"Koshish" is a 1972 Indian film directed by Gulzar and starring Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bachchan, and Govardhan Asrani. The movie is considered one of the most compelling and well-crafted portrayals of the deaf-and-mute community. It deals with the struggle of a married couple, Haricharan and Aarti, to communicate with each other, despite being hearing-impaired.
The movie opens with Haricharan and Aarti's marriage, where the couple meets for the first time. Haricharan, who is already aware that Aarti is deaf, spontaneously offers to teach her how to speak. Over time, they fall in love, and Haricharan finds a job to support their life together. However, their utopian existence gradually erodes as the couple faces the challenges of daily communication.
Kumar and Bachchan give breathtaking performances in their roles, channeling the silent difficulty of their characters' existence while holding a dialogue. Kumar portrays Haricharan, who is very rational and has learned to deal with his hearing impairment, but still struggles with communicating his feelings to his wife. On the other hand, Bachchan plays Aarti, who has never let her hearing impairment slow her down, but slowly starts to feel isolated and neglected. The chemistry between Kumar and Bachchan is unforgettable, and their remarkable portrayal of the couple's silent struggles is timeless.
The film's plot follows the couple's constant attempts to communicate with each other, culminating in their decision to have a child. They aspire to provide their child with a normal life, but their attempt to give birth to a hearing child proves unsuccessful as both their children are born deaf. Out of guilt and frustration, the couple starts having arguments, and their relationship is put to the test.
As they go through their challenges, the wedding music that played for their marriage ceremony returns, hauntingly reminding them of what they might have lost. Despite these challenges, Haricharan and Aarti's love for each other never fades, and they continue to strive to get over the communication barrier. Through the help of various hearing-impaired characters who assist them, Haricharan and Aarti finally find a sense of hard-earned contentment.
The film is renowned for its realistic portrayal of the hearing-impaired community, and its nuanced portrayal of their daily struggles. Koshish is also considered a groundbreaking movie, as it opened up conversations about disability in mainstream Indian cinema, which until then had been largely inaccessible.
The film's musical score complements the emotions on the screen, adding depth to the silence through vibrant songs composed by legendary music director Madan Mohan. The cinematography by K. Vaikunth creates an immersive world that echoes the couple's anxiety and despair.
Overall, "Koshish" is a masterpiece that continues to be celebrated for its engrossing story, flawless performances, and nuanced portrayal of the deaf and mute community. Its themes of communication, inclusion, and compassion for those with disabilities are a testament to the unifying power of love. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Indian cinema's legacy and a story of love that can surpass all the challenges one may face.