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Aug 14, 2008

Taare Zameen Par

Whether it was the hype surrounding it or whether I was too late in watching it that I had become saturated with reviews that called the movie, 'exceptional' I think Taare Zameen Par is a well-made Hindi movie, nothing beyond that. I'd reserve the use of superlative adjectives for some other times. Good movie from a first time director, Aamir Khan.

I am not a big fan of self-righteous movies where the hero tells people (or rather teaches thru' a series of magic strokes / scenes) how wrong they were and how right he is. The central theme, that of a dyslexic child, is new to Indian movie-goers and it is a good idea that Aamir decided to turn the spotlight on dyslexia, an 'invisible' disease, not usually recognized by Indian society.

Darsheel Safary, the child actor who has the central role does his job well. Probably the first time a commercial Hindi movie has been successfully carried on the shoulders of a little boy, although it has happened many a time in our regional languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi etc. Since many of the Hindi film-goers are unaware of the existence of such movies or their pint-size actors, Darsheel is touted as a phenomenon. Remember Manjunath as Swamy or Kumar in Deshadanam or Shyamili in Anjali. Probably not, except for Swamy none of these were Hindi movies.

Part of Darsheel's success should also be attributed to Aamir Khan. The way Aamir directed the boy tapping on to his talent produced the winning combo. I have seen a lot of Iranian directors excel in this aspect, making successful movies with just the child actors as their main focus - Jafar Panahi's White Balloon, Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven, Bahman Ghobadi's Turtles Can Fly etc all use the fresh innocent world view of kids. If executed correctly it is a sure-fire recipe for success, but to win over Bollywood audience you need to accentuate the extreme. The good is really good as Nikumb the art teacher played by the director himself and the autistic little boy wronged by the whole society, the bad is really bad - here it is the father of the kid, an insensitive moron bend on making successes out of his boys and the school authorities in general.

Somehow TZP failed to click with me, it is too much black and white, devoid of shades of gray which is there in every situation like this. But then greys don't sell in Bollywood. My review although not negative is not positive either and ofcourse I understand Aamir Khan needs to make a film that sells.



:) the kid in the movie is dyslexic.

My bad. Thanks for correcting :)

What you said in the first paragraph must be true. You heard too much of a hype and felt underwhelmed. I heard nothing and was overwhelmed.