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    Critics Review

    • Hindi films have often depicted rare illnesses/disorders/disabilities... Ghajini [Anterograde Amnesia], PAA [Progeria], My Name Is Khan [Asperger Syndrome], Taare Zameen Par [Dyslexia], Black [Alzheimer's], Karthik Calling Karthik [Schizophrenia], Guzaarish [Paraplegia]. Now Ganesh Acharya's Angel talks of Cerebral Palsy. Like his peers, Acharya isn't merely highlighting a disability. Angel is primarily a love story... a hatke prem kahani in filmi lingo.

      Love can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone. It can happen to people who have arrived at the sunset of their life and also to those with serious disabilities. Though we talk about how love is the purest emotion, our society, very often, does not accept love when it doesn't fit into our perception of love. To cite an example, love between an elder person and someone half his/her age or love between members of the same sex or between disabled individuals may make us uncomfortable. We get judgmental at times, thinking that we are right, while others - those who don't act according to what we feel is right - are labeled as rebels, oddballs and misfits. Angel does that. It goes into the unconventional zone, depicting a love story between a social misfit and a woman suffering with Cerebral Palsy.

      There's talk that Angel is similar to Guzaarish. It's not. Nor is it similar to Sadma. In Guzaarish, Hrithik was completely paralyzed below his neck, while Madalsa's character in Angel can move and crawl. The fact is Angel borrows heavily from a South Korean film called Oasis, directed by the acclaimed Lee Chang-dong. In fact, if you've watched Oasis [it's one of my favorites], it has the quality to stay fresh in your memory even after you've watched incalculable films subsequently. But Angel fails as a film to strike a chord.

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