Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Taare Zameen Par

TZP might have missed out in the Oscar race, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a gem of a movie.

Whether it deserved an Oscar or not - i wont enter into that debate as i am not qualified enough & i haven't seen the other shortlisted movies.

I recently saw TZP on the TV. 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:

• 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 guitars and the melodious strumming in most of the songs.

Different movies evoke different reactions from audiences. Bheja Fry 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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