Taare Zameen Par

I didn’t what to expect of Taare Zameen Par. But I can tell you this, I hardly ever cry when I am watching films. I am too much of a cynic really. But I found myself sobbing a few times. (Which meant that Sri started laughing, of course.)

taarezameenpar.jpgIf the cast of the film was even slightly different, or not as effective, the parts that make you cry could make you cringe. Take the kid who plays Ishaan – Darsheel. He sets the pace of the film throughout. In fact, he clearly steals the show from Aamir Khan. Any other kid might have completely overdone the part. With Darsheel, you don’t even realizing he’s acting.

The camera treats him with a certain gentleness. It lingers on him. It’s patient with him, which is not what one can say about the adults in his life. It’s so rare that any mainstream film even talks about childhood and loneliness in the same breath. Cinema usually infuses so much “cuteness” into the character of children, that they come across as precocious rather than sad. You know what I mean right? Like kids who explain the meaning of life to adults in films. Annoying.

For a few minutes, I did feel like there seemed to be the threat of clichés. But what is that fine line between being realistic and using stereotypes? At what point do realistic characters become stereotypes? For instance, Ishaan’s father annoys you. You wonder if this isn’t the usual stereotype. The father as a near heartless man who drives his kids to the edge, and who doesn’t slow down for a minute to actually encourage them. Or the mother who is big softy, and is so pliable. But, there are these fine details that keep them real. Though they almost disappear in the second half of the film.

Then, there’s Aamir Khan the miracle man. The art teacher who cries more often in a day than a newborn. The other teachers who are mean and so overworked. Not that it isn’t possible. I’ve had some teachers who clearly got into the teaching line so they could be in the proximity of those they liked to torture. But Aamir Khan’s character, even if a bit too obvious – is a sensitive one. He isn’t too preachy. He is emotional because he relates to the child.

Oh, and one more nice thing. Class toppers aren’t shown as snooty. Elder brothers aren’t bullies. The elder brother is obviously protective and caring. He’s also exasperated at times. In fact, that’s one relationship that should have got more screen time. To be fair though, the film is rather well edited, and I can’t think of any scene that I would delete. It’s not a short film. But you don’t really realize it. Sometimes the music feels a little harsh on the ears. But towards the end, the music, the visuals and a particular bit when the kid finally sees a painting (no, I won’t spoil it for you – though you have to be really non-filmi to not guess it) – the waterworks started. You don’t cry because you feel sorry for the kid. No, not at all. In fact this film isn’t about children with different needs. It’s about any kid who feels misunderstood.

Lovely film. Go watch. You might even squeeze out a tear or two.

16 Comments

Filed under Music, Film and Art

16 Responses to Taare Zameen Par

  1. dipali

    A beautiful, sensitive film. Hats off to all who made it possible.

  2. one movie that so far has no negative review – some sort of an achievement right?

    superb it was and yes, you’re right Neha – this is one movie which brings out tears to even the ones who don’t cry – its so beautifully made that your eyes don’t believe :)
    I said – one movie which would emanate emotions even from a stone – am i right at that?

  3. fantastic review maaam. Will definitely watch it, I surely need it after having watched the 20 worst films of 2007!

  4. Even the boys who make fun of me for weeping bucketfuls at movies had lumps in their throats! It doesn’t make you teary eyed because it is always sad..but because the experience just overwhelms you…

  5. The best scenes of the movie are those where nothing is spoken and yet it makes you cry…Darsheel has done a wonderful job and Aamir’s concern for the helplessness of the child looks so genuine. My favourite scene – when after the drawing competition results inu runs to nikumbh and hugs him. I dont rembr the last movie that made me shed my tears…

  6. Pingback: Taare Zameen Par reviews | DesiPundit

  7. dipali: It is indeed a lovely film. I instantly overlooked all its flaws and Aamir Khan’s clown act. :)

    prasoon: Well, not everyone is expected to weep. But I can imagine some people who find the film to be a little too slow. And the reviews have been mostly positive. Perhaps people are scared of posting something negative about the film! :)

    maxdavinci: What? Only 20? Please do go see this one.. you tend to forgive yourself for having spent money on all the awful films.

    gooddaysunshine: I distinctly remember seeing quite a few people making sniff sniff noises. Oh, and I think boys are big time weepies when it comes to films. Heh!

    Bhumika: I still can’t pinpoint my favourite scene. But the bit when Darsheel goes and takes a look at what the teacher has painted and has tears in his eyes – at that point I was severely mushed up.

  8. ggop

    I agree – some of it was cliched, but I can definitely recall people who fit the stereotype. Loved the kid’s restrained acting. Check out Baradwaj Rangan’s review too.

  9. Aparna

    Thats exactly how I felt during Taare Zameen Par! Being a cynic that makes fun of most movies, i was the butt of all jokes when tears started rolling from my eyes. There is something about watching Aamir Khan’s movies that makes you think about the characters after you leave the cinemas.

  10. Hi, thank you for a lovely review. I have a question that none of reviews answer: is it okay to watch together with kids?

  11. Hi, thank you for a lovely review. I have a question (that none of the reviews answer): is it okay to watch together with kids?

  12. this movie is the best so far and will be rated very high, the emotions in the movie is simply amazing and the way the Darsheel Safary as Ishan carried the movie is simply amazing……….. the best part in the movie is the emotions were handled simply superb, every one who walked out the movie hall had a tear in their eyes and if any one tells that they did not have a tear are trying to fool around an superbely directed movie………..thanks amair bhaiya for giving us the stars of our child hood……..all the best for gajini as well

  13. Sudhir

    Aamir Khan has shown his guts by choosing a not so glamorous topic for his debut direction. TZP naturally touches ones emotional chord and at the same time brings out the message very well. I recommend that while watching the movie do not hide your emotions read tears here or else you will not connect with the film. Darsheel has done a fantastic job or should I say Aamir has done an amazing job by making a kid act so well. Credit goes to both of them. TZP is truly an amazing movie, a must watch for all.

  14. lucky

    When i say “taare zameen par” is the best movie i saw in my life, i am not saying enough.
    Actually.
    “one of the best” would be a definite understatement.it would be sacrilegious not to see this exquisite piece of cinematic sense.what moved me abt the movie is not just as a teacher or a parent, but as a fortunate contemporary of a mind that could carve out such a work of art for us to watch!!
    the movie entertains.the movie makes us actually sit back and think.it gives a kick on the ass to those who let their children down.it even makes us feel lucky about the small things in life.
    the poignancy drills right through, and leaves a permanent scar for the better.
    this movie,is a must see for all siblings,allstudents,all teachers and all parents.
    it conributes to thoughts on how important peers can be to students,how teachers can make a difference,how parents can love, yet not love…
    And the boy…oh God!!! he is actually a star on earth.His performance beats genius!
    And yes, I cried.and i cried.
    I cried for the children of the world,for the parents of the world,the helpless dyslexics,the ignorant teachers..and most of all, for all those moments of lack of understanding of my own students and children.
    i sent a prayer of thanks for all the times I had the sense to understand…and a prayer for wisdom which i will need when emotion and senselessness prevail.

  15. Hi there,

    I left a link to my blog here (on 27th Dec) so that you can have a look and let me know how do you feel about the movie.

    But it seems either you didn’t had the time to look at my blog’s link or you didn’t find it necessary to respond to my comment here..

    Anyways….take care mam!