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Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Aamir Khan delivers yet a satisfying film, which exceeds every expectation you will have
Taare Zameen Par, which spells "Stars on Earth" in English is probably one of the most anticipated films of the year 2007 by Bollywood. It came out in December last year, and it got received with a blast, and director Aamir Khan was extremely happy with the final outcome. One of the factors which distinguishes TZP from other Indian movies, is that it is not based on the regular cliché of two individuals falling in love, but rather puts a real subject in the limelight. The story follows the nine-year-old protagonist called "Ishaan"(Darsheel Safary). Ishaan is a brisky young boy, with a wild imagination. He loves to admire nature, and enjoys painting with bright freshening colors. The one thing he hates the most is to sit down and do his homework. He never manages to write a word correctly and letters seem to dance in front of his eyes, whenever he attempts to read a sentence. This rare condition sets a barrier between Ishaan and education, and leads to frustration. Ishaan eventually tries to ignore his homework and school because of countless episodes of outbursts from teachers and his parents. His exam papers are a pity for the human eye and Ishaan's teachers say that there is no hope for him. Ishaan's father takes this personally and decides to send Ishaan to a boarding school.
Ishaan disagrees with his father of course, as he is not accustomed to living without his mother. Ishaan's mother falls in a dilemma, but ultimately decides that sending Ishaan to boarding school would be the wisest choice.
Things get even worse when Ishaan gets into boarding school. It is a strict school with discipline as their main principle. Ishaan is welcomed by strict teachers in every class, and receiving punishment from every teacher soon becomes a part of his daily routine. Ishaan eventually stops talking to anyone and usually meets everyone with a scared eye.
One day, a substitute teacher replaces Ishaan's regular arts teacher. Ram Shankar Nikumbh(Aamir Khan) is his name, and he makes a grand entrance with a song. He is well received among Ishaan's fellow students, but Ishaan is still upset with a sore face. Ram instructs his students to paint anything which comes to their mind using vivid colors. Every child paints whatever comes to their mind, with the exception of Ishaan, who usually loves to paint. Ram is a little worried for Ishaan, but he does not torture him with questions and lets him go. However, Ram's concern over Ishaan's behavior is intensified after several days of his reticence.
Ram tries further investigation and analyzes Ishaan's textbooks in all of his subjects. He discovers something unusual. It seems to him that Ishaan always misspells certain words and letters in a particular way. He has trouble identifying himself with different letters and their sound. Ram is stunned by seeing Ishaan's textbooks, and wants to investigate even further, and decides to visit Ishaan's family.
When Ram tries to explain that Ishaan has difficulties identifying himself with letters and words he is met with rude comments from Ishaan's father. Ishaan's father has always assumed that Ishaan was avoiding doing homework because of his laziness. After a dialog between Ram and Ishaan's father, Ram tries to convince him that Ishaan really has a disability. After his investigation, he concludes the problem as dyslexia. Of course, Ishaan's parent are not aware of this learning disability and are scared for their sons future. Ram responds to this comment by saying that nowadays all parents care about is how to make their sons and daughters toppers of their classes. How they can make them excel in every subject, even though they have to work day and night. Every child is special, and should be allowed to pursue their dreams.
When Ram begins his arts class back at school he begins by telling a story. A story about a boy, a boy who had difficulties during childhood. Letters and numbers seem to dance before his eyes and he never remembered that "y" comes after "x". After countless attempts he failed once at school and got dishearted. He decided to take the defeat as a man and continued working. After a time his mind brightened and his mind discovered a treasure. After telling the story, Ram asks his class which boy he is talking about. Ishaan's heart starts to beat much faster, as he is doubts that it is him, Ram is talking about. Ram shows a picture of Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein also had dyslexia, but he managed to overcome it and is considered one of the biggest scientists of human history. These encouraging words brightens Ishaan and he becomes really good friends with Ram. Ram goes to the principle of the school to discuss Ishaan's dyslexia. The principle is shocked at first, and then assembles the puzzles and sees the picture. He appreciates Ram's work with Ishaan and suggests to send Ishaan to a special school for children with disabilities. Ram disagrees to his suggestion and requests him to tell all the teachers to ignore his mistakes for a few weeks. In that period of time, Ram can work with Ishaan and improve his skills.
I think I have revealed more than necessary, but I will leave it here and let you watch the movie for yourself.
TZP is a film which combines emotions with real life situations and the outcome is mind- blowing. It delivers a great message and has opened eyes of millions of parents around the world. This film exceeded all of my high expectations and I came out satisfied after watching it. Darsheel Safary has done a great job as a child artist and his performance has earned him a handful of Indian awards. I really hope to see more of him. Aamir Khan is great as always as an actor, but has also done a excellent job as a director.