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Taare Zameen Par

Taare Zameen Par is a (Hindi for “Stars on Earth”) is a 2007 Bollywood drama film directed by Aamir Khan who also played one of the major roles. Indian stars Darsheel Safary, Tisca Chopra and Vipin Sharma also joined the cast.

Plot. The movie revolves around the life of an eight-year-old boy named Ishaan Nandkishore Awashti (played by Darsheel Safary). In school, Ishaan finds difficulty in dealing with all his subjects, that he is belittled by both his teachers and classmates. But Ishaan is secretly a talented artist. He fills his own world with magical places and colorful animals. Ishaan’s father is a successful executive who wants his children to excel. Unlike Ishaan, his brother is an exemplary scholar and athlete at school.

Since Ishaan performs poorly at his school, his parents transfer him to a boarding school. However, Ishaan sinks into a state of depression that he does not participate in class activities. Later, Ram Shankar Nikumbh (played by Aamir Khan) comes and joins the school’s faculty as an art teacher. Recognizing that there is problem with Ishaan, Ram investigates the child’s conditions. He reviews Ishaan’s works and concludes that the child has dyslexia. After visiting Ishaan’s parents and looking for more of the child’s works, Ram discovers his paintings and is greatly impressed. Ram describes dyslexia to them and explains that it is not a sign of low intelligence. He also offers to provide extra tutoring to help Ishaan.

In school, Ram reveals to Ishaan that he too had experienced the same difficulties with dyslexia when he was still a kid. He consequently gains Ishaan’s trust. Ram then visits the school’s principal and gets the permission to tutor Ishaan. With Ram’s help, Ishaan soon develops an interest in language and mathematics, and his grades improve. Moreover, Ishaan develops more liking to arts.

Towards the end of the school year, Ram organizes an art fair which can be participated by both students and staff. Ishaan is declared the winner while Ram, who paints Ishaan’s portrait, the runner-up. During the awarding, it is also announced that Ram has been hired as the school’s permanent art teacher. Seeing the huge transformation of their child, Ishaan’s parents thank Ram.

The film ends with a shot of Ram tossing Ishaan into the air.

Commentary. Taare Zameen Par is one of the best Indian films I have seen, mainly because of its universal message, deep sentimentality, and creative playfulness.

The film is about how a boy who copes with a sad condition – dyslexia. This condition is not common and to those who are suffering, it is hardly recognized. The movie clearly details what dyslexic person experiences, like seeing “dancing numbers” and forgetting how to write letters correctly. It also portrays a family in denial of a child’s suffering, but teaching audience in the end that with acceptance comes deep healing. It may appear that dyslexia is a hopeless condition, but with proper guidance and with the right support and understanding, it can be alleviated and cured.

The movie deals with its matter in an overwhelming and heart-breaking way. Especially towards the end when the boy has finally come to grip with his condition, audience is drawn to an overflowing feeling of hope, love, and freedom.

Lastly, just like most Indian films, Taare Zameen Par is filled with fun and music. The child’s imagination is vibrant with colors and animations, and this has effectively shown the gift behind the suffering. Most of the songs in the movie are also lively and happy, very fitting for a children’s movie.

The movie has the tagline “Every child is special”. Truly, every person, who is once a child, is born with unique gift.

Ratings. This is one of the best Bollywood film I have seen. Five stars out of five for this movie. 

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