Movie Review: Tare Zameen Par (Hindi)

Genre: Drama

Aamir?s Rang De Basanti was according to me one of the best movies last year. IMHO, it?s Aamir again with his TZP which could be called the best of 2007 narrowly beating King Khan?s Chak De. In line with the standards he had set with his acting skills, Aamir the Perfectionist has delivered a masterpiece in his first movie as a Director.

The protagonist of the story, Ishaan (Darsheel) is an eight year old who sees the world differently from the left brained majority. His world is full of color with fishes, space stuff, dancing letters and art work flowing from unbridled imagination. When it comes to academics he trails behind with single digit marks and is a repeater in Standard III.

What the parents, the Awasthis ponder is that while Ishaan?s elder sibling is a topper throughout and also accomplished at Tennis, how could the younger one be so poor. They soon conclude that the little boy is a brat and the best way to set him right is to put him in a boarding school. Here, the boy becomes even more a recluse.

Things change for Ishaan when substitute art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir) identifies the boy?s problem as dyslexia, which he had himself suffered during childhood. Soon, Nikumbh works out innovative ways to help little Ishaan discover himself.

The strongest point is Amol Gupte?s masterful script. Attribute it to the director or his protégé, Darsheel is amazing. Those who play parents are apt and real. The movie has many special moments. My favorites are when Awasthis leave the boy at the boarding school and one where Nikumbh makes Awasthis understand about the boy?s condition.

TZP deals with a protagonist with a brain condition, but it is surely not a film on dyslexia. It is more about children and nurture. It emphasizes that being a topper at academics and sport is not everything in life, but every kid is special. It presents an alternative view that it is in fact, those who see the world in a different light that change the world.

Comparisons with black seem inevitable since both have protagonists with a congenital condition and both have a mentor played by a superstar. TZP simply scores over Black, with its no-nonsense screenplay and realistic characters as against unreal setting and over-action by the lead star. Moreover, as known, TZP is not inspired by Hollywood.

Maybe I tend to appreciate movies with boarding schools because it gives me a sense of nostalgia about my days in one! But, for sure, TZP is a very lovable film. You?ll love it for the story, performances, the music, use of color and the locales. Hope Aamir goes on doing what he does best and continues to deliver such gems.

Rating: 9/10 ? A really well-made sensitive movie without any excesses