How many times has there been a movie you could really relate to? How many times has it happened that you've seen a character on the screen that reminds of something that you've been through in your life? When did we grow up? Will we recognize the child in us that is struggling to get out? So much so the story of any and every child who is being robbed off his childhood by insensitive parents and teachers who believe their job is to create race-winning rats for the rat race in the competitive fervor rather than Einsteins, Edisons, Picassos and Leonardo Da Vincis? What if this is taken as a knot and made a film? How can one not love a movie about children crafted with utmost compassion? Is that you need to watch only IRANIAN films? Can an INDIAN film especially from BOLLYWOOD factory fill at least one of the above criteria? The answer comes from Aamir Khan in his directional debut, a heart-warming tale- Taare Zameen Par
The only problem with the audience (like me) is that although we keep shouting on the extreme want of quality cinema, meaningful cinema, when a good film actually comes, we tend to find more flaws in it than appreciating it. Are we insecure of accepting some body’s honesty and creative genius? And I watched TZP 8 times in a month (with subs) to find mistakes like I’d reviewed my previous films. All I can find is a delightful Bollywood aberration which instills soul into the life of colorful, vibrant Hindi Cinema that is dying with over masalas and irrational film-making. This STAR ON EARTH twinkles, makes sure you not take off your eyes and strings your heart throughout its two-and-a-half-hour plus playing time, adding colors to the black and white canvas of a child’s imagination and making us realize that truly every child is special; all we have to do is help them attain their true potential. How can creativity not deserve a place in academics? But, is that the only reason I liked ?
The beauty of the narration is that the story should be simple and connect instantly with every adult and child whosoever watches it. Unlike any other mass entertainers which focus more on the hero, Aamir has given the child more cynosures and captured every emotion deftly thereby focusing on its root cause and maintaining its significance throughout the movie. Inclusion, empathy and emotional bonding with caring is what this film beautifully propagates, telling an entertaining story that at the same time makes you sit up and take notice of what we must do for our next generation. (Especially to LANCELOT, ST who is goanna get married by this year! :P) A strong one-line story is narrated extremely charmingly shows Aamir’s caliber as an excellent story teller. Even as the climax is predictable and plays heavily on your emotions, but what strengthens the film is its very simplicity, sensitivity supported by fine performances from the key players
Eight-year-old Ishaan (Darsheel) is a happy-go-lucky child who hates school. Every subject is difficult for him, fails to read the sentences as the letters keep dancing and he perpetually fails his exams. He also lacks motor coordination skills and finds it difficult to throw a ball in a straight line. His internal world is rich with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate: magical lands filled with color and animated animals where fishes, dragon and train flies. Rather than help him, his teachers and classmates subject him to humiliation. After discovering that Ishaan skipped (or "bunked") school, in addition to having poor grades, creating intractable problem for his parents they pack him off to a boarding school in order to be 'disciplined'. Life at boarding school turns out to be a living hell, where he faces mockery and he sinks into a perpetual state of fear and depression as he now has to contend with the added trauma of separation from his family. A former dyslectic and temporary arts teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) awakens the school and Ishan’s parents to the boy’s condition. He brings Ishan out of his introversion and injects a whole new energy into him
It’s impractical to expect Indian kids to display any acting skills when most Bollywood grownups can’t act. AB Jr, Salman, Ajith, Vijay has to attend ACTING COACHING CLASSES under this kid named Darsheel Safary. He, as Ishaan Awasthi is simply marvelous, delivering a WOW performance, makes you to believe that he is Ishaan and not just an actor enacting a role. His expressions, body language, eyes, dialogue delivery – absolutely perfect (and even the protruding coconut front teeth speaks) I was feeling sorry for Ishaan, senses fighting to shout at someone to give him a big hug while I fought this lump (Gmpppp!!) in my throat that had been there for the longest time.
Even the other children slip into their characters comfortably, becoming the characters to the finest of details. The other characters serve their purpose as caricatures - stereotypical father, loving mother, understanding sibling, ruthless teacher. What truly amaze one are the genuinely fine performances by Tisca Chopra as Ishaan's mother and Vipin Sharma as the father. Both don't look like actors at all but are truly the characters in every sense, and every mother in India will identify with Tisca
And…. Oh, the director himself is playing a role? Yes, Aamir Khan has an important role in the movie but it’s the little boy Darsheel’s film all the way. All kudos goes to Aamir for drawing out an exemplary performance from the young boy. Aamir Khan as usual is excellent in a supporting role. Aamir fans could be disappointed to see him missing in the first half. Aamir Khan’s entry into the movie seemed over-the-top and forced, mainly because it was in absolute contrast with the tone of the movie thus far. But it does give you gooseflesh when Aamir, with a drawn moustache laughs wildly and presses his finger to mouth; Shhhhhh (Intermission)
Music by Shanker – Ehsaan - Loy has been beautifully incorporated in the narrative and lyrics by Prasoon Joshi are sheer poetry, they both blend well with the movie. Maa is Tisca's song as much as Darsheel's, and when she weeps while flipping through the flip-book of Ishaan,
your heart truly goes out to her. The title song Taare Zameen Par is poetic, with no line being repeated in its sea of similes. . All other songs are genuinely from the heart, and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy are at their very best, giving Prasoon Joshi's soul-stirring lyrics great music. The background score touch a chord somewhere in everyone’s heart. If you don’t, then you are dead inside.
No matter who or what the focus of the camera is, the love it feels towards its subjects shows in each frame. And, in turn, you fall in love with what you see on screen. Compositions, lighting, angles, colors all work successfully together to engross and enchant you. Worth mentioning is the song when Ishaan bunks the school and Camera captures the true looking streets transporting us into the city.
There are a couple of verbose, preachy scenes that leave you moist eyed and you feel deeply attached to the child. At the end of the movie you are left speechless and spellbound. However the movie is not without its share of flaws. A dash of seemingly inevitable melodrama exists. The editing could have been tighter; the second half tends to drag a bit while being repetitive at times. The trauma of the lonely child seems a shade too prolonged. But the film never does stop tugging at your heartstrings.
Sure, Taare Zameen Par has moments that could have been better, but shouldn't we just try to overlook those and once, for all, applaud the effort the makers have put. One from the heart, this is an uplifting, inspiring and a top notch cinema with a message for the parents. This is a must-see for every parent and to-be parent (Lancelot, ST), with lots to offer for kids also. Taare Zameen Par should touch a chord somewhere in every one's heart... we all have been after all, at least for some beautiful part of our lives, special. The film is dedicated to that special child in all of us. Go watch it, you won’t regret it.
Mr. Critic 5-Star: *****
(Special 5-Star chocolates to Darsheel)
P.S: Image 1 courtesy- IndiaGlitz
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