December 27, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - True Gems Unearthed

December 27, 2007 Posted by Vijay No comments
I had the opportunity to watch the movie Taare Zameen Par yesterday in San Jose. Aamir Khan's directorial debut has been a well chosen one. There are two aspects which make it a well chosen venture. One, because there were no expectations which the movie came with, since it was not meant to be a commercial venture in any case. As a result, this gave Aamir the opportunity to gain a foothold as a director, and gain confidence from critics. Those same critics who may have thrashed a commercial venture lacking any common sense. Secondly, under his own banner, this gave him all the liberty to experiment with his skills at direction.

The movie starts off with a slowish pace and leaves the audience wondering initially, when it will get over. The concept of a child being pressurised by his parents without any clue of his suffering from dyslexia is something new to Bollywood. But, Aamir has carefully interwoven the message of less able children, with the pressure on children these days to outperform every single day. A message which clearly reaches out to every single parent out there.

The movie picks up pace slowly, but does drag on, with some unwanted songs in between. The songs only slow down the pace of the movie, and seem more like a publicity gimmick to add a commercial twist to it. The title track and the song Kholo Kholo take the cake, and are really worth listening to.

A child, who sees the world in colors, and suffers from Dyslexia has been spectacularly portrayed by Darsheel Safary as the main child protagonist Ishaan Awasthy. An amazing performance by the child actor. One wonders though, why the role of Rajan Damodaran (Ishaan's friend in the movie) did not get more prominence. Tanay Cheda in this role almost stole the limelight by his brilliant performance. Aamir has truly found two gems in this movie.

Aamir himself in the role of the art teacher, Nikumbh is exceptional. It was not the typical Bollywood movie with loud shrieking dialogues. Scenes like the one where he goes to meet Ishaan's parents and realises that they are not aware that their child has Dyslexia is quite brilliant. The way his eyes swell with tears, but holds himself back is brilliant.

The journey of the movie through Ishaan's struggles, is quite wonderfully portrayed. The way he bunks school, and then is forced to join Boarding school by his father is well captured. The journey in the boarding school from when Nikumbh comes in to help Ishaan is what the story is all about. The exceptional performances by these 3 protagonists is worthy of any award.

The message the movie conveys is loud and clear. Let the child be, as he is. Pressurising the children to join the rat race to out perform could invite trouble for the future of the child. Who knows, the parents may lose out on being called the mom/dad of the Albert Einstein of the 21st Century ?