Bollywood's seriously flawed stars
Who says our actors all play hep, designer roles?
Nope, when it comes to awards Indian cinema's quite like Hollywood, and there's no better way to garner critical applause than slip into the role of a disabled character.
Nowadays, Bollywood seems intrigued by mental disorders rather than just physical handicaps. Here's a look at some recent on-screen disabilities:
SRK -- My Name Is Khan
In Karan Johar's latest film, Shah Rukh Khan plays a man with Asperger's Syndrome, a kind of autism. It manifests itself outwardly by sufferers showing marked social awkwardness, and repetitive, even literal, behavorial patterns.
Are you looking forward to My Name is Khan this Friday? Tell us!
Image: A scene from My Name is Khan
Darsheel -- Taare Zameen Par
Aamir Khan's directorial debut saw Darsheel Safary as a young boy unable to 'construct' words correctly, to put letters in the right order.
Dyslexia awareness came to the fore and indeed, became mainstream, with this solid directorial debut.
Image: A scene from Taare Zameen Par
Aamir -- Ghajini
In Ghajini -- a badly watered-down take on Christopher Nolan's Memento -- Aamir Khan plays a man with anterograde amnesia, leading to short term memory loss.
It's especially tricky for the protagonist considering he's trying to avenge his dead wife, and has to tattoo what he remembers onto his body.
Image: A scene from Ghajini
Kajol -- U Me Aur Hum
Ajay Devgan's peculiarly titled directorial debut saw Kajol as an Alzheimer's patient. Her character starts out simply forgetful, but as the condition intensifies, she stops recognising faces and people.
In one chilling scene, she forgets she's given birth to a baby.
Image: A scene from U Me Aur Hum
Salman -- Tere Naam
In Satish Kaushik's smash hit, Salman plays a rough college layabout given to bullying. He falls in love with the daughter of a priest, but gets into a fight and is beaten up so bad he loses his mind.
Many attempts are made to cure him but the character has to be institutionalised.
Image: A scene from Tere Naam
Anil Kapoor -- Yuvraaj
Subhash Ghai's Yuvraaj sees Anil Kapoor borrowing heavily from Dustin Hoffman's performance in Rainman.
The actor plays an autistic savant, a man brilliant with music but excessively childlike in demeanour.
Image: A scene from Yuvraaj
Hrithik Roshan -- Koi Mil Gaya
Rakesh Roshan director son Hrithik right into the megabucks with this ET-inspired film about an alien.
Hrithik's character is a developmentally disabled youth who thinks like a little child as opposed to the muscular adult he is. But all he needs is some out of this world loving.
Image: A scene from Koi Mil Gaya
Vidya Balan -- Bhool Bhulaiyya
The only ghost in Priyadarshan's Bhool Bhulaiyya is leading lady Vidya Balan himself.
Seen mostly as the victimised Avni, the character suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder lives a double life believing herself to be the long-dead Manjulika.
Image: A scene from Bhool Bhulaiyya
Amitabh Bachchan -- Paa
Balki's Paa featured Amitabh Bachchan as the illegitimate child born to Vidya Balan and Abhishek Bachchan, a child diagnosed with the rare genetic defect of progeria.
Cinematic liberties aside, Amitabh impressed in the role of Auro, the 12-year-old hero.
Image: A scene from Paa
Amitabh Bachchan -- Black
Black was focussed strongly on leading lady Rani Mukerji's blind, deaf and mute character, but Bachchan as her curmudgeonly teacher and guide plays an elderly alcoholic who is eventually struck by Alzheimer's Disease.
The symptoms shown in the film may be questionable, but Bachchan won the Best Actor prize at the National Awards that year.
Image: A scene from Black