Friday, January 18, 2008

Star Light Star Bright

Clearly, Indian movies are moving in the right direction: Forward. Taare Zameen Par stands testimony to this fact.

Movies that are takes on Bollywood, that are larger than life, that don't make sense: we've seen them all this year. The best was, indeed, saved for the very last.This was the very first time in all my life that I watched a movie on the very first day of its release. It is probably a regular affair for most people, but I have never been able to do this before. I went in with very high expectations knowing that Aamir Khan wouldn't let me down.

The movie is about how parents and teachers deal with dyslexia. Taare Zameen Par's appeal lies in the "real"ness of it all. There is nothing in the movie that I couldn't relate to. Funny in parts, serious at others, but touching for the entire duration. This is not a funny, feel good movie, but one that makes you think.

Being the daughter of not one, but two, teachers, I have always considered myself very close to the education system in India. My mother taught children who were starting the process (kindergarten) and my father taught those who were completing it (undergrad, grad, doctoral and post doc students). Through my mother, I have known enough and more children who confuse their "b"s and their "d"s, their "p"s and their "q"s. I have seen the parents of these children deal with what was until then unknown to them: dyslexia. I've seen teachers who didn't understand what this was all about and recommending admitting the child to an institute for mentally retarded children. And I've seen parents grapple with the mere thought. All this at a time when information was not widely available as it is today.

Maybe I had some background and so thought this film was great. But then again, maybe not. I think anyone who watches this film can relate to it. In its entirety or in parts. I could dissect this film and talk about the glitches and how it could have been made better. But I think the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. I cried during many scenes and I also noticed many people wiping away tears.

I have had my share of bad experiences at school despite being, for most part, a topper. And I've seen some students get lousy treatment. And many of the children in my school were first generation literates. I can only imagine how traumatic it could have been for them. This film took me back to those days. To a time when my parents threatened to put me in a boarding school if I didn't behave. (God alone knows how much I misbehaved hoping they'd keep their word.) To a time when I wandered the streets after school to reach home two hours after I should have. To a time when my brother and I thought it was a great idea to catch worms in a bottle and name them "Krishna". To a time that should have been the most carefree, yet, in retrospect, seems like the most stressful.

Everyone in the movie has acted so well that it is difficult to move away from the realness of it all. I wonder if there'll be another one that will strike a chord somewhere anytime soon. Great going Aamir. May your tribe increase.


Revathi said...

I will watch it and then comment on it soon. Thanks for the review :)

Revathi said...

Sounds like you did have fun in KVIIT. :)

Pretty Woman said...

indeed, an awesome movie...agreed with every word you said! :) I loved the song 'maa..'

Lipstick said...

ya it was a good movie but don't you think it could have been better edited?

Revathi said...

Watched it. I hope it gets OSCAR, not because Oscar is a big deal, but that may lead to more movies on this concept. It is beyonf Hollywood, genuine, original...
I am going to blog on this movie from a different aspect when i ge ttime.

popsie said...

I absoultely agree with what you have to say. The movie was awesome and Aamir Khan has done a great ob as ever! I can so relate to the movie too, as my mom is trained to and deals with special children(mentally challenged, Dyslexic and Montessori). I have personally interacted with dyslexic kids and hence it helps to understand better.

Aamir Khan rocks!:-)

farah said...

hi raaga,
stumbled onto your blog. went to singing chef too. two great sites, a great personality behind them too, i'm sure.
yup taare zameen par was so good a movie that a movie or two after that paled in comparison.dyselxia was a strong message but even the fast pushy world where we push our kids seemed so familiar. i broke the dam with the song 'maa'.

finding thyself said...

the sad part of Indian movie is that this level of brilliance (commercially viable with a unique story line) occurs sparingly. Hope the tribe increases in leaps and bounds!!! :)