There is a scene in Taare Zameen Par when the protagonist Ishaan (Darsheel Safary) runs away from school and loiters on the road for the whole day – for the fear of being punished for not having done his homework. I never did anything like that in school but keep doing it regularly once I started work. The comparison might not be warranted but this is just one of those scenes which made me relate to Ishaan’s plight in the movie. On paper, this is the story of a kid suffering from dyslexia and how with the help of an understanding teacher he overcomes it against all odds. But honestly (and more importantly) this is an open indictment of our education system and parents…and their frenzy to produce “winners”. There have been films in the past like Bommarillu and Good Will Hunting which have tackled the issue of an individual’s own inclinations coming in conflict the rest-of-the-world’s perception of what is best for them.
Taare is probably more timely and significant because it deals with a phase of life where one is hardly aware of a thing called “choice”/”interest”/”inclination” and so is very likely to shrivel and retreat into a shell (too young to understand that he/she is just different but not wrong)….when figures of authority simply pronounce judgements rather than trying to understand the problem an individual is facing. The incidents involving the teacher-student interactions depicted in this movie are so relevant in today’s times when you get to see and hear on television at regular intervals innovative punishments like electric shocks being doled out to students.
There are particularly heart rending moments like the whole initial boarding school sequence – set to the song “Tujhe Sab To Pata Hai Na Maa” which covey the unspoken emotions of a child separated from his mother when he most needs her. It’s been a long time since I had tears in my eyes (for the right reasons) when watching a film – No emotional manipulation here thankfully! Aamir Khan and Amol Gupte (Writer and Creative Director) have crafted a wonderful film which hits you hard – whether you are a child or a parent/teacher. This film would not be complete without a special mention for Shankar Ehsaan Loy (Music), Prasoon Joshi (whose lyrics convey more than the actual dialogue in the movie) and the technical crew (for some great visual effects).
Of course, above all this film could not exist without Darsheel Safary – who hardly speaks in the movie but his portrayal of the moods and emotions of an 8 year old kid are stunning to say the least. Aamir Khan in a supporting role delivers a heartfelt and wonderful performance – easily his best in recent times. Another supporting role which deserves special mention is of Tisca Chopra (who plays Ishaan’s mother). Certain cinematic cliches can be forgiven here for this film is trying to say something more bigger. Thank You Aamir for Taare Zameen Par. I felt so much better after watching this. This is a movie which a child may or may not understand but one which every parent/teacher should watch to understand their child.