I remember the time when excelling in studies meant everything. The concept of a “good boy” depended on how good one was in studies. With my average marks where I struggled to reach the first grade, I was not a good boy as such. Yet I was quite, kept to myself and rarely got into trouble. So not a bad boy either. However I was Invisible with nothing except studies to my credits.
I remembered all this while watching “Taare Zameen Par” (TZP). For once the Hindi movies was not about over smart, over sweet kids who were quite intelligent and said the most heart warming dialogs fit for adults and sang in a girl’s voice. Have you ever wondered why small boys in old movies sang with a girl’s voice. That changed after Aditya Narayan started singing.
The kid, Ishaan Awasti is just a normal kid, who likes to get dirty and play and not study the boring subjects. He fails and fails miserably compared to his high-achieving elder brother. Ishaan Awasti is inspired, inspired by Calvin, atleast the first half. The morning chores where he takes on his own time, his going to school routine where his mother struggles to get him to his school bus, the tribute to Calvin’s Spaceman Spiff where he solves the questions by imagining a story, his reply to the classmates after the exams. He also has a Hobbes, a live one in the form of an elder brother. Well this Hobbes does not share Calvin’s enthusiasm but he is Hobbes.
TZP is about carefree childhood when we liked playing over cartoons and Video games. Its about failing at the age when you don’t understand the implication of a win or a lose and its about enjoying the childhood. Ishaan does not speak much. The first dialog comes from his mouth is when he talks to the dog, I guess. But he can express with his action, his face and his eyes.
Amol Gupte’s story and screenplay take from real life. Its like reliving my childhood again although I had a better life. Its a good story, cliche, yet good.
The second half is about Ishaan’s journey from failure to success where his Art teacher helps him find a way.
Darsheel Safary is natural. Its as f he is acting what he is, a child without the melodrama. He stands out in the film even with a superstar for company. The movie succeeds because of him to a large extent.
Aamir Khan is good as the Art teacher and this time he lets the story and Darsheel be the hero.
The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is good especially with the lyrics by Prasoon Joshi. Especially the title track, “Maa” and “Jaame Raho”
Matched with it the supporting cast has been picked up quite carefully right from Tisca Chopra as the mother to the boys friend in the hostel and the teachers too. Each character almost well-etched and sometimes a little predictable. I don’t remember my teachers to be so mean or neither so friendly too.
Aamir Khan directs a very good script and lets the story takes its own course.
TZP is about a child’s illness and still its about everything about childhood. Its about being a parents and their responsibilities. Its about the difference between pampering children and pampering children. Its about the pressure we put on them and the rat race, the need to be on the top without really enjoying the going on top.
Although TZP does show the boy getting on top through efforts and a happy ending but who does not like one and its difficult stopping those tears. Aamir Khan was right when he said that the movie should be seen together by parents and children although it does put the parents on the villain side.
A nice movie, a good effort, a wonderful story and good cinema