Saturday, January 5, 2008

Taare Zameen Par - Aamir puts SRK in shame, big time

Foreword : This is my 25th post. Thanks for all those who've helped me keep this blog alive. :)

Don't sign off on your list of the Best Films of 2007 just yet, because ladies and gentlemen, the year's most honourable film has arrived. Taare Zameen Par, directed by Aamir Khan and written by Amole Gupte is the one film you have to watch, because it's a film with a big heart, an important issue, but mostly because it's a film that could change your life.

Who can't relate with Taare Zameen Par's eight-year-old protagonist Ishaan Awasthi who can't get his head around his studies? Be it words or numbers, he struggles to make sense of them, falling way behind his classmates, much to the frustration of his teachers and his parents.
Naturally, it doesn't help that his elder brother is a class topper and a tennis champ to boot. Ishaan meanwhile, is a dreamer who's fascinated with little fish, and spends most days punished outside class letting his imagination run riot. At home, he's mixing colours, painting away instead of doing his homework.

Convinced that some strict discipline will straighten him out, Ishaan's father packs him off to a boarding school, much against both his wife and Ishaan's wishes. Unable to deal with this betrayal, Ishaan goes into a shell at his new school, not only failing to show any improvement in his academics, but also no longer inspired to paint. When substitute art teacher, Ram Shankar Nikumbh, recognizes in him all the symptoms of dyslexia, he takes it upon himself to help Ishaan.

First educating his parents about his condition, then urging the school's principal to give the boy more time to catch up, Nikumbh devises unconventional methods to teach the boy, and succeeds eventually in changing his life forever. There should be no doubt whatsoever in anybody's mind after watching Taare Zameen Par that the real hero of this film is its remarkable, rooted, rock-solid script which provides the landscape for such an emotionally engaging, heart-warming experience.

Between the writer and director, they construct some of the most memorable moments you're likely to come across on screen. Take that simple one that illustrates the everydayness of a schoolboy's life - the one in which we see Ishaan biding his time, punished outside class, moon-walking in the corridor and burping away enthusiastically. Or that heart-wrenching scene in which Ishaan's mother discovers a flip-book he made which reveals just how vulnerable he's been feeling.

It's not just the little moments that stay with you, but also the film's crucial scenes, which are handled with such rare maturity. "Meeri maa.." song and the "3 into 9" sequence for example. :)

And then there's that other scene which I consider the most important in the film - the one in which Nikumbh visits Ishaan's home and explains to his parents what exactly is the problem with their son, and how they may have damaged his confidence even further - it's a poignant and delicate scene because Nikumbh is at once confrontational, admonishing, comforting and hopeful, and it works also because it's performed so instinctively by Aamir and the actor playing Ishaan's father.

Plus :

* Darsheel Safary - The boy who was Ishaan - vaippe illa.. sema... I could see him telling Aamir "Macha naan pathukuren, nee konja neram nadikama iru"

* Aamir

* Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy - especially the meri maa song was damn good. Kudos again guys

* Sethu for photography
* Rest of the cast and the crew for the wonderful effort :)

The movie was kinda lengthy and the last scene could've been even better :)

Lest you be mistaken, let me make it clear that although it's centred around a dyslexic protagonist, Taare Zameen Par is not a film about dyslexia. Nor is it a film about any disease or disorder. It's a film about parents and children, about the pressures we put on our kids, about how we push them into becoming assembly-line products instead of encouraging them to find their own unique strengths. It's also about finding our heroes.
Verdict: WATCH IT!

Rating : 60/100

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