Taare Zameen Par tells a story of an 8 year-old boy called Ishaan Awasthi… He might seem to you like a lazy, naughty boy at first but it is not the case, believe me. Things may turn out to be completely different, don’t let prejudice blind you.
The movie starts with a beautiful, colorful claymation (animation made with clay) which I think was new for a Bollywood movie. (It is interesting and nice but it is a bit long so I lost my enthusiasm about watching it halfway through.)
In the first part, we learn about Ishaan’s life. He is a very talented in drawing pictures but it seems like he is a very bad student in the classroom because he usually day-dreams during classes and exams. He may look like an ordinary child dreaming about things in colorful pictures but we slightly sense that Ishaan goes a bit deeper than an ordinary dreaming.
Also he is not a well behaving kid at home but not because he is simply naughty or spoiled, because he can not really fit in with his friends or act like his elder brother who can be set as example of a perfect son.
To fix this problem, Ishaan’s family (especially his father) becomes more strict and tough but it doesn’t work as his father thinks. That’s why they send him to a boarding school, thinking this will sort out the discipline issue.
In the boarding school, watching him becoming more and more isolated and depressed is very sad. He can not cope with the lessons, teachers act tougher than his previous ones. He looses his self-confidence and at a point we even think that he considers jumping out of balcony, just for a moment…
But then a temporary teacher arrives for art class. He realizes that Ishaan is dyslexic and this changes the whole scenery. With Ishaan and his family, we start to learn what dyslexia is and we start to understand why he acted that way, did those certain things.
This is a great movie because we learn dyslexia from eyes of a dyslexic person. We understand that it is not a disease or a terrible defect that makes these people abnormal; but it is a different way of seeing life. There are many dyslexic people around us and after hanging around with Ishaan, we simply understand and accept the differences.
I wish this movie could be shown to teachers and students in the schools. Maybe as a result, teachers could identify dyslectic students easier and direct them and their families to help before kids struggle a lot. Also maybe their friends would be less prejudiced against their dyslectic friends and let them be in their groups.
There can be only one negative comment about this movie: as Bollywood fans, we are used to long movies but this one is a bit too long, it is 165 minutes. But still, I should say, seeing Ishaan’s achievement and happiness at the end, it is worth it :)