Saturday, December 22, 2007

Taare Zameen Par

Many of you might have already seen the movie of the season “Happy Days”. It was a refreshingly good movie that reminds everyone of their college life. That movie was a noble attempt by the director Sekhar Kammula in this age of commercial mass masala movies in Tollywood.

But yesterday, I saw one movie that reminded me of my school life (at least to some extent). It was “Taare Zameen Par”(TZP), a movie about a gifted child. It’s hard to believe that this movie is the first one for the director, who was none other than the well-known perfectionist, Aamir Khan. He acted and produced the movie too. I thought that this movie is one of those art films about children. But I was proven wrong in the first 15 minutes of the movie. The film opens with the camera focussed at the dirty water of drainage. The camera work of that shot was great, in fact excellent. We were shown some footage and then the titles come. Even the titles were interesting with a series of cartoons on the screen. The film drags a little bit in the second half but the protagonist played by Darsheel Safary and Aamir cover it up well.

The story is simple and to-the-point. It was about a 8 year old boy, Ishaan who suffers with a disease (is it?) called dyslexia. He can’t differentiate between various alphabets and he finds difficulties with certain objects too. But he’s a gifted artist. He’s the second child of his parents. His father is one of those filmi fathers who loves his son but feels that strictness is the only way with which we can keep children at bay. Ishaan’s mother and brother love him a lot. As he can’t differentiate between alphabets, he finds it hard to focus on spellings and always fails in exams. We were shown that our protagonist is studying third standard for the second time as he failed in the previous year. His father had to shift him to a boarding school in the middle of the academic year as the dean of the previous school feels that this boy is mentally retarded.

In his new school, Ishaan feels that his family completely deserted him and there was no one in this world for him. He doesn’t talk to his family or even with his classmates. Some scenes during this part of the movie made my heart very very heavy. Everything seems to be dull until the entry of a new art teacher, Ram(played well by Aamir Khan – but how can we ever expect a worst performance by him?). He brings new lease of life into the students but fails to make on impact on Ishaan. Ram is bothered about this boy and tries to focus on his problems and finds that Ishaan is suffering with dyslexia. The rest of the film is about whether Ram succeeded in curing Ishaan and how the world recognized Ishaan.

The positives of the movie are the performances of the lead actors, music and screenplay. The protagonist Darsheel Safary is a gem. He acted so naturally that his acting might cause some of the so-called seniors blush. My favorite scene of the entire film is the climax scene in which Ishaan slowly shows his painting to Ram and the way he peeks to see Ram's painting. However, there are some negative aspects too. We were told that Ishaan is in third standard because he failed the previous year. But if Ishaan can’t spell out a single word, how did he get through the previous classes? And we were shown that Ishaan wanders through the campus every now-and-then and he even goes to some dangerous cliffs(in the campus). Does any boarding school allow its students to live dangerously?

But overall, the movie is a refreshing one as compared to the present movies. As told before, it brings out some of the memories of our school life. And it brings in front of us, an excellent child artist and a visionary film maker who doesn’t compromise in anything except the perfect. He took such good care about the movie that even his name comes after the child’s name in the title. Kudos to the team of TZP.

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