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Taare Zameen Par January 4, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Aamir Khan, art, Bollywood, Culture, Entertainment, Films, Hindi films 2008, india, Movies, Reviews, Taare Zameen Par, Writing.
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So, Aamir Khan has made his debut as a director. With Taare Zameen Par or TZP.

I saw it in a multiplex, in Delhi, with a family that has 2 kids, daughters, elder Jayati around 7 and younger Bhavya (the terror) around 3. Their parents were eager to watch the film, but also apprehensive, because of the dark roller-coaster playground, the theater becomes, for their kids and also to others. Demands, complaints, questions, impatience, food, kerchiefs etc that are the very pillars of the age of innocence.

So in we went and the film played itself out.

The kids, to everybody’s surprise, were silent. Till the very end. Did they cry? I don’t know. Bhavya briefly, lost focus, but was back, glued to the happenings. The parents were happy that they could finally watch a film…without any interruptions from their kids. A red letter day almost.

There were a few lumpy moments. Darsheel was good and so was Aamir.

What was I hoping when I went to see TZP? This question, if answered correctly, could lead me to a correct analysis of the film and its director, I thought.

For this we need to go back a bit and analyse the man behind the camera…Aamir.

Aamir the interferer. Aamir the nit-picker. Aamir the perfectionist. Aamir the irritant. Aamir the grandly deluded etc etc. Most directors with whom he has worked, have a tale to tell. About his penchant for perfection. How he irritates them no end.

Will Aamir who is so obsessed with being right, perfect, bang-on be able to find the mean? Will he able to direct himself without losing focus? Will his craft-obsession be the cause of his downfall? Most industry-wallas, I am sure went and watched the film to see him fall. The critics sharpened their pens, pencils and alas, the keyboard nowadays. All in anticipation for the man to falter so that they can wreck vengeance on the man with too high a standard.

But TZP has managed to hold on to itself. The family audience, the very pillar of a films success is going, crying and recommending it in droves.

People ask me if I cried during the screening as if an affirmative answer would somehow humanise me.

It is a sensitive film.

It doesn’t assault us with the hated kid character, so long a staple of popular Bollywood enterprises.

It doesn’t speak down to the audience.

A well-made film certainly. Not a great film.

Why?

Because there is almost ZERO relationship between the teacher, played by Aamir Khan and the dyslexic kid. He diagnoses the kid’s problem and solves it. Not like Little Man Tate or even the facile relationship that Wolverine has with Rogue in X-Men. Darsheel and Aamir don’t have a single teacher-student relationship. Busy with pinning and slamming the boy’s father with guilt, the entire chapter of the boy reganing his confidence, spirit and sense of self, was either explained away in songs or…IT IS NOT THERE. Only if…or will we see a redux edition some time later…?

What was Aamir’s confidante at the School, the young girl, doing? Why was she there?

I am a nit picker as is obvious. But kudos to Aamir for making the film. Without trying to run it on his own steam, like a megalomaniac…and sometimes O.K is enough.

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