trip abroad, he finds one. Excited that he’s able to see everything again, he comes back to surprise his wife but witnesses his wife committing adultery with his best friend. Blind with rage, he kills both. Accused by law, now a man who can see normally has to prove the court that he’s still blind! Underrated yet excellent, that’s how the late Sanjeev Kumar’s ‘Qatl’ is remembered by the movie lovers.
A wronged bank manager, sacked for his temperament, devises a scheme where he forces three blind men to loot the same bank. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Arjun Rampal and Sushmita Sen, it’s based on a Gujarati play ‘Andhalo Pato’ (The Blindman’s Bluff). Interestingly, this film had two endings, the theatrical ending where the blind men get the money and leave town, while the bank manager is caught by the police. In the alternate ending, the bank manager sets out on a journey to get his revenge on the blind men, who are unaware of his presence around them. True to its tagline, ‘Aankhen’ ends as a dangerous game is about to begin!
A blind, deaf and mute girl is taught by an old teacher about life, its ups and downs and most importantly love. Based on ‘The Miracle Worker’ – the story of Helen Keller, ‘Black’ is directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherji and Ayesha Kapoor as the young Michelle McNally, ‘Black’ is considered as one of the best performances of the lead protagonists. Controversially, many have labelled ‘Black’ as one of the most regressive films about treating visually impaired people right, including Aamir Khan who famously labelled the film as one of the most insensitive films.
Directed by K Vishwanath, synonymous to its name, ‘Sangeet’ is the story of a dancer and her tryst with music, love and loss. Madhuri Dixit plays the double role, of a mother and her daughter whom she had left as she was born out of wedlock. Co-starring Jackie Shroff as a folk singer and TV’s celebrated Krishna, Neetish Bhardwaj, ‘Sangeet’ had melodious music and is fondly remembered for its songs such as ‘Sun O Haseena’ and ‘Jo Geet Nahin Janma’.
Playing a visually impaired character in her debut film, Moushumi Chatterjee impressed everyone in ‘Anuraag’. Directed by Shakti Samanta, ‘Anuraag’ is the story of a blind orphan lady being friends with a teenager who suffers from a terminal disease. Co-starring Vinod Mehra and Ashok Kumar, ‘Anuraag’ garnered praises everywhere and ended up winning the year’s best film at the Filmfare.
Known largely for its melodious music by two-then-new music director Laxmikant-Pyarelal, ‘Dosti’ is the tale of two friends Ramu and Mohan, who are crippled and blind respectively. Based on the Bengali film ‘Lalu Bhulu’, it focuses on the friendship between two boys and how misunderstanding creeps between them to threaten their bond. ‘Dosti’ garnered praises from everyone, winning multiple awards and raking moolah at the box office. And who can forget the haunting melody of ‘Chahoonga Main Tujhe Savere’?
Directed by Raj Khosla, ‘Chirag’ is the story of a woman, who loses her vision in an accident. Despite being happily married to a loving husband, the burden of being a blind woman who’s not being able to bear a child amidst increasing chides of her mother-in-law forces her to leave her house. Rest of the story forms as the differences get sorted between the characters. The film is remembered for its melodious songs such as ‘Teri Ankhon Ke Siva’, ‘Chaayi Barkha Bahar’ and ‘Mere Bichde Saathi Sunta Ja’.
Lafangey Parindey (2010)
Directed by Pradeep Sarkar, this film is about a dancer on skates, who becomes blind in an accident. Her friend and unknowingly a catalyst in her accident tries to help her in achieving her dreams while the police are after him, for being involved in a drug deal gone wrong. Starring Deepika Padukone and Neil Nitin Mukesh in the lead roles, ‘Lafangey Parindey’ is strictly an one time watch.
Starring Hrithik Roshan, ‘Kaabil’ is the story of a blind man, extracting revenge on his wife’s killers. If you can ignore the first twenty minutes of customary introduction and Roshan Senior’s increasingly irritating urge to make an item girl out of his son, rest of the movie doesn’t seem so bad. And the credit goes to a fine ensemble cast, particularly Ronit Roy who looks menacing as the primary antagonist.
Jai Kishen (1994)
Starring Akshay Kumar, playing identical twin brothers, this is the usual nineties fare of masala and revenge drama. Jai and Kishen, separated in their childhood, grow up to become a blind martial artist and a con man respectively. Rest of the story forms, as they come together to find the men, responsible for their father’ murder. Known largely for its rendition of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Dum Mast Kalandar’, this film is remembered rather fondly by the nineties fans only.
This is a loose copy of ‘Qatl’ with a twist. An obsessive lover, finds his ex-love, now married to a blind man and tries to resume his relationship forcefully. The wife commits suicide, as she realises her blind husband can see everything, after treatment. Now, the husband plots revenge against the lover, who forced his wife to kill herself. Decent story and screenplay but the bad acting by the lead actors, especially Zayed Khan, made ‘Vaada’ one of the lowest grosser of the year.
This film is on this list, is only because the lead is a man, who’s really blind in real life but plays a man with vision on screen! Starring as the lead protagonist Nasser Khan, who also produced and co-written the film, is a killer who flummoxes cops with his ability and skills as he goes on killing people. Co-starring Milind Soman, Sonali Kulkarni and Hrishita Bhatt, this is a rank bad film.