Featured Actor: Manish Chauhan for Yeh Ballet

Manish Chauhan – This guy is the reason behind this ‘promising newcomers’ section. When I saw him in Yeh Ballet, I wasn’t even done watching half the movie but I started googling the guy just to confirm that he is an actor and not a dancer. His moves were smooth and flawless, unusual for an actor to do ballet so beautifully, so gracefully. I thought he was an actor who might also be a trained dancer. But then as I read more about him, I was stunned to learn that he is a dancer, and not an actor. I never thought otherwise. 

My mind, not even for a second, drew a conclusion that this guy could be a dancer who is acting in Yeh Ballet. So yes, that is when I thought that talents like Manish Chauhan should not go unnoticed. Actors like him should not just be appreciated but also be given more opportunities to exhibit their talent. And it’s not simply about giving new talent like him a chance so that he gets a platform to showcase his talent. He might just not need it but if the industry fails to make use of talented actors like Manish Chauhan, it’s entirely the industry’s loss, not the boy’s. 

From the very moment the boy showed up on screen in the movie, there was something about him that caught my attention – perfect for the role. His innocence, his passion, his will to do something worthwhile, to be somewhere in life – in short, to make a mark, but just like him, even his dreams were young – not polished, not knowing where to head to reach where he wants to – all of this was so beautifully portrayed by him in the stage scene where the finalists are announced. And not just that scene, he has maintained it throughout the film. You can feel his restlessness yet you know he has that patience to step back and fight again if he loses. You know that he won’t give up. 

Many of us might believe that he could play the role so perfectly because he was playing himself. But how many of us can be perfect actors for our own biographies? If someone makes a film on your life story and cast you to play ‘You,’ will you be able to do justice to it? We might end up ruining the entire experience for the audience. Understanding the emotion and emoting it are two different things. Apart from the struggle and dancing scenes, his scenes with the family and especially with his sister are also praise-worthy. Getting so much done from a non-actor with regards to acting is a difficult task. 

If the boy didn’t have it in him and even if the director would have been exceptionally good to cover it up for him, the audience would have never connected with Manish Chauhan the way they do now while watching Yeh Ballet. It would just have been a good film that you watch, that stayed with you for a while, that inspired you, and then the film fades away from your mind after sometime. But the boy has managed to leave a mark and connect with the viewers. That itself says it all. That acts as a certificate of him being a great performer, not just a dancer but also a profound actor. 

I wish the industry would notice this young boy, recognise his talent, and give him another chance to shine.  

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