Title: Taare Zameen Par
Starring: Amir Khan and a bunch of newcomers
Director: Amir Khan
The theme is certainly new and Amir Khan deserves credit for experimenting with a new topic. This is one of those rare Hindi films that you can watch with the kids since it is sans the usual Bollywood masala.
Amir Khan appears to have gone completely low budget. There is not a single familiar face in the film besides himself! The songs in the film are unnecessary and don’t quite fit in. The film tends to get preachy (reminded me of the tone of the film Swades) at times. Parts of the film are really slow and could certainly have been “speeded up”. Amir Khan the teacher confronts parents and lectures them about not pushing kids to excel. It would have made a lot of sense to explore and discuss the issue (like Amitabh and Om Puri discuss communal tensions in Dev) in as much detail as possible because in reality it is easier said than done. Also, it might have been far more powerful if the teacher’s past had been explained in greater detail. How did it work for him? How did he adjust to growing up with dyslexia?
Darsheel Safary, the child actor who plays the lead role as Ishaan Awasthi has put in a fine performance. The Director has done well to capture his emotions even with minimal dialogues. For a directorial debut, Amir Khan has certainly done well despite the weaknesses in the film. While by no means a “must see” film, it is certainly watchable.