The complete man

By Jamuna Rangachari

April 2017

Some people wear success so lightly on their sleeves that it never overshadows their humanity. One such person is Aamir Khan, a role model to many as an actor, an activist and ultimately, a complete human being, says Jamuna Rangachari

In the world of cinema, there are many film-makers who venture into socially relevant subjects aiming to make us think but fail as they do not capture the imagination of the audience. Then there are those whose only purpose is to give the viewer three hours of entertainment. There are others whose work is so mindless that watching them pulverises our brains. There is a fourth lot whose sights are set on showcasing glamour and spectacle.

In this world there are only a few like Aamir Khan who provide what I would consider holistic entertainment. The quality of his work is so excellent that his films include wonderful songs, outstanding acting and cinematography, a rivetting story line that touches our hearts, and an inspirational theme that lingers in our minds long after we have walked out of the theatre.

It is always a challenge to depict people who are still living, because of the difficulty of portraying them realistically. Perhaps only Aamir could have succeeded as well as he did in his recent film, Dangal, that showed us the amazing story of the wrestling family, the Phogats. He spared no efforts in achieving excellence, going to the extent of learning the art of wrestling, the Harayanvi lingo, and even put on weight to make his portrayal look realistic. He did so much justice to the role that after a special screening of the film exclusively for him, Mahavir Singh Phogat, the wrestling ace on whose zeal to make his wrestlers out of his daughters the film is based, simply held Aamir Khan and wept.

I remember watching the movie, Tare Zameen Par, crying a bit, laughing a lot and while walking out, reflecting poignantly on the ‘stars’ we seem to have forgotten. The film's release set off a wave in society. Many started acknowledging that each child was different. The film's mention of the chilling practice followed by residents of the Solomon Islands, who shouted abuse at a tree when they wanted to cut it down, was a stark reminder of the damage criticism and condemnation can do. Parents began thinking about how to correct their children without damaging them, and teachers started thinking about how to teach humanely.The movie was so remarkable that it made even the BJP leader, L K Advani, say at that time, "Both the director and the script writer must be complimented. In many years, I have not seen such a film. I must express my
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