Monday, December 31, 2007

Taare Zameen Par - Movie Review

Every child is different and special in her own way. Most parents will tell you that. Which is why, to bring alive the world of any one them in such that the mass adult audience can relate to, is a very special achievement. "Taare Zameen Par" is a very significant film. I will not comment on the movie's screenplay, its photography or any technical aspect of film making, becasue I did not see this film like I see most others. I did not even for once evaluate this film. After watching this film I realised for the first time that if the film "gets you" at an emotional level, there is very little that matters. When you are spellbound the part of your brain that evaluates things dies. Thats the impact TZP had on me.

"Taare Zameen Par" has achieved some thing very significant. It has shown that an "art" film can also be a commercial sucess. The manner in which justice has been done to the story, without any traditional commercial commensene of, leveraging the Star. As a matter of fact Aamir Khan (the star) is present for only one half of the film.

The music, while may not be the most commercially sucessful, is one of the best examples of the songs being written and composed for the script and to the situation. The lyrics are some of the best that you will hear. With "maa" (a song that will make you cry if you are human), Prasoon Joshi has moved into the club of the all time greats - at least in my book.

I did not think I will ever say this about a movie - but, here goes - if you do not see Taare Zameen Par, you will miss some thing. See it !


Shrinidhi Hande said...

last heard, several students have started using this symptom as new excuse for not studying well or finishing homework...

Dev said...

ha ha - kids are smart srinidhi. i am not too surprised.

Mridula said...

I have still not managed to see it. But Srinidhi offers a new angle to it! Thank god I teach a bit grown up students.

Anonymous said...

At an emotional level,I connected hugely with the film. Some of the scenes were heart breaking, absolute tear jerkers.The slow pacing in the first half works beautifully,gradually drawing us into the kid's inner world. And of course, the child actor is brilliant.

But the analytical movie-buff in me had issues with the basic message perhaps conveyed unintenionally. The way the film ended was more like " Every Child is a Winner" not "Every Child is Special"! In fact I would disagree with your branding it an "Art" film.

Having said that it still remains a great film and the fact that it was made at all (that too by a mainstream actor),is remarkable. There is a lot to say on this. Unfortunately no time !


Dev said...

Abhi - I do not agree that the message is of "every child is a winner", i think the "winning" of Ishaan at the end was importnt to bring alive the contrast from is earlier seeming failure. This contrast explains the "special" message for me.

Sure it may not be an art film by some definations - but then we need to define what an art film is - dont we? :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dev,

I am not a Bollywood bhakt, unlike mosts desis. Hell, I am not even a Hollywood bhakt because most movies that come from there are total crap and give a very skewed representation of N America. Having said that, every once in a while, a movie catches the interest of crusty farts like yours truly. Having spoken with a few desis here, and after having read janta's comments on your blog, I am curious to check this movie out. In fact, I am itchy...I hope you guys have not raised my expectations too much...Hmmm...


Anonymous said...

Dev,this is a minor quibble in an otherwise beautiful film.

My point is this :
The kid is shown receiving praise, respect and acceptance from his parents and teachers, only after winning the painting competition.In effect,this validates the same value system which rejected him in the first place. The message seems to be " Its OK to not be good in acads if you can ace it in painting".So, what about those kids who are no good at studies and not particulary good in extra curriculars either.Most kids are mediocre - not particularly good at anything. Are they "special" or not? In the context of how much pressure there is on kids these days to "succeed", it would have been nice to show how kids can be "special" even if they do not "win" anything in the conventional sense.

To my mind, the film could have focused on the teachers process of discovering the kid's talent and the parents accepting him simply as their child - not after he is recognised as a gifted painter.
In fact, there is a point just before the ending, when Aamir and the kid look at each others completed paintings, and smile at each other. It is a moment of quiet joy and you can feel the strong bond between them. It was a perfect moment to end the film.

But then, that would have made it an "art" film and it may not have become the success it has.

I normally love the cliched Hindi film climaxes - of the Hero winning in the end, overcoming all odds,killing the villain and getting the girl.Its a great euphoria.But in this film they could have avoided it.

Anyway,this is far too much intellectualising(my Bengali genes showing up!).This was just a thought I had- don't wish to make too big a deal of this.Notwisthstanding this dissection,I still feel it was a lovely film within its format and its target audience.And the lyrics of "Maa" have me all teary eyed each time I hear it. Prasoon Joshi is superb yet again after "Luka Chuppi" in RDB.


Anonymous said...


You make an interesting comment:

"Anyway,this is far too much intellectualising......."

Any time one brings in a different point of view, we immediately dismiss that person as an "intellectual snob". Unfortunately, I have been on the receiving end too many times....he he seems almost that people want to categorize everything neatly and do not want anyone to disturb the predictable sequence of thoughts. Any time I question a "Why" -- people just dismiss me off. They beleive B'wood movies have to be a ceratin way....any other "formula" or "approach" is immediately dissed and ditched.

Your statement almost was a defensive posture. Interesting..I've had to resort to it at times to avoid janta's halla bol on me.


Dev said...

Abhi - u r right. i can see u'r point now !

Sri - Yes, abhi is being defensive on this, becasue the bugger is a intellectual. (has been accused of some not so intellectual types in the past of being a snob as well :-)) - but yes, i know what u r saying. There is a post idea in this - lets see if i can develop it.
btw Sri - do i know u from some where ? because i know a lot of people who are Sri - just want to know if u r one of them

Anita said...

hey, so good?? wow, i haven't watched it yet and will since you've rated it so highly! :)

Anonymous said...

Dev Bhai,

Sri can be anything man ....Sriram, Sridhar, Srinivas, is not Sridevi or Sripriya though.....

Bottomline is I like Abhi's take..I thought about it overnight....actually, his funde-baazi on a child being "special" regardless if she is a winner or not makes a lot of sense. Man, this discussion has really pumped me up on checking the movie out.


Dev said...

anita - oh yes, its a must watch for sure. remember to carry a lot of tissues :-)

Dev said...

sri - yes its a very interesting point of view. Abhi never flatters to decieve. I saw that u have written comments on many of my posts and clearly u know a lot and u r clearly from SIT - who are u dude ?

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