In Bollywood we focus a great deal on adults and their emotional and social issues and hence children centric films have taken a backseat thematically. But to completely deny that Bollywood refuses to acknowledge the younger population of India is tad bit unfair. Yes, they do focus a lot more on the older section, but children have always remained a favorite of all and sundry. On the occasion of Children’s Day, KoiMoi brings to you a list of Bollywood’s most recommended films centered on children.
Safed Haathi (1978)
Directed by veteran director Tapan Sinha, this film is one of the first films to emphasize on themes that interest children. Dealing with a beautiful plot, the film traces the innocent friendships of a young boy and a White Elephant named Airawat. The film was artistically a well defined masterpiece. Thematically, it was the first of its kind and was appreciated for taking a strong initiative in emphasizing on the importance of wildlife beauty. The film won a National Award for The Best Children’s Film that year and was appreciated at the Milan Film Festival.
The film was the debut vehicle of the directorial genius Shekhar Kapur. Based loosely on Erich Segal’s Man, Woman and Child, the film can truly be termed as an awakening to the Indian independent genre of cinema. Starring Shabana Azmi and Nasserudin Shah in lead roles, the film delves into the life of a young illegitimate child who after the death of his mother is sent to live with his father’s family. The magnanimous weight of adjusting takes a toll on the child as well as on his father’s wife who is shattered to learn of her husband’s betrayal and infidelity. Amongst all the turmoil, the young boy builds a sweet relationship with his step sisters. The film delivers to its audiences, the beauty of childish love which knows no societal norms or rules and all forgiving and loving forever. The child artistes in the film Urmila Matondkar and Jugal Hansraj along with Aradhana play their parts to ultimate perfection. Gulzar’s lyrics and R.D Burman’s music makes the own Indian child song ‘Lakdee Ki Kathi’ one of every child’s favorite in India.
Mr India (1987)
Who has forgotten Mogambo? Amrish Puri in his best ever villainous avatar, this film is one of the Top must watch films in Bollywood. Almost acquiring a cult status, Mr. India is a superhero film starring Anil Kapoor in the lead role. He lives with a dozen of orphaned children providing them love and warmth of a home. Unable to bear the expenses of the house and children, he makes Sridevi his co-tenant. He happens to chance upon his father’s invention, a gadget that makes people invisible and launches his war against Mogambo who is fashioned on a Dr No vein. The film is the last venture of the best scriptwriter duo in Bollywood Salim-Javed.
An originally a Tamil film, Mani Ratnam later dubbed it in Hindi after the magnanimous success of the film. The film revolves around Anjali who is a mentally disabled child who is on the verge of death and her emotionally distraught parents and siblings who are so attached to her that they are unable to let her go. It is a beautiful story of how society is unable to accept disability and those who are considered unnatural. Anjali despite being a tender, disabled child teaches the lesson of forgiveness, sheer joy and acceptance to find which in the natural, reformed world of today is very rare.
The film is directed by the reputed director Vishal Bharadwaj. Starring Shabana Azmi and Shweta Prasad in lead roles, the film is the story of a mansion, two girls (who are twins and has nothing common between them but looks) and an evil witch. The film is an intriguing story and mostly deals with superstitions of rural India and the belief in witchcraft and wizardry. The film was critically acclaimed at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival winning awards as well. The child actor Shweta does an impeccable job and won the National Award for Best Child Artist that year.
Koi… Mil Gaya (2003)
The film is the Indian version of the 1982 Hollywood hit film E.T. It’s a science fiction film directed by Rakesh Roshan and has Rekha, Hrithik Roshan and Priety Zinta in lead roles. Shot all over Uttarakhand, mainly in Kasauli, where the plot was set, the film is a tale of the unique friendship between Jadoo, an alien and the mentally challenged Hrithik. The film was a blockbuster hit and Jadoo became a craze among kids. The character was an endearing one which swooned all.
The Blue Umbrella (2005)
Directed by Vishal Bharadwaj, the film is based on Ruskin Bond’s novel of the same name. Ruskin Bond who is known to depict child based themes in his novels, was impressed with Vishal’s interest in child centric stories. The film has Pankaj Kapur and Shreya Sharma in lead roles. The film was released at the Pusan International Film Festival was received accolades from critics.
Taare Zameen Par (2007)
This film was Aamir Khan’s directorial venture and was written by Amol Gupte. The film deals with dyslexia, a childhood disability which Parents and Teachers often ignore as a child’s stubbornness to not study. The film revolves around the young child, Ishaan, who is blessed with imagination and intelligence. The film questions the Educational System which follows a single path to knowledge rather than creating multiple pathways. The story is overwhelming and emotionally engaging one, to say the least. The film was a hit among children and adults appreciated the sensibility of the where the film was coming from. Aamir – The Perfectionist Khan had the most perfect directorial experience in this film, delivering a flawless work!
Bumm Bumm Bole (2010)
The film starred Taare Zameen Par’s wonder boy Darsheel Safary and Ziya Vastani. Directed by Priyadarshan, the film is the Indian version of the 1997 Iranian film Children of Heaven. The simple story of a brother and a sister and a lost pair of shoes, the film’s story is very Gift of the Magi like. The film’s ‘good hearted purity’ was the USP of the film.
Stanley Ka Dabba (2011)
Written and directed by Amole Gupte, the writer of Taare Zameen Par, the film was the launching vehicle of Amole’s son, Partho. The film was intrinsically a heartwarming one abundant in child like sweetness. It transcends one back into the good ol’ childhood days which were so free from worries of adult life, where a dabba meant the world.
Children indeed do wonders to our lives. KoiMoi earnestly wishes Children all over the world, a very Happy Children’s Day. Your innocence and sweet love is what remains of the blissful world!