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24 September 2014
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Taare Zameen Par
Director: Aamir Khan
Cast:
Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Vipin Sharma, Tisca Chopra
Information:
Contains mild language, violence and some emotional scenes
Length:
165 mins
Release:
21 December 2007 by UTV Motion Pictures
pg certcamera
Darsheel Safary and Aamir Khan
Darsheel Safary and Aamir Khan

"Stars shine for debut director Aamir Khan."

Star film rating
Star film rating

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This poignant drama revolves around an eight-year-old Ishaan, who is unaware that he is dyslexic.

He is constantly being told off by his parents and teachers for his lack of interest in his studies.

Fed up and unable to cope with Ishaan's erratic behaviour and attitude, his parents send him to a boarding school to be 'disciplined'.

Realising life is no better in his new environment, Ishaan tries to overcome the trauma of family separation and, in so doing, fails to concentrate in his studies.

But life changes for the better when Ram Nikumbh (Aamir), a temporary relief teacher with 'special needs experience' enters his life.

With Nikumbh's help and guidance, Ishaan is able to regain his self-confidence and overcome a disability which his parents were unaware of.

Debut director Aamir Khan not only depicts Ishaan's dyslexia with sensitivity, but also takes an emotional look at life as a child being ridiculed by an ignorant world.

Khan focuses on many memorable, tear-jerking moments, keeping you focused throughout the film - what a great achievement for a debut director!

One scene, in which Ishaan is taken to the boarding school against his wishes, particularly touches your emotions. He makes a flip-booklet depicting a family with one child going away as the pages turn. This is a brilliant example of one of many great and touching moments in the film.

Such scenes show yet again, the talents of an upcoming director like Khan, who concentrates on the actual theme rather than style and gloss, unlike many contemporary Hindi films.

Young Darsheel Safary is the real star of the film and there is no doubt about that.

But credit equally goes to director Khan for extracting the right emotions from this child actor whether it is frustration, loneliness, hurt or rejection experienced by Ishaan.

Vipin Sharma effectively portrays Ishaan's strict, short-tempered father who finds it difficult to accept the fact his child is suffering from dyslexia when Nikumbh reveals the truth.

Actress Tisca Chopra plays the confused but caring mum of Ishaan with sincerity.

One minor point to note about the film is the fact that Nikumbh himself confesses of suffering from dyslexia, giving you the impression that only the ones who have been through this medical condition can sympathise with other sufferers.

But in reality this is not the case because there are many schools who specialise in dyslexia. There are also medical professionals who monitor children suffering from the same from an early age with compassion and care giving full support to such individuals.

On the whole, Taare Zameen Par (meaning stars on earth) touches your heart and moves you deeply with its sterling performances. A film full of substance!

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Reviewed by Manish Gajjar
BBC Bollywood Correspondent
   
 
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