There have been very few attempts by Bollywood to talk about delicate issues. Ashutosh Gowarikar touched upon one very sensitive social issue in Swades. He was the one who had teamed up with Aamir Khan 6 years ago to create Lagaan, which I consider a legendary movie. It was Rakesh Omprakash Mehra who created another gem called Rang De Basanti (with Aamir Khan again). And it is Aamir Khan this time that has created perhaps the best movie of this year – Taare Zameen Par. A maiden directorial venture for him, this movie stands out for the sensitive way it has touched upon its subject.
I read somewhere recently that for a man who believes in perfection, his directorial venture too has to be a success. Aamir has lived up to that notion. He has created a masterpiece. This comes many years after he made the statement that he would never like to produce a movie because he felt that there are too many hassles in producing a Bollywood movie. Today he is the producer of two masterpieces and the director of one of them. How this transformation came about is something one should ask him personally.
I am not wasting any time with the plot synopsis of the movie. I’d rather look at the shortcomings if at all there were any. So far I haven’t found any shortcomings. This looks like an impossible statement. In perhaps all the movies that I have watched, old or new, good or bad, I have found at least a few shortcomings, either technically, in the story or in the performances. To me at least there do not look like any shortcomings that exist in this movie. Can it be the perfect movie ever made in Bollywood? It comes very close to being the perfect movie. Aamir is the perfect teacher who has the ability to understand a child. Tisca Chopra is impressive as a middle class housewife and a mother of two kids. Darsheel Safary can leave you speechless with his role of the dyslexic child Ishaan. Tanay Chheda is the perfect friend of Ishaan.
Oh yes there is a shortcoming. The music – although the music scored by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy is good there are songs that you can afford to skip especially if you’re watching this movie on DVD. However here again there is this one song called Maa which stands out as the perfect tribute to a mother. Somehow I feel this song reflects my relationship with my mother, or maybe I’ve listened to it just a few times till now and also because I am far away from my mother right now so I guess I’m feeling the loneliness and longing for my mother as is expressed in this song.
Every child is special is the message of this movie. But not every movie is special. This one however is special as it brings out the problems of a dyslexic child and helps to create an understanding for his state. It is a question mark over parenthood. Do parents really understand the needs of their children? Or is it that they tend to overlook their special needs and expect them to compete against the rest of the world? Something is wrong and this movie looks to set it right. If the message of this movie goes in the right direction then it would help prevent some of the damage being done to children of similar disabilities.