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KAMINEY and the speech disability in Hindi films

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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Though it exists as the stark reality in the Indian social milieu, the inability to speak properly has rarely been used as a defining element of portrayal of a character till the advent of KAMINEY. As a matter of fact in KAMINEY, there is a dialogue that jeeringly acknowledges the fact ''Tu to Totla hai'', and Shahid Kapur proudly confirms it with a punch on the person's face that made this comment.

It indeed is a defining moment for Shahid Kapur, as these kinds of portrayal where performances are inspired from the physical disability are portrayed by actors when they start going down the hill in terms of their popularity, and the physical disability is used as a device to underline a new persona of the actor.

CHECK OUT: What makes KAMINEY hit it off?

Shahid Kapur has tried to chart a new course through this portrayal in KAMINEY and in this sense is following into the league of the Hollywood actors for whom the character is of the eminence than portraying the star power. But Hindi cinema being Hindi cinema, the character has to be balanced against the normal individual so Shahid Kapur also plays a normal character in the double role in KAMINEY.

It is quite a different factor that villains in the Hindi films do not have gumption in playing a character which has a verbal slur in his speech delivery. The first strong portrayal of this kind was probably in JIS DESH MEIN GANGA BEHTI HAI where Pran had played the character which had a speech deficiency. The speech deficiency was however sort of patented in the Hindi cinema by Shakti Kapoor in the series of films that he enacted along with Govinda, where he tried to generate humor through his faculty of speech deficiency. As a matter of fact there was one song in the film SATEE PE SATTA that had an oblique reference to Shakti Kapur's speech disability.


Apart from using the speech disability for generating humor another way in which it has been utilized in case of portrayal of characters which have become mentally deranged on one count or the other. In such portrayals the speech ability is partial and the most brilliant depiction of this kind was done by Sanjeev Kumar in KHILONA. In the present generation Hrithik Roshan had done it with panache in KOI MIL GAYA, but the speech disability was again a portrayal associated with the situation when the character was having a mental age of a toddler, though physical age was of a robust young man.

One only hopes that the portrayal of character by Shahid Kapur in KAMINEY of a character having speech disability in a normal manner would set the trend for our actors to venture into this territory with a conviction and panache.

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