Taare Zameen Par

I’m not too much of a movie buff…very few movies can make me get my nose out of my book to get out an watch a movie..most Aamir Khan movies can do that to me. Of the bunch of movies I have watched, some have been truly original, a complete delight to watch, some entertaining..that you’d soon forget about…no film has ever had me thinking, “This one will actually change lives”. Taare Zameen Par did.

What was remarkable was the way the movie was handled, the tight script, the brilliant, completely natural and spontaneous performances. Dyslexia as a theme has not really been explored by movies, at least Indian ones. Awareness about the condition has surely increased, but this is something recognisable much earlier than it is being done these days. This movie surely will contribute to that.

Another thing is that its not just about a disability, but about any child that is not a “star”..any child that does not make straight As..or any child that does not score centums.. The movie took me back to my school days and reminded me of the real “duds” of the class…I used to wonder then about how they couldn’t even read straight off the text  book..I could then even understand if they did not do well in tests, they were lazy and didn’t study, but not being able to read simple English..or Hindi? That was surely plain indifference? I used to help out these kids, but I always “knew” that they weren’t putting in an effort, for surely you cannot be this stupid? One boy even flunked Standard 7 three times…it was really beyond comprehension for me. If I landed up with marks in the 70s…I’d get such a tongue lashing from my mother…I’d wonder how these parents reacted? But now thinking back I think realisation has dawned, these kids probably had some form of a learning disability. I can now differentiate between the really lazy kids and those that probably had troubles and it makes me feel bad.

There are gut renching scenes, the one where Ishaan’s father tells him that he’s leaving home because he is angry with all his mischief and his subsequent reactions, when he is put in the boarding school and the humiliation starts all over again, of course the end, after winning the competition, when he runs crying to Nikumbh, its a reflection of all the pent up trauma in the child getting released when he has at long last tasted some success and that realisation of how good some praise feels, praise that that his rock bottom self esteem has never possibly seen…I could go on and on!

I also loved the way the “star” elder brother was depicted, instead of casting him as arrogant and condescending, he is loving, concerned, confused and an exasperated brother..not completely devoid of his flaws, a very natural portrayal once again..you can tell that his heart goes out to his little brother and that he doesn’t quite understand why things are so bad with him. Vipin Sharma and Tisca Chopra as Ishaan’s parents do a commendable job of parents who don’t get why they have such extremely different children, one can really relate to their roles.

If one were to nit pick, yes the whole transformation that comes over Ishaan under Nikumbh’s care was way too quick..if only things worked that way! But you are prepared to make allowances for such minor flaws in the movie..

Aamir Khan delivers an expectedly wonderful performance, but obviously the hero out here is Darsheel Safary for coming up with such a natural and spontaneous performance, one that carries the film on his young shoulders..

An absolute must watch…an experience that will stay with you forever and forever 🙂

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