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Taare Zameen Par – movie review

Every Child is Special


Taare Zameen Par

Aamir Khan popularly known as a “thinking actor” is also particularly gifted with imagery. Taare Zameen Par which is Aamir Khan’s debut as a director is a landmark film! It is a heart-warming tale of a small child who has learning difficulties and is largely misunderstood by his teachers and even his parents.

Taare Zameen Par is a story of a playful eight year old boy Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safary) who is naughty, playful and lives in his own world. He is lagging in his school subjects, doesn’t listen, but gifted with a nice sense of imagination. A child nowadays, lagging academically is termed as a below average child.

Ishaan has a very normal family – hard working dad, a committed mom, loving and intelligent elder brother, who is an example of a perfect good boy. In contrast, Ishaan is always mocked by his fellow students and often he would get into fights with them. For his school teachers, he is just short of a black sheep. But here is a boy whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate. Colours, fish, dogs and kites are just not important in the world of adults, specifically his parents, who are only interested in things like homework, marks and neatness. Moreover, this boy just cannot seem to get anything right in class.

Till almost the first half, it is all about how this unfortunate boy is misunderstood. The director has brilliantly portrayed the ordeals and plight such a child usually experiences from his peers, teachers, neighbors and now even his parents.

With him underperforming in studies, often having fights with neighborhood boys and not listening to his parents, his father decides to move him into a boarding school. The situation worsens further even after admitting him in the boarding school, disregarding this unwilling child’s pleas.

Ramshankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) is the new temporary art teacher who is full of joy and optimism. He works part-time with a special-needs school. Nikumbh’s entry in this movie is with a catchy “Bam Bam Bhole” song who wants his pupils to open up. This teacher breaks all the rules of ‘how things are done’ by asking the students to think, dream and imagine. The children respond with enthusiasm, all except Ishaan. Nikumbh soon realizes that Ishaan is very unhappy; but being a sympathetic teacher he doesn’t want to force himself through the child’s problem. He sets out to know why this boy is unhappy, and after meeting the boy’s parents he analyzes that Ishaan has dyslexia.

Nikumbh is awe stuck seeing Ishaan’s drawings before the boy was shunted away from his family. Whereas in the boarding school this boy had lost his interest in this art at which he was immensely imaginative and creative. Aamir Khan informs the boy’s parents (even meant to be a message to the audience) that dyslexia is more common among the kids than we think, and that it can be helped given the proper aid. Nikumbh even speaks to the faculties who are on the verge of dispelling the boy, requests them that Ishaan be given a little more time, and, after having educating them and the audience thoroughly on dyslexia, he proceeds to lure Ishaan out of it.

The art teacher works on him, makes his parents realize how they were wrong. He finally succeeds in getting a winner out of this child!! Proper care and understanding attitude of parents can convert a looser into a winner.

Darsheel Safary is simply marvelous, making you believe that he is Ishaan and not just an actor enacting a role in the role as we see him disorientated, hurt, and then frustrated with constant rejection. Very natural performances by Ishaan’s father (played by Vipin Sharma), his unpretentious and devoted mother (Tisca Chopra) and his elder bro. Aamir Khan is awesome with his earnest efforts as a teacher. Just simple yet brilliant.

One of the delicate scenes is a particular moment showing of the flipbook which shows a family with one kid moving away (or just shunted away from his family) as the pages turn – very touchy. The penultimate moments in this film would melt even the stone-hearted!

Taare Zameen Par is an outstanding work of cinema. To miss it would be unfortunate. It stresses that we need to give our children their space and should not force themselves into constant comparisons with other bright kids. A message for parents: Please do yourselves a favor. Watch this film with your kids. Though it may or may not change your world but would definitely change the way you look at your children!

This film is a “master’s piece” textbook for all the parents in this world.

Dyslexia (n) meaning: A learning disorder marked by impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words. (The director sends a message through this film – that if given proper care, attention and patience, dyslexia can be treated properly, especially which is usually more identified among children.)

Cast of Taare Zameen Par:
Darsheel Safary – Ishaan Awasthi
Aamir Khan – Ram Shankar Nikumbh
Tanay Chheda – Rajan Damodraan
Tisca Chopra – Ishaan’s mother
Vipin Sharma – Ishaan’s father
Sachet Engineer – Ishaan’s elder brother
M.K. Raina

CREDITS of Taare Zameen Par:
Directed by: Aamir Khan
Writing credits
Amole Gupte : Screenplay
Produced by: Aamir Khan
Sunitha Ram – Line producer
B. Shrinivas Rao – Executive producer
Kiran Rao – associate producer
Original Music: Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa, Ehsaan Noorani, Shailendra Barve
Cinematography by – M. Sethuraaman (as Setu)
Film Editing by – Deepa Bhatia
Production Design by Shruti Gupte
Costume Design by Priyanjali Lahiri
Production Management
Advait Chandan – Assistant Production Manager
Second Unit:
Nazneen Bhatia – Third Assistant Director
Tanmay Mohan – Second Assistant Director
Sunil Pandey – First Assistant Director
Sound Department
Anup Dev – Final Mixing Engineer
Baylon Fonseca – Supervising Sound Editor
Nakul Kamte – Sound Designer
Lyrics – Prasoon Joshi
Taare Zameen Par, movie review