Taare Zameen Par Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2007 | Children's film, Drama
Critics:
Audience:
Dec 21, 2007 By Jahan Bakshi

Taare Zameen Par is...well, nice


Okay, okay. Even as ecstatic reviews continue to pour in steadily, I confess that I am far from bowled over by Taare Zameen Par. Maybe it's because while Aamir has controversially gone on record expressing his aversion to Sanjay Leela Bhansali Black calling it manipulative, I couldn't help but sometimes use the very same adjective to describe his own directorial debut.


Maybe it's because I, too like Taare Zameen Par's protagonist Ishaan, went to boarding school when I was eight years old and neither did I find it such a big deal, nor were my teachers boring cliches, uniformly monstrous and unsympathetic, waiting to pounce on me.


Maybe it's because much as I wished it wouldn't happen, Taare Zameen Par did- even if intermittently- fall into that dreaded 'message movie' bracket, and occasionally become simplistic, tiresome and I daresay, even a little forced.


Or is it just darned cynical ol' me- constantly nit-picking and carping- having learned to be critically dispassionate and dispassionately critical, fighting the potential lump in my throat even in the most teary-eyed and horribly sentimental scenes?


Whatever you may think or believe- and I am smiling as I write this- Taare Zameen Par deserves a watch- it is an undoubtedly nice, earnest piece of work, evidently a labor of love- at times brilliant and always likeable.


But if there's one reason for you to watch this film, it is definitely the film's lead actor Darsheel Safary- admirably and unflinchingly given top billing in the film's casting credits by Aamir, and deservedly so. This guy is a little wonder, superbly and confidently carrying the film on his shoulders, and disarmingly natural. Darsheel's definitely one helluva discovery and deserves all the best debutant awards next year for his poignant performance- move over Ranbir Kapoor and Neil Mukesh.


Aamir, meanwhile settles in nicely in a supporting role, and effortlessly plays warm mentor to Darsheel. He is, despite a somewhat flat character, rather pleasing to watch- that is, except when he launches into one of those embarrassing monologues. The rest of the cast is either cardboard or over-the-top, saddled with caricaturist characters save for Tisca Chopra, who is wonderfully tender as the child protagonist's mother, despite her underwritten role.


Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is bang on once again after Johnny Gaddaar, and though there are a tad too many songs in the film, they all play out pretty well, flowing gently with the narrative- laced with Prasoon Joshi's luminous, heart-rending lyrics.


Finally, Aamir makes an impressive director- he may not be our very own George Clooney- not yet- but he has serious potential to be a force to reckon with. The moments in the film he has handled best are the most intimate, showcasing lovely, unforgettable images of innocence, of childhood- images that we have all been a part of, images that truly stay etched in the mind.


It is these very pictures so beautifully painted by Aamir and writer- creative director Amole Gupte that make Taare Zameen Par special, for they are the ones that truly reminded me of a time long past- a time before I turned into cynical ol' me.


Jahan Bakshi

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