ReviewWriter: JanakWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Black", "Lagaan", "Guru", "Kal Ho Na Ho"
"Taare Zameen Par" (Little Stars on Earth) is a heartwarming story about a nine-year-old boy named Ishaan Awasti (Darsheel Safary) who, unlike other kids in school, finds it difficult to read and write. He is often made fun of by his teachers and friends. Even his father, Awasti (Vipin Sharma), and mother, Maya Awasti (Tisca Chopra), are unable to understand Ishaan's problem. The only consolation Ishaan gets is from his love of drawing, and also from his elder brother, Yohaan (Sachet Engineer) who helps him with his hobby. Soon, Ishaan's parents decide to send him at a boarding school, thinking that this will help their child to improve.
Left alone at the boarding school, Ishaan shuts himself from the world. He even starts to dislike drawing. Deep inside, Ishaan feels that the world is like a punishment for him. Nobody understands what Ishaan's problem is. However, just as everything is about to get worse, a temporary art teacher named Ram Nikumb Shankar (Aamir Khan) comes into his life. Ram also happens to be in the same boat as Ishaan when he was young. Ram takes a different approach with the dyslexic Ishaan and uncovers a special talent in him.
The only things that matter now are whether Ishaan is ready face the world again; whether Ishaan's parents will accept their child's problem; and whether will Ram succeed in bringing out the real Ishaan before it's too late?
"Taare Zameen Par" is the first directorial effort by Aamir Khan who is the producer as well. Aamir was famous for his romantic roles but lately, after taking over from his father as a producer in 2000, he has started to focus on feel-good movies rather than commercial cinema. Shahrukh Khan, another Bollywood mega star, seems to prefer commercial cinema.
This movie has just six actors who perform their roles wonderfully. From the angry father and emotional mother to the devoted teacher, every character is well written and portrayed.
Like all Hindi movies, the plot is rather predictable. There are beautiful views of Shimla, shot through the mountains, but most of the scenes are focused on Ishaan's life. Children will love the effects, though. This is because the director uses a lot of drawings and animation to project the kids' point of view.
The flaws in this movie are the songs and the pace of the story in the first half. Even though, most of the songs do not have dancing sequences, they should have just reduced the number of songs as they can be quite disturbing at times. Also, the first half of the film is rather slow and boring and it looks like the story is not going anywhere at all. However, the pace picks up with the arrival of Ram.
As we leave the cinema, two scenes will linger in our minds: One is when Ishaan's father, Awasti, goes to the boarding school to meet Ram and tells him that parents do care for their child (by checking about their child's problem on the Internet and find more about dyslexia) and Ram's perception and concern for his ward. There is also a list of famous people who are dyslexic, providing inspiration to parents of children with such a problem.
Overall, director Aamir Khan has done a marvelous job here. The movie is superb and I won't be surprised if it wins a lot of praises from both India and overseas. There are a lot of moral values to be learnt from this movie as well, especially for those with families.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008