Just when the dust was settling on Darsheel Safary's stardom comes another scene-stealer, Purav Bhandare, who plays a Kashmiri child in Santosh Sivan's
. And his seasoned co-star Anupam Kher describes him as an extraordinary talent.
"The boy is just seven, and he puts veterans to shame. He had to shoot in freezing Jammu and Kashmir. And he plays the title role of Tahaan, a traumatised child, and had to perform some of the toughest scenes possible," Anupam told IANS.
"The boy didn't flinch even once. He just sauntered on to the camera and director Sivan and asked if he had to cry and began doing a big dramatic scene in seconds. I've not seen anything like this! And to think Purav has no actors in his family. His father is a dentist," gushed Anupam.
He is currently working with another extremely talented child actor, Gargi, in
Sivan is known to bring extraordinarily gifted child actors to the screen. He had worked wonders with Sooraj Balajee, whom Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena protected in
, and the little girl Benaf Dadachanji in
Says Anupam: "The thing about Santosh Sivan is that he lets the kid interpret the character instinctively and guides him from the outside. Shekhar Kapoor had done the same with Jugal Hansraj in
many years go.
"More recently, Sanjay Bhansali got it right with Ayesha Kapoor in
and Aamir Khan with Darsheel in
Taare Zameen Par
With Swini Khare and Aman Siddiqui matching strides with Amitabh Bachchan in
, Dwij Yadav in
giving Bobby Deol a run for his money and Darsheel Safary taking the lead over Aamir Khan in
Taare Zameen Par
, we seem to have entered an era of outstanding child actors in Bollywood.
How does Anupam, who works regularly with disabled children, explain the resurgence of phenomenal child actors in recent times?
"Today's average child's emotional intelligence is high. Darsheel may not have known the life of a dyslexic kid, but he could imagine it and interpret it."