Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Taare Zameen Par – A review

As I had promised earlier, I am finally posting my views on this movie. While posting my review, I have made a sincere attempt to share my personal experiences along with the ones rendered in this movie.

After a long time, I have finally come across a movie where the focus is not on who the male or female protagonist is? Or who has taken home a hefty cheque for an item number? But a social issue which badly needed a platform to voice itself and finally got heard. Thank god! It finally found a benefactor in the form of TZP.

Today I happened to watch TZP for the second time. As you might have already read about it from other sources, TZP deals with the story of a child (Ishaan Awashti portrayed by Darsheel Safary) afflicted with dyslexia and how he manages to fight against all odds to realize his true potentials with the help of his art teacher (Nikumb sir portrayed by Aamir Khan).

What struck me about this movie is the tag line, ‘Every child is special’. Nice tag isn’t it? But how many of us accept this so-called ‘special thing’ in every child? How many parents understand and appreciate the fact that their child could be special? Going by the norms of this world, if you aren’t among those kids who top the class every year + win trophies year after year in games + master singing / any instrument like piano, guitar, etc you are loser dear! You don’t deserve to be fondled at home nor do your choti choti desires like getting yourself an aquarium / a pair of skate boards, deserve to be even noticed by your parents! In short you are blatantly incompetent. Period!

Sounds a bit exaggerating isn’t it? Not really folks. Taare Zameen Par has portrayed all these issues with sheer finesse and thanks to some unbelievably convincing portrayal of a dyslexic child by Darsheel Safary and some strokes of mastery on and off the screen by Aamir-The-Perfectionist-Khan. The movie has tried to hit the very root cause of what I call a ‘strategic-inflection-point’ in parenting which is going wayward, mainly in the cities. With the inevitable bhaag-daud of a city life, true parenting has gone for sixes and a child finds itself lost in the immaterial comforts, only to be left starving for real care and the much needed attention from the parents.

Don’t you feel that the whole world seems to be so much lost in the rat race called ‘competition’ that kids are being ‘groomed’ to face the so-called challenges of the world outside? Parents are busy scripting the success stories, oops! ‘Block busters’ of tomorrow. Don’t you feel that kids aren’t being allowed to enjoy their childhood to the fullest? Aamir khan rightly quotes in the movie, “Janta hoon.Bahar ek berehem competitive duniya basi hai. Aur is duniya main sabhi ko apni apni gharo main toppers ugane hai! Har kisi ko awwal number chahiye. Doctor, engineer, management… Isse kum to bardash hi nahi hoti. 95.5% 95.6% 95.7% isse kam to gaali ke barabar hai. Kyu? Arey zara socho. Har Bacche ki apni khubhi hoti hain, apni ek khabiliyat hoti hain, apni ek chahat hota hain. Har ungli ko kheech ne main lage hue hain. Lage raho, chahe ungli hi kyu na toot jaye? Agar ghode dhaudana ka itna hi shauk hai to breed horses damn it. Bacche kyu paida karte ho?”

I don’t blame the parents for all of the above. Just have a glance at the kind of shows you find on television today. You will not be surprised to see umpteen numbers of shows where a 2 year old kid drives a car or another kid performs breath taking stunts with skate boards. If you feel that I am against nurturing unconventional budding talents, I am absolutely not. But what definitely becomes a matter of concern is when parents start to pressurize kids to pursue something against a child’s wish. Just to prove that your kid is no less ‘talented’ than your neighbor Mr. Sharma’s kid, you pester your kid day in and day out to join a dance class or learn basket ball. Add to it the peer pressure which a kid faces in the school and all you get is a kid literally living a nightmarish life! I feel we have spun a wheel called ‘ruthless competition’ jo thamne ka naam hi nahi le rahi hain. The soft targets of this game are undoubtedly the poor kids.

One more issue which TZP highlights very subtly but effectively is that if you allow your kid to pursue his/her dreams, in all probabilities you would find him/her successful in that field. Sharing my personal experience, I can guarantee you that 9/10 parents would go ga ga if they discover that their son wants to be a cricketer or wants to pursue a dream in entertainment industry. Ok. Let me go for more common examples.

What is the first question asked to a kid when relatives come to your house? Any guesses? They ask, “Beta tum bade hoke doctor banna chahte ho ya phir engineer?” 9/10 times the kids throw back a confused look at this ‘predator’. I think the confused look says it all. They would just prefer to grow up first! I still won’t blame parents for this because they just go with the wind. For them securing the future of their kids is of highest priority. But once if you get a hint that your kid has the potential to prove himself in that field, I feel that parents should support him/her to pursue his/her dream.

When you visit your relatives or a friend’s house who have kids, parents can’t control that burning desire to impress you by showcasing their child’s coveted talents like ‘My son knows all the capitals cities of countries across the world’, ‘My son knows all the currencies of different nations’ or ‘Beta just recite the song new you saw of OSO last week’. If parents stop craving for that one wah-wah from the guests, they would be doing a great deal of favor to their kids. It would at least ensure that the kid isn’t under the impression that too much is being expected out of him, too early.

A few things really special about TZP:

1. You finally have a movie where the so-called ‘hero’ arrives at the time of interval and not in the very first scene of the movie. It is completely okies to do that, without staking the box office collections!
2. TZP has demystified the general notion of ‘Aisi-movie-to-sirf-hollywood-main-bante-hain-yaar’, prevalent in aam janata.
3. The camera angles in the movie have improved by leaps and bounds. They contribute a lot in ensuring that the movie looks very realistic.
4. The characters in the movie resemble real life characters. The idiosyncrasies of a typical so-called ‘Bhigda-hua’ school kid are captured really well.
5. The music by Shankar, Eshaan and Loy leaves you spell bound. I had posted about a really inspiring song here. My personal favorites being kholo kholo, title track and Maa…
6. It also highlights life at a boarding school and how it can really leave your kid frustrated, if he/she doesn’t get the required attention.
7. Last but not the least, a few dialogues leave you grossly contemplating even after you leave the theatre. Viz. ‘Jo dihkta hain hum ko lagta hai hai hain. Jo nahin dikta hum to lagta hain nahin hain. Lekhin kabhi kabhi jo dikhta hain who nahi hota aur jo nahi dikta hain woh hota hain.’

I also appreciate the way the character of Ishaan’s elder brother (Yuhaan) has been handled in the movie. For the first time you find that the ‘always-right-always-winning-machine-like-flawless’ kid is portrayed as a humble and understanding brother.

PS: Aamir Khan is a father in real life too and it definitely shows on screen as well. Let’s all remember that kids are not some kind of investment that parents make today and hope to reap rich dividends tomorrow. Let’s understand that relationships are not to be looked at with ‘what’s-in-it-for-me?’ kinda attitude. Let’s also not forget that every child special. Last but not the least, whenever you ask a kid what he/she wants to become when he grows up, wait for his/her answer and don’t prompt him with options. May be your options are too small to contain his/her imagination!

~IT's My Life

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6 comments:

niveditha said...

A very elaborate and a well written review

Suresh, the "hero" in this movie doesn't appear before the intervel... He appears in the very first scene, You can't make Aamir the "hero" here, Darsheel plays the protagonist.

Secondly I also really liked the way Yohaan's character is handled in the movie...

FYI: Aamir is the father of a mentally challenged child, that is probably one of the reasons why the movie and his role has been handled this well

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Niveditha,
Oh. I din't mean to say that Darsheel Safary isn't the hero. He is the real HERO of TZP. Period! I meant Aamir khan as hero in an altruistic sense. But credit must also go to Aamir as well yaar, he out perfomed himself. The director in aamir decided who should share the limelight.

I didn't know that Aamir is the father of a differntly abled child.

I appreciate your take (posted on your blog) on this movie as well.

Ankit Gupta said...

man, u just motivated to write my word on TZP

really nice (personal) review

AG

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Ankit,

Great to hear from you. Glad to know that movies in bollywood have finally reached a point where they have begun to inspire the masses. TZP is a unique movie in that way and has definitely managed to creep in to the hearts of its viewers and left a deep impression!

Anonymous said...

The term Iyer is derived from the term Ayya which is often used by Tamils to designate respectable people. The word Ayya is a Prakrit version of the Sanskrit word 'Arya' which means 'noble'.

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