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Ten year old Tatum O'Neal won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her screen debut in Paper Moon (1973) becoming the youngest winner ever in a competitive category. Nine-year-old Darsheel Safary has given an unbelievably stunning performance in Aamir Khan directed Taare Zameen Par (that is busy receiving millions of congratulatory bouquets worldwide). It's year-end and the award nominations will start hogging the limelight very soon. The big question that we wish to pose before the jury and the adjudicators is that….Will Darsheel get the nod in the Best Actor category or will he be relegated to the more expected best child artiste domain? In addition, we shall give you reasons why he deserves all the awards in the best actor category (ahead of even SRK's goose-pimple-evoking performance in Chak De India).
Earlier in the name of film awards there were only Filmfare Awards and they occupied a special place in the industry. Those who were awarded felt blessed while the ones who missed out hoped that one day they'd deliver their well-practised speech on the podium of excellence basking in the flash lights of praise. Javed Akhtar has often said in his interviews how as a young boy he happened to clean legendary tragic actress Meena Kumari's Filmfare statuette in a studio and how it fuelled the ambition within him to win one of his own some day. And he managed to win many of those sparkling ladies. Well, you can't get more filmi than that.
But today like it or not, apart from Filmfare there are many more award functions that happen in close proximity, looking a replica of each other as almost the same list of people/ films end up winning everywhere. In fact, the film awards have become very filmi. For, they are meant to be widely televised, opulent, entertaining events more than an acknowledgement of worthy talent. There's nothing wrong in making the big bucks but most certainly there should be more transparency in the nomination and selection process.
Oscars are selected after an arduous procedure and respects merit tremendously (though the allegations of racial discrimination have sometimes been proven right here as well). What is most notable is that, there are no such categories as Best Actor in a Comic Role or Best Actor in a Negative Role in Oscars. (We tend to have these categories in all our awards and often aSaif Ali Khan has to settle for a best actor in a comic role for there's a bigger star 'suitable' for the best actor statuette). An actor is an actor. Yes, you can differentiate between an actor who is the mainstay in a film and the one who is playing a supporting part (Like Aamir Khan in all probability will be nominated in the Best Actor category for Taare Zameen Par whereas he is playing a masterly supporting role than the main lead). But you can't label Sanjay Dutt's Munnabhai act as befitting Best Comic Actor statuette for he is the main lead and so what if he is humorous in the film. You just can't discount the wide range of emotions he effortlessly displays.
Taking the similar parameter into account, Darsheel Safary's heart warming performance as a dyslexic kid in TZP deserves the best actor tag. For when you see his performance, you don't think he is a prankster-kid break-dancing his way into your heart. Here's a gifted actor who dexterously navigates the first half of the movie on his frail shoulders tugging at heartstrings and making you laugh at his laidback puddle-hopping antics. When he tells his exasperated teacher in a matter of fact manner, "alphabets naach rahe hain" it makes everyone laugh but the solitary bewilderment on his face is hard to miss. The world outside the window of confinement appears magical and it seems he is truly gripped by the bird feeding her young ones or the continual cycles crossing a stationary water puddle.
Main kabhi batlata nahin, par andhere se darta hoon main Maa, Yun to main dikhlata nahin, teri parwah karta hoon main Maa…Tujhe sab hai pata.. hai na Maa…As this superlative number wafts its way like a weary cloud after a heavy downpour of tears, the body language of this nine year old star shakes you up with its bottled up intensity and a sense of warped isolation. After being beaten-n-abused for being a duffer-idiot at the Boarding school, the stunned silence finds an expression as distraught Ishaan opens the banging door and runs manically on the basketball court. Even his mother is unable to stop him then for he is a boy possessed by an overwhelming sense of being misunderstood.
While the dad is teaching lessons of competitiveness to the brighter son on the tennis court, Ishaan hangs on the farway railing dejectedly accepting his fate on being specially left out. Nikumbh Sir's warm attention lights him up as he excitedly blurts out "Thomas Alva Edison" when the class is asked about the inventor of electric bulb. Darsheel Safary has superbly portrayed the gradual journey from the sense of being a 'Nobody' to an 'Achiever' under the umbrella of care-n-attention. His finger-brush-strokes reflect an artiste within, the tears of discovering himself and the magical run towards the teacher to express gratitude carry gem-moments that stay with you long after the film ends.
We strongly feel that such a performance as this ought to be acknowledged for its sheer brilliance and merit. The reviews have given a thundering applause to Darsheel's acting. Many more forums and media groups have lauded his path breaking skills as an actor. But will he get his deserving due? Will we see more proactive approach at the award functions this year? Will we see the wind of change flowing in the right direction?
|Taare Zameen Par trailer|