PVR Pictures and Aamir Khan have produced nothing short of pure magic. Taare Zameen Par is a beautiful portrayal of childhood and what it entails in a human being’s life. It treads upon sensitive territory, very wisely questioning certain established conventions of society, especially the importance of a sound education structure. It draws attention towards a desperate need for an attitude alteration among parents, teachers and all those who play catalysts in the growing up of a child.
Taare Zameen Par tells the story of an eight-year-old boy, Ishaan Avasthi played by Darsheel Safary who leads the life of a normal kid but has some extraordinarily different fantasies. He has a strong enmity with the classroom and everything that goes with it. Homework, marks, tests, books and academics are a normal part of growing up, but for Ishaan, his inability to acknowledge it is what makes him different. He lives in a fairytale world of colors, fish, dogs, kites and the universe at large. He is different, he thinks out of the ordinary and thus rebels when forced to study. He has a strong determined pursuit of gratification and his defiant attitude results him in being packed off to boarding school to be ‘disciplined’. The deal of separation from his family and loneliness at school curbs the rebellious attitude but also kills the budding thought and talent in him. But Ram Shankar Nikumbh, the new art teacher, played by Aamir Khan saves the day for this young lad as he discovers and unravels the mystery behind the element of difference in Ishaan. He identifies with him and helps him nurture all that’s so special about him!From the sound of it, it is simple and ordinary. In actuality, it questions the entire concept and relevance of the present day education system. The million-dollar question is this – are one set of exams and the grades obtained hence sufficient enough to judge the entire being of a kid? Are academics the all and all end of childhood? Is it fair to confine children to textbooks and make it the sole purpose of their existence? Is a 90% and above all that’s required to succeed in life? What about inner growth and the virtues of happiness? The story also touches upon the life of the mentally and physically handicapped. It seeks to question the attitude of condemnation and the act of demeaning the less fortunate children. The movie basically promotes and applauds all those who have drifted away from the normal conceptions of a student life. It inspires to promote a feeling of acceptance for all those who are different from what we call, ‘normal children’. Also, who sets the conventions of normalcy?? Taare Zameen Par reaches out to every heart, a real tearjerker if I may say so from personal experience. The writer and creative director, Amole Gupte has done a fantastic job to say the least. He has done complete justice to the movie, which has actually been conceptualized by Deepa Bhatia. The world, as it is seen from the eyes of an eight-year-old thinker, has been beautifully captured into some amazing shots. What is great about the film is that though it primarily deals with Ishaan’s fantasies, it is unbelievably real. The music is, of course, fabulous, all credit given to Shankar Ehsaan Loy. Full marks to Aamir Khan for tackling such a sensitive subject so flawlessly. Darsheel Safary and Aamir Khan have done more than justice to the path-breaking complex characters they play.The entire packaging of Taare Zameen Par, the screenplay, storyline, acting, direction, creativity, concept, music and the sensitivity and importance of the subject deserves to be applauded. The most important aspect being the message the movie drives home, the plea of acceptance for the diversity this world holds within it.It gives the inspiration to go beyond the tried and tested norms of bookish knowledge. It demands space for young minds to actually think and develop a mind of their own and the time and attention needed to allow creativity to flourish and grow. Above it all, it drives home the freedom that an individual ought to be given in order to grow and develop into the best they can.There is a star in every child. It is right here in our midst; it is only waiting to be granted that little room for it to shine. This depiction on celluloid seeks to light that path which will lead the youth to rise and shine!Rishika Baruah