Taare Zameen Par : First Reaction

Watched it yesternight.

Very feel-good, PC and well made. Very useful message too. Pretty much nobody will “disagree” with the movie.

BUT, as moviemaking goes : (warning – may give away parts of the story – but this was more a treatment-movie than a story-one)

Story handled at a pretty superficial level.
No characters apart from the kids really developed at all.
Dyslexia was the easiest way out – there are lots of kids that need hearing/handling in a similar situation without dyslexia.
Not everyone else is usually that “black” vs the art teachers “white”. No real grays, esp in Aamir K’s character. No self-doubt, no reflection.
The teachers were essentially caricatures. Also, no real reason they/principal/school changed that much.
Kid himself changed too easily, too dramatically, but this is possible.
Most new-age parents (the internet toting, high pressure go-getters that the couple were shown as) at least pay lip service to “no-pressure-education”. These seemed too clueless. The bigger problem is the actual fears/anxieties below the surface where despite the lip service, parents cannot really let-go. Not even scratched this angle.
Not one other sympathetic kid/teacher in the Mumbai school! I’m sure the place isnt that heartless 🙂
Dialogues were verrry documentary like – sermons, almost.
Art competition : seemed too orchestrated yet predictable, and the kid didnt necessarily have to win it. Non-dyslexic kids could also win it, after all. And almost seemed like the whole thing was a setup to let him win. Wouldnt the other kids might have gotten a -ve message out of that!? A “gallery” of the most appreciated ones may have been a better idea, for instance.

It was a very good movie cause it’ll make ppl pause at least once to start focusing on what the kid they deal with is thinking of. But the dyslexia angle took away from some of that. Normal kids have egos too, get hurt/rebellious too, also have multiple intelligences that need focusing on rather than a unidimensional stress on “expected performance” too. In fact, there is a lesson somewhere in it for all of us to stop letting the world decide the LHS of our lives’ report cards.

All in all, a powerful concept, badly written script, well executed and heart-tugging, and a huge lost opportunity.

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