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Like Stars on Earth (2007)
"Taare Zameen Par" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family, Music  |  21 December 2007 (India)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 75,960 users  
Reviews: 290 user | 30 critic

An eight year old boy is thought to be lazy and a troublemaker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Darsheel Safary ...
Tanay Chheda ...
Sachet Engineer ...
Yohan Awasthi
Tisca Chopra ...
Nandkishore Awasthi
Lalitha Lajmi ...
Herself - Art Mela's Chief Guest
Girija Oak ...
Jabeen - Amir's Co-worker (as Girija)
Ravi Khanvilkar ...
Mr. Holkar (as Ravi Khanwelkar)
Pratima Kulkarni ...
Principal - St. Anthony's School
Meghna Malik ...
Victoria Teacher
Sonali Sachdev ...
Irene Teacher
Sanjay Dadich ...
Raaj Gopal Iyer ...
George Sir
Bugs Bhargava ...
Sen Sir


Ishaan Awasthi is an eight-year-old whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate; colours, fish, dogs and kites are just not important in the world of adults, who are much more interested in things like homework, marks and neatness. And Ishaan just cannot seem to get anything right in class. When he gets into far more trouble than his parents can handle, he is packed off to a boarding school to 'be disciplined'. Things are no different at his new school, and Ishaan has to contend with the added trauma of separation from his family. One day a new art teacher bursts onto the scene, Ram Shankar Nikumbh, who infects the students with joy and optimism. He breaks all the rules of 'how things are done' by asking them to think, dream and imagine, and all the children respond with enthusiasm, all except Ishaan. Nikumbh soon realizes that Ishaan is very unhappy, and he sets out to discover why. With time, patience and care, he ultimately helps Ishaan find himself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every Child is Special


Drama | Family | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, brief violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 December 2007 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Like Stars on Earth  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£66,204 (UK) (21 December 2007)


$1,204,660 (USA) (18 January 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Darsheel safary became the youngest nominee for filmfare award for best actor.He couldn't make it because it was won by shahrukh khan for Chak de!India. See more »


During the song "Jame Raho," which portrays the busy and mechanical life of the family, Maya is shown ironing a striped short for Nandkishore. Next cut, he is shown actually wearing a plain shirt instead of the just hurriedly ironed shirt. See more »


Ram Shankar Nikumbh: lf you fancy racing, breed racehorses, dammit, not children.
See more »


References Empire of the Sun (1987) See more »


Mera Jahan
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by Shailendra Barve
Performed by Adnan Sami, Auriel Cordo, Ananya Wadkar, Gleehive (Kids Choir), Suraj and Shailendra Barve
Courtesy of Super Cassettes Industries Limited (T-Series)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Aamir scores an Ace, TZP a natural delight.
21 December 2007 | by (India) – See all my reviews

The ghost (director) has been resurrected in human flesh and yes, Mr Perfectionist has got it all perfect. His maiden directorial venture is a delight for one and all. Whether you are a kid, or a teenager, just married, or if you are a parent -- Yes... You'll love it! Pre-release in what appeared to be a non mainstream film, shines like a UNIVERSAL film which will keep the box office abuzz.

The story moves along at a very natural pace at which the viewer is able to connect to the 8 year old dyslexic boy played by Darsheel Safary. That is the biggest plus point of the movie, the viewer draws parallel with the boys character connecting with him at a very high emotional level. You'll reminisce and be transported back to those wonderful years of your childhood and will have more than a tear in the eye. The scene where the boy is admitted in the boarding school and bidding goodbye to his parents and brother followed by the 'Maa' song is a real tear jerker. But tears is not all what you are going to have, the screenplay makes sure that those tear jerking moments are followed by heavy doses of laughter with some lovely and innocent humorous moments.

If you thought that only Sanjay Leela Bhansali knew how to capture art on celluloid then watch TZP. The boy's bunked day at school, his room, classroom decor, and the painting competition in the end are a colorful visual delight expressing a million words to the viewers.

Yes, its true. Aamir's character appears just before the end of the first half, but one is so engrossed that Aamir - The actor's absence is not felt. Thats remarkable! All the credit goes to the protagonist played by Darsheel who in my books gives the best performance till date by a child artist in Hindi Cinema. He is the heart and soul of the movie and how naturally this boy handles scenes of intense emotions with such ease in his first movie is stunning. Tisca Chopra as the boy's mother gives a top notch performance at par, if not above the likes of roles played by Nirupa Roy, Rakhi and Kirron Kher.

Aamir the actor has a shorter but powerful role which he performs decently. But at the end of the day its Aamir - The Director who wins hands down by extracting 'A GRADE' performances from all the cast, and making a movie which connects to the heart of the viewer. The second half becomes a little slow in between and it could have been more crisp. But thats negligible because in the end the movie manages convincingly to convey a very important message to today's parents - Your kids are not race horses of a derby. Let them travel life at their pace as each has their unique mission which only they can fulfill.

Lastly, TZP just made 2007 better and interesting. The award season is knocking and well, watch out, TZP may just pull off a surprise or two by upsetting the favorites so far...

118 of 146 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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