Provider of "innovative and provocative" documentaries Icarus Films takes a short summer vacation from releasing those equally educational and entertaining films to release the DVD of the 2013 dramedy "No Ordinary Hero: The Superdeafy Movie." Well-known deaf actress Marlee Matlin adds her star power to this tale of fictional deaf actor Tony Kane, who uses his fame as television super hero Superdeafy to advocate for the hearing impaired.
Deaf actor John Maaucere, who has a 15-year history of portraying Superdeafy, nicely conceals the education in this one via a entertainingly humorous and passionate performance. The recognition of this love includes festival awards for Best Film.
The following YouTube clip of the trailer for "Hero" nicely conveys the spirit of this charmer.
This film, which has Hallmark Channel permanently imprinted all over it, shifts its focus between the humiliation that Kane sustains as both Superdeafy and a working actor and the plight of a mainstreamed deaf seven year-old boy named Jacob who faces his own struggles.
On-screen and backstage ridicule that Kane experiences while filming "Deafy" is sometimes painful to watch. A scene in which he attends a casting call that spreads an absurdly wide net in seeking a deaf actor is equally embarrassing but much more amusing.
The numerous challenges that Jacob faces include general ridicule from his classmates, less gentle abuse by the "cool kid" in the class, and just overall difficulty fitting in with his peers. Problems on the homefront include a loving and caring father who does not properly understand the special needs of his son.
These worlds collide when Jacob's teacher uses a personal connection with the actor who plays Kane's sidekick to get that less-than-dynamic duo to perform for Jacob and his classmates. The ensuing drama leads to a positively life-changing experience for all concerned.
The most nice thing about this film is that it puts the audience in the shoes of hearing-impaired people to the extent of including closed-captioning that cannot be turned off. One hopes that the general populace is far more sensitive than the sidekick of Kane, some classmates of Jacob, and other "villains." At the same time, many of us simply do not think about these (and more subtle) abuses.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Hero" is strongly encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,