Amazon Prime Video’s latest offering Jalsa, starring Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah, is a must-see film for a myriad of reasons. The thriller drama helmed by Suresh Triveni explores the social disparity and entitlement in the upper class.

Jalsa
Source: YouTube
Jalsa
Source: YouTube

Aside from the seamless storyline, outstanding performances, and spot-on depiction of general societal hypocrisy, the film marks a significant milestone because of its cast. No, we're not referring to Balan and Shah. Of course, they're great to watch for any movie buff, but Surya Kashibhatla stole the show this time.

Kasibhatla plays the role of Maya Menon's (Vidya Balan) kid, Ayush, a boy with cerebral palsy. 

Initially, I assumed that it might be the actor’s maiden project yet he is playing it to perfection. But Triveni has actually made a landmark casting by selecting Surya, an actor who has the same disability as his character. 

Jalsa
Source: YouTube
Jalsa
Source: YouTube

The Vidya Balan starrer has now become the first movie in the Indian film industry to rope in an actor with a disability and bring forth proper representation. The teenager from Texas with Indian ancestry apparently decided at the age of 4 that he would become an actor. However, Surya had never performed in front of the camera before Jalsa. 

Jalsa
Source: YouTube
Jalsa
Source: YouTube

Recently, Amazon Prime Video released the behind-the-scenes video that takes viewers through the journey of the child actor. Surya navigated his way through difficult scenes with great dedication and grace, which astounded and pleasantly surprised the cast of the film.

The filmmaker Suresh Triveni, who previously directed Tumhari Sulu, stated in an interview with Reuters that he hopes for more inclusivity and sensitivity towards persons with disabilities. 

Jalsa
Source: YouTube
As a country, we need to be much, much better when it comes to sensitivity. I genuinely hope and believe that more and more people with conditions are accepted the way they are and they are not looked at through a separate lens.

                    - Suresh Triveni to Reuters

Although the core of the film lies in a hit-and-run accident, where Maya (Vidya Balan) runs over the daughter of her house-help Ruksana (Shefali Shah). Jalsa also delves into the bond between a mother and her son. Surya, as Ayush, touched the heart of viewers and is being appreciated all across for his performance. 

Besides forging his way into the cinema industry, the young boy also runs a YouTube channel. He often posts videos of him singing, dancing, and at times coding. Multi-talented, indeed. 

The latest release came as a rare sign of inclusivity in Hindi cinema, where the representation seldom involves people from a marginalised community. Disability has been barely represented appropriately in our films. Characters with disabilities have been employed as comic relief for a long time.

Shefali Shah
Source: YouTube
Akshay Kumar

Moreover, even supporting roles that could easily be provided to queer actors have been assigned to cis-gendered actors in LGBTQ+ films. 

Vijay Raaz
Source: YouTube

Jalsa is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and Surya Kasibhatla's performance is one of the primary reasons you should see it as soon as possible.