Nothing tugs at the heart strings like a child’s innocent smile. And the effect is mesmerising when child artistes enact a range of emotions on screen. Here are some memorable performances by these little stars that have remained etched in our heart.
Darsheel Safary played a dyslexic child, Ishaan Awasthi aka Inu, in Taare Zameen Par emoting complex emotions. Aamir Khan’s directorial debut won Darsheel five awards, including Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor, making Taare Zameen Par a commercial and critical success.
Shades of emotion
This Stanley’s dabba was missing but what weren’t missing were the different shades of emotions that Partho Gupte could pull through in Amol Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba. The Gupte father-son duo’s rather famous story won young Partho the National Film Award for Best Child Artiste along with couple others.
She eclipsed Bhai
Harshaali Malhotra, who played a deaf and mute girl in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, was called a casting coup of the sorts as Kabir Khan’s cross-border story was lapped up by the audience. All of seven, Harshaali played Munni (aka Shahida) like a pro. The film, high on laughter and tears, had one protagonist – the little, innocent girl, supported ably by Bolly bigwigs – Salman Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Her debut act won her Best Child Artiste at Stardust Awards-2015 and Screen Awards; and Best Debutant Female at Zee Cine Awards.
He knows the game
Sameep Ranaut’s debut act in Harjeeta fetched the 12-year-old a National Award for Best Child Artiste. A sports-drama that charts the journey of Harjeet Singh, who captained the Indian hockey team in Junior World Cup, had Ammy Virk play the protagonist with Sameep stepping into shoes of young Harjeet. The child actor was spotted playing hockey and he fully delivered a performance fit for a National Award.
Saying it all
He had just one-line dialogue in the mega-hit Kuch Kuch Hota Hai that starred Bolly veterans Anupam Kher, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol along with debutante Rani Mukherjee, but the little star Parzan Dastur melted hearts. From counting stars at night at a summer camp to playing games, and, a short cute got Parzan space in KKHH’s fans’ hearts forever.
Learning on the job
I was more excited than nervous when we started to shoot for Taare Zameen Par. I was just nine at that time and followed Amir uncle and Amol Gupte sir through the shoot. While I was in all my masti, I did realise that there was some serious filmmaking going on and by and by I tried to understand the process. Post release there were awards being showered and I wondered if I was getting them all because I was a child. In school too I became a hero and everyone wanted to be my friend. Thanks to my close friends who kept me grounded. It sure was a memorable and fulfilling journey. I am striving for more such experiences in life. – Darsheel Safary
It was so much fun
We shot for Stanley Ka Dabba for close to two-and-half-years. I was about eight when we started the shoot and by then I had already accompanied my father (Amol Gupte) to many workshops and we all kids took it as another workshop with no idea that we were shooting for a film. There was just a small camera and we were just having fun. There were days when we shot nothing but just played football, broke things and just had fun. I recall when it released and the National Award was announced, my mum (Deepa Bhatia) was editing Ferrari Ki Sawaari and Vidhu Vinod (Chopra) uncle sent a celebratory cake, it meant a lot for me.
The award ceremony in Delhi was fun. I was with the Chillar Party kids running around at the hotel, antagonising people and later standing in line to be honoured. Now, that I am studying filmmaking at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, I bow to my father and Amol Gole sir to pulled something like that, with a small camera and no lights. All natural, just pure performance! – Partho Gupte