Taare Zameen Par Did Shine With All Its Radiance

tzp2.jpg There are very few bollywood movies which tug at your heartstrings and make you cry, smile, and think at the same time. There are very few movies in which the protagonist is not all perfect and nor is he brilliantly empowered with both brawn and brains. It is a small child groping with his impaired faculties, trying to fit in a mirthless world. Taare Zameen Par is a very brave attempt by veteran actor and debutant director Aamir Khan to break out of the usual bollywood formula of sugary sweet, mushy, gooey romance or the kick-punch-shoot-kill routine action genre and venture into unchartered territory. Aamir Khan has done his job with panache. He has painted a masterpiece centered on a dyslexic child and his work of art is devoid of all the unnecessary romance, action, slapstick comedy and item numbers that usually find their way into even the most serious of Hindi movies. Taare Zameen Par is a story about a dyslexic child caught in a world where cut throat competition is the order of the day, where getting results is more important than making your best effort, where one’s individuality is of no consequence whatsoever. It is a world which places the achievers on a pedestal to worship them and condemns those who do not live up to the mark. Ishaan Awasthi is an innocent eight year old who lives in his own sweet world of wonder, of color, fishes, kites, fantasy. Studies and homework are alien to him and school is his biggest foe. However hard he tries, he is always at the bottom of his class, he can barely read coherently and his handwriting is anything but legible. His teachers label him to be a dud, an insolent young boy who is not worth a penny. They predict that he will be greeted by eternal failure throughout life. No one examines his problem in depth and instead of helping the poor child, they all completely trample his self esteem. To make matters worse, his father packs him off to a boarding school, hoping that their strict rules and cane wielding teachers would be able to ingrain some discipline into the ‘insolent brat’.At the boarding school, he becomes the object of every teacher’s wrath and the butt of everyone’s jokes; being away from his family makes it harder for him. He recedes into his cocoon where reaching out to him becomes difficult, this crushed young spirit finds himself completely lost in a world where results are all that matter until his new art teacher comes to his rescue. The movie brings to light the fact that most of our populace is still in the dark about conditions such as dyslexia, and many parents would rather prefer being ignorant than grope with the fact that their child is not as ‘normal’ as the other kids are. The movie makes you question whether children with special needs can ever be empowered enough to settle down in the mainstream, whether they’d be able to stand on their feet and support themselves through the journey called life or whether they will always be dependant on their families and caretakers to carry them through. What makes the movie simply amazing is the fact that despite it being devoid of any leading actress, unnecessary cupid attacks and crazy histrionics, it does manage to deliver its punch. It sensitizes you to the needs of children, although it deals with a dyslexic child the theme of the movie can be broadened to include any child in any part of the world.Darsheel Safary has played his role with élan. Kudos to him for being able to etch out such a strong role that the most of the audience cried bucket loads of tears. The acting is lucid and the portrayals are so strong that however hard one might try to control their tears their attempts would be in vain. The movie does not blame anyone nor label anyone as evil and sinister because although the adults are shown as the ones whose stuck up thought process wreaks havoc on little Ishaan’s psyche. You just cannot blame them because they are all blighted by ignorance of the boy’s condition and how such children must be handled. It shows that with proper care and nurturing even these young buds can blossom into the most exotic of flowers. The movie has a good music score very much in-sync with the theme of the movie. Animations and graphics are also used brilliantly to add a dash of color to the story.This movie is another step taken by bollywood in the direction of new age cinema which explores different aspects and facets of our very colorful world.It is a much watch for all parents, children and teachers.

Apurva Joshi