In the world of cinema, there are many good or pure evil characters but not many that transform from “good to evil”, and one such character is Dil Navaz, “Ice Candy Wala”. This extremely intriguing character is from the Deepa Mehta directed Hindi movie “1947-The Earth” which was released in 1999, and was based on a novel written by famous Pakistani novelist Bapsi Sidhwa called “Cracking India/Ice-Candy Man. The reason why this movie character is extremely interesting is due to the unpredictable emotional arc given by the writer/author as well the magnificent performance by actor Aamir Khan, the renowned “Bollywood” star who played this role with aplomb.
The Emotional Graph of the Character
The most fascinating aspect of this character of Dil Navaz is the emotional graph which ranges from a young charming man in love to a brutally cold man hell bent on revenge who eventually unleashes the animal residing in him. What also gives the journey of the character an edge is the background in which the movie is set i.e. partition of India . So the fact that as the partition becomes a reality resulting in the increase in animosity between the Hindu and Muslim community, this character too changes drastically is what makes this character so intriguing. Furthermore, the emotional graph of this character is then taken to another level when “Ice Candy Wala’s ” sister’s are unfortunately raped and brutally killed in the mayhem caused by the partition while at the same time he is rejected by the woman he loves for another man . It is then that we see the “animal” in Dil Navaz finally emerge in a heartbreaking and extremely well directed and well performed shocking climax.
Performance of Aamir Khan as the “Ice Candy Wala”
Now well written characters like “Dil Navaz, Ice Candy Wala” can only come to life and make an impact in the mind of the audience if the actor performing the role is of a high standard. So with the talented Aamir Khan performing this role it comes as no surprise that he manages to breathe life into a rather complex role and that too with panache. In fact it would be fair to say that this is Aamir’s best ever performance as an actor to date. The stand out feature in this magnificent performance being the using of body language. Especially the use of the eyes to convey the drastic changes he is undergoing as a human from within. Such is the ease with which he acts that there are times he actually does not need any dialogue because literally his “Body language speaks louder than words”. Enhancing this extremely “subtle and intense” performance is the brilliant direction by director Mehta who through splendid use of the camera captures the gradual metamorphosis from “man to animal” of this complex character called “ICE CANDY WALA”.
In conclusion, it would be safe to say that the character of “Ice Candy wala” is one of the most fascinating and disturbing characters ever to be seen in Indian cinema. Above all, the performance of Aamir Khan as Dil Navaz is not only brilliant but also gives us a fair idea as to why this extremely methodical actor has over the years been called “Mr Perfectionist” by fans and critics alike.
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