The rave reviews and hearing some good feedback, propelled us to a theatre. To watch Taare Zameen Par. This is no review. Just my thoughts !
Good movie. Refreshingly different. Heres why. No dance sequences with dancers wearing clothes that would take us close to the days of adam & eve. No bad apple(s). No rain sequences. No ‘one-stroke-ten-people-fly’ sequences. No Switzerland. No swanky sets. No big bad guy wielding big guns. No sequence of cars….
And surprise. It still is a movie made in India. Still moving. Still enormously engrossing. And still holding attention of an almost house full theatre two – three weeks into the opening. For a 10.30 PM show. Well, that’s some chin scratching & thinking to do. Quite some. And hey watch that chin!
To me movies like this represent the refreshing presence of ‘thinking’ that is on. To look beyond. Yet see it as part of mainstream. And make it commercially viable. And more importantly making a mass of people do something that they are encouraged to less of these days: think!
The movie shows an Indian middle class family with the ‘regular’ ambitions of making it big. And it was a very vivid one at that. The ‘alarm-egg-bread-ariport’ sequence was so natural. I mean, so like my own life !
It is there that the movie wins over. Taare Zameen Par is a reachable & relatable movie. I mean, it could be my own house. Or my next door neighbour. It could have been my own school. My class mates. And Ishan or his elder brother could have been me or my brother ! The film is striking in the way it makes you connect to your past and atleast make a few resolutions about the future. As a film maker, that should give immense satisfaction!
The film revolves around a dyslexic child who struggles at school. And his struggle to overcome, aided by his art teacher. His struggle is gut wrenching. So much so, that I began squirming and hoping that help ( Aamir Khan ) would arrive soon. And help doesn’t do so till intermission. It is equally wrenching to think that such help doesn’t get presented to every other kid outside screen.
After that came a portion of a film which seemed to focus on ‘a message’ so much so that the pace seemed to falter. Thankfully, that’s only for a short time and it finally gets knit together well for a good & effective closure. I quite liked it! It is a film for every adult who is interested ( or has a responsibility ) in children & education must watch.
There were quite a few actors who held my attention by living the roles they played. Ishan. His dad. His mom. His brother. His classmates. His English teacher at boarding school. The hindi teacher. (I ‘saw’ some of my teachers). Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics, Ehsan Loy’s music, the camera..well, I guess I’ve got everybody covered !
I don’t think I need to write much about Aamir Khan. He’s got guts to direct and produce this movie. And is willing to sweat it through. Thats another lesson he teaches. By just being who he is. Hats off.
Our marks focused educations system needs some reform. Hope this and other films like this will bring in a mass momentum to understand the distinct differences between marks and learning. We have some distance to cover.
Now for other stuff. I frankly don’t understand how people can speak on mobile phones and bring small children to watch movies. At 10.30 PM in the night.
But the crown goes to this. At the end of the movie, just as we were trudging out, there was a mother who said in all seriousness to her small son, about Ishan Awasthi’s age : “ beta, you should also paint well like Ishan to get that first prize”.
I scratched my chin. And it hurt. Looks like we have a long distance to cover.