The stars come down to earth

Taare Zameen Par

The genius of Aamir Khan shines through in his directorial debut. The star proves his genius is not limited to being on screen alone and another star is born in the form of Darsheel Safary.With a host of relatively unknown actors, Aamir Khan puts together the brilliant Taare Zameen Par which is easily the best of films of 2007 along with Chak De. The two best films of 2007 are Khan films and the films speak for themselves. The host of unknown actors is a common feature of both these films. The comparisons and similarities do not end here. Both movies stand out this year because they stick to the art of honest storytelling, which is what cinema is really all about.

Taare Zameen Par is the story of a 8/9 year old Ishaan Awasthi, for whom the outside world, the colours, the sights, smells and tastes hold more interest than the alphabets, numbers and the monotonous education that all of us have gone through. The one solace is Ishaan's interest in painting. But all is not as desired. With failing marks and constant trouble at school, Ishaan's parents see no other option than to send him to a boarding school where his 'discipline' issues will be resolved and he may turn out to be successful like his older brother Yohaan Awasthi (Sachet Engineer).Ishaan's troubles only continue and Ishaan draws into a shell, a world occupied only by his vivid imagination and bright colours. A temp art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) turns up and notices the boy and recognizes the symptoms of dyslexia. Will ram connect with the boy ? Will Ram be able to convince Ishaan's parents and teacher's alike to the true nature of dyslexia and make them realise the talent that lurks within the boy ? The questions are answered only by experiencing this brilliant piece of cinema.

Darsheel Safary puts in an outstanding performance as the dyslexic 8/9 year old. Those eyes of his are more expressive than half a dozen of our so called actors put together. The moonwalk in the school corridor when he is punished, his escapade when he bunks school are so realistic and moving, that you wonder is there was hidden camera in your own school capturing all those moments.

I will not go into the nitty gritty of the movie like an arty-farty critic for there were moments in this movie that made me choke with emotion and the story held my attention and that's good enough for me. Excellent performances by one and all, especially Darsheel Safary brighten up the screen. The music is wonderful especially the - 'Tu hai dhup...' by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loyd.

The emotions expressed especially by the young Ishaan through his large innocent eyes, the tears in the mother's eyes and the quite understanding look in the eyes of the art teacher are moments in Hindi cinema that are extremely rare and cinematically invaluable.The many scenes reminded me of my own school days and the pressure on homework, marks etc etc. The story is treated with honesty with no attempt to dramatise the dyslexic and that is what takes this movie miles above many other Hindi movies which deals with different people and makes them look like caricatures ! I am counting in movies which were an adaption of the world's best know Extra Terrestrial (ET) movie and also a movie named after a dark colour !

This is one movie which is a must watch for every parent, teacher, children and maybe future parents, teachers too ! It is a movie that moves you, a movie that brings tears to your eyes, a movie that educates you, a movie that liberalises you ! What you learn, you realise can be applied at all walks of life !


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