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'The Silent Heroes' tells of 13 deaf children who go on an expedition in the Himalayas; a premise as hackneyed as they come as far as "inspirational" films are concerned. The title card before the film declares that the children are not disabled but differently abled, and that they're "real" children trained specifically for the film project. Directed by debutante Mahesh Bhatt (not to be confused with the other Mahesh Bhatt, the veteran producer-director,) the film feels the need to hammer its point home by repeatedly having its characters repeat the points made by the opening title. It comes with its share of hackneyed devices - there's a villain, who's the kids' coach - who is shown to be so callous and mouths such inane lines that it's almost comical, which is serious disservice to the film's noble but naive intentions. The film wants us to look at the kids not with ridicule or pity but with respect - but the gaze which the film turns on them is always a pitiful one - which is ironic. Movies of this type are effective when they themselves manage to look past the characters' predicament. But aside from its obvious filmmaking limitations, the biggest and the most basic undoing of 'The Silent Heroes' is that it isn't a movie about humans who just happen to be differently abled, it's a movie about DIFFERENTLY ABLED people - that term in bold, underlined, italicized and in all caps.