HomeNews & Views Foreign Flick Friday: Young Actors Take the Lead in our Bollywood Double Feature

Foreign Flick Friday: Young Actors Take the Lead in our Bollywood Double Feature


Bollywood fans, get ready for a treat: Today we’re watching two Hindi language trailers that feature children in leading roles.

It’s a Foreign Flick Friday double feature!

(Be sure to turn on CC to view subtitles.)

In Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s directorial debut, Nil Battey Sannata (also known as The New Classmate), we observe a parent-child relationship evolve as Chanda’s daughter Apeksha, now in high school, begins to consider her future and career options. Struggling with math at school, Apeksha’s lack of ambition troubles her hardworking mother. And Chanda, a housemaid by profession, doesn’t immediately know how to address to her daughter’s pressing question:

“An engineer’s son becomes an engineer, and a doctor’s son becomes a doctor. What else can a maid’s daughter be?” 

Then Chanda realizes what she must do to open Apeksha’s eyes to the possibilities… 

In an interview for Hindustan Times, both the director and the actress who plays Chandra, Swara Bhaskar, explain that they easily relate to Apeksha’s dilemma. Of the film industry, Bhaskar states:

“I still feel like an outsider. I have no producer father or actor boyfriend. While shooting for Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015), sometimes, I would tell Salman Khan, ‘Why don’t you just adopt me?’ Nobody except for my own body of work will pitch for me.”1

Positively reviewed by critics, the film won a Filmfare Award, and both leading actresses were granted Screen Awards for their performances.2

{{Wondering how to use films & shows to improve your language skills? See our inaugural Foreign Flick Friday post.}}

Pari has made her blind little brother Chotu a very big promise: She vowed to get his eyesight back before he turns nine years old. As this important birthday draws near, Dhanak (The Rainbow) follows the siblings on an adventure across Rajasthan, India, where Pari’s favorite actor, Shah Rukh Khan, is shooting a new movie. If her aunt won’t pay for Chotu’s operation, surely SRK would help!

Dhanak celebrates how children are able to see life simply, without the complications that can cloud grownups’ perspectives. The Times of India notes:

“We all need a li’l bit of sparkle and rainbow in our lives. Director Nagesh Kukunoor’s Dhanak reminds us of the small joys of life and teaches us a lesson in dealing with our sorrows. Who better to learn this from, than kids? Nagesh’s keen understanding of human emotions comes handy as he makes the young Pari his protagonist. Her world revolves around two things—her baby brother and her love for Shah Rukh Khan.”3

 Nagesh, who hadn’t intended on making another children’s film in his career, lauds the performance of the film’s child actors and further explains:

“I wanted to put forth that clearly the world is not such a bad place and what would have been a better way to do that than to show it through the eyes of children.”4

Charming, vibrant, and cheerful despite the serious reason for its characters’ quest, the film has won numerous awards including prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Montreal International Children’s Film Festival, and Polish festival, Cinema in Sneakers; it also took India’s National Film Award for Best Children’s Film.5


It’s movie night and it’s a double feature, so grab that extra-large popcorn and watch these trailers with us!  Then tell us what you think @LeadWLanguages on social media.

Interested in other opportunities to explore Hindi language? See our Lead with Hindi Urdu page for university programs, scholarships, stories, and more.

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