Raaga: The 'blind' unfolding

In a trend where films are seeing lead roles of visually impaired characters, comes Raaga.

The eyes are useless when the mind is blind goes age-old wisdom. But in some cases, the visually challenged are better than many who fail to see and enjoy the “real” world. Movies have always portrayed great inspiring visually-impaired characters that have gone on to open the eyes of many in society.

One of the best examples is Arthur Kennedy who received the Oscar nomination for playing Larry Nevins, a blinded WWII veteran struggling to adjust to his affliction in the classic released in 1951 Bright Victory. Even Kannada thespian the late Dr Rajkumar, has portrayed several similar heart touching roles in Kannu Teredu Nodu, and many more.

While Rani Mukerji’s Black marks the actress’ best in her career, several actors, especially the female lead have made a mark playing visually-impaired characters. The season seems to have gone “blind” yet again with a number of films being made on visually impaired lead characters. Coincidentally, Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam’s upcoming release Kaabil, is also about two visually impaired characters.

Insofar as the present Kannada film, Raaga, is concerned, director PC Shekar, known for his technically superior film making and unique subjects, is back with another experimental film with the talented actress Bhama playing an important character. She essays the role of a visually impaired girl in the upcoming film Raaga.

The director says that the two lead characters in the film connect with each other through music and emotions. “When I conceptualised the character, I had no one but Bhama in mind. She went through a lot of training before portraying the visually ‘challenging’ role. We have done our best to capture every minute detail of how a person who is visually impaired lives. From reading Braille, to body language and expressing emotions, Bhama has given her best, and I am glad that she did so well. I am sure it will be one of her commendable performances,” says Shekar.

Raaga also features the talented Mitra, in the lead, who is also visually impaired. Shekar took nearly 14 years preparing the script for this particular film. Recently, Sruthi Hariharan too played the visually impaired role in Madha Mathu Manasi. In one of the most-awaited sequels to the hit movie Sanju weds Geetha, Kriti Kharbanda is also set to feature in a similar role.

Challenging Star Darshan’s best film till date is Nanna Preetiya Ramu which also features him in a blind singer, and Vijay Raghavendra recently won the ‘Best Actor (male)’ state award for his portrayal of Dr Puttaraja Gawai in Shivayogi Sri Puttayyajja, an iconic musician who was visually impaired. The list of veteran and talented actors in such roles are endless and are a real visual treat to watch and a emotive experience for any film goer.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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