Taare Zameen Par – Reviewed by a non-critic

Taare Zameen Par brought back memories of childhood. No, I wasn’t dyslexic – at least not clinically! But there are some things that are common to children – whether dyslexic or not – they create their own world of imagination and love living in it.

I once discussed this with a couple of my friends during one of our late-night never-ending conversations – and we all agreed on one thing – when we were kids, we often imagined ourselves as being heroes – larger-than-life creatures, almost mythical characters. One of us saw himself as a cricketer who uprooted the middle stump with every ball he bowled in his dream stadium located in the living room, while another was the early 90s version of Hrithik – all the moves et al. One even used to imagine himself singing in a huge stadium with the packed-to-capacity crowd chanting his name! Sorry for digressing.. I am thinking – this is what a movie like TZP does to you, it makes you think.

It doesn’t take a film-critic to notice the attention to detail given by the makers of the movie in as far as the characterization is concerned. Certain things which really stuck into my memory include:

1. The way Ishan Awasthi behaved when he is thrown out of class in school
2. When Ishan is playing with dogs and the kids in the neighbor-hood ask him to get the ball, the dog on his lap is actually sleeping!
3. Aamir’s at times vocal and at-times controlled expressions
4. Facial expression of the school kids throughout the movie
5. The kid at the chai-shop

It is amazing how so many sub-issues can be dealt with without losing sight of the central theme. Certain sub-issues addressed in Tare Zameen Par (besides for the central theme – dyslexia, of course) include:

• Child-labour & exploitation
• Physically-handicapped children
• Teacher-student relationship
Corporal-punishment in schools
• Parents’ attitudes towards under-performing kids and their over-expectation from the performers
• Society’s tendency to add a “number” to every child – judging him / her solely on the basis of academic qualification / achievements
• Inability to see the other side of things when in a conflict

I haven’t been watching too much TV lately, but I sincerely feel that the music by Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy has been grossly under-rated. The lyrics and the music totally stand-out – both in the context of the movie and even otherwise. What I liked most about the music was the extensive use of distortion guitars and the melodious strumming in most of the songs.

Different movies evoke different reactions from audiences. OSO might make you laugh. Black might make you weep. Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi will make you think. Taare Zameen Par will make you do all of these things. Besides, it will make you feel.

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34 thoughts on “Taare Zameen Par – Reviewed by a non-critic

  1. well amit dear u 4got one of d expressions. The way Ishan stared his father when his father was jokin wid him hat he is leavin the house n going jus coz of him.

    that was one of the most natural expressions i have ever seen.

  2. @ Ruhi!

    MAJOR blunder… thanks…. has been rectified… I meant Corporal Punishment! :mrgreen:

    @ Dushyant,

    Yes, you are right. Actually the movie is full of little things like these..

    Another bit that I now remember is the way the mother notices her father who is looking jealously at the other kid who beats his son in the tennis final rather than greet his son after the match. The mother’s expression is natural, realistic .. she wants the dad to show affection to their son instead of feeling a sense of loss and jealousy!

  3. @ Poonam,

    Not surprisingly, This is one of the few movies that is universally liked. I haven’t heard a single person say “I didn’t like it”.. or “It wasn’t that great!”

  4. There are people who have said the movie was no so great. 🙂

    Ruhi has presented a detailed explanation why and also posted a cartoon from where Ishaan’s mathematical calculation animation may have been lifted/(inspired 😉 ). It is uncanny that the ideas are similar. Check it out! 🙂 It is an interesting read.

  5. probably, its amir’s direction and his excellent acting skills that even a small expression like the one at tennis match has made us feel the heat of d moment… thats why after TZP, i started to believe that amir is a class apart actor…

  6. I think the scene where Ishaan sees a poor naked boy having an Ice cream on his fathers shoulder and thinks of his own state and the falling of the Ice cream from his hand is a remarkable one.It tells u something to which most capitalist would disagree…”Money cannot buy everything”

  7. @ dushyant:

    senti / gande jokes mat crack karo..

    @ Krishna:

    Totally agree. That scene almost looked like a documentary… it was so realistic!

    @ Sasanka:

    Yes. Brilliant acting. Credit also due to the director to get those expressions / movements out of a child!

  8. oh my lord… the great amit harlalka… the father of all critics.. thou seeks shelter and pardon from all senti/ gande jokes one has imparted on dis world…. may god rest my soul in peace after death… lolz!!

  9. Clown scene apart, I disagree with you on most counts.

    1. “I was telling myself, ” Aamir Khan as a director, is very good!”. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let that thought enter my mind.”

    If the first half imrpessed you “so” much, then you should not let one or two tear-jerking scenes / cliched episodes ruin your impression steeply.

    “Where is the subtlety?”

    There were a lot of in-your-face” emotions in the movie.. but it did have subtlety… and trust me, it had a HUGE amount of subtlety in a lot of scenes.. Maybe you missed them.. or maybe I just “got” them the way they were intended to be!

    “The background score was overdone. Shankar Mahadevan needs to hire someone else to sing some of his songs.”

    IMHO, The background score complemented the movie perfectly. In fact, I think I have seen very few scores complement the script as well as TZP does. And as far as Shankar Mahadevan is concerned, his voice has got certain modulations that only he is capable of bringing out. I think he does a fabulous job in the songs of TZP too.. and what I like most about the music form the music point of view is the use of distortion guitars.. It appeals to my “rock-music” ears!

    “And Aamir…it’s better if you stay behind the curtains.”

    Wait… I don’t get it! Did you not like Aamir, the actor in TZP? .. Or did you not like Aamir, the director in TZP? .. and if you did not like EITHER.. then why even ask him to stay behind the curtains?? .. 😉
    I think he has played both roles brilliantly. I am not much of a bollywood freak myself, but to the casual eye and the masses (of which I am one!), the movie delivered.. 100%!

    But that’s just my opinion…! :mrgreen:

  10. @ Ujjwal

    Thanks! 🙂
    I know.. It is quite natural to get a little carried away in a movie like Taare.. coz the characaterization is so detailed and it appeals to everyone .. in some way or the other!

  11. Agree with you totally. Landmark movie in terms of technique and performances. Couldn’t help but marvel at the attention to detail. Aamir will only get better at it, one hopes (almost a given). Let the accolades be bestowed!

  12. I don’t know if you noticed it. Aamir khan is a brand ambassador of Toyota. And in the movie he uses only toyota qualis and innova.. may be its just a coincidence. But the projection of Aamir’s character I have in mind, I believe he did that intentionally. He does things with a purpose…

  13. @ Sid,

    Thanks! 🙂

    @ Atul,

    Aahaan.. Yes.. I did notice the Qualis.. But cudn’t really get the Toyota-Aamir connetion.. Yeah.. These connections are always taken advantage of in movies… Hrithik always has Coke in his movies if he ever needs a soft-drink! :mrgreen:

  14. i wonder who painted the face of Ishan in the end??

    best part of the movie when he gets 5 on his hand with ruler, m glad it wasn’t duster.

    Great project Mr Amol Gupat & Mr Amir Khan

    all the best to Amir for future production

  15. amyth,………….you are amazing……….yr review is bang on………..it is different……….especially reference to the ‘sub-issues’………..aamir’s strenghth as a director is accentuated there……….for that matter……..here, there, and everywhere in the movie………almost every scene is well thought-out………felt-about……….you feel like as a child, as a parent…….been there—done that………and when you identify with the characters so frequently in a single movie……..impact is bound to be there………and i understand here why aamir replaced amole gupte……..writing is one thing and presenting it in an appealing manner is totally different………abt one scene i would like to mention……..when ishaan’s father is back from his tour…….in the morning, when ishaan gets up and sits in papa’s lap……..and the sweet nothings between them…….it is so natural……..and shows softy inside of a father……..it is very delicately taken……….anyway……….keep the good work………archana

  16. @ Archana

    Thanks for droppy by and the encouraging comment! 🙂

    Yes.. and I remember the part you are talking about… It was very natural and free-flowing indeed!

  17. Hi All,
    I m a die hard fan of Amir Khan. I respect him for his creations, his acting and his perfections in whatever he does. No doubt it is clearly revealed from his creations that he is a very good person.
    About Tare Zameen Par, i liked the film very much and i requested all my friends and collegues to see the film as it is a must see by everyone.

    I just have one complaint, Though Darsheel’s acting is superb, have we left out the Handicap Friend of Darsheel unnoticed? I am also sorry to not recollect his name in the film nor i could find his real name anywhere else. Dear Amir, I feel he has done a good job in ur film and seems to be a good actor too. Shouldnt he be promoted.

    Now i m waiting to see ur next Creation Amir.

  18. @ Parag,

    I think you’ve raised a great point! We all seem to have under-rated Darsheel’s handicapped friend’s performance… Or Should we say “Ishaan’s” friend’s performance! 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by… Do keep coming back!

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