Four days after I first watched Taare Zameen Par, i went to PVR and watched it again by default. Here is what I felt during the course of the film:
1. I cried on three occasions, exactly when Aamir cries on screen. And this was exactly how it went when I watched the film for the first time, too!
2. I thought Aamir had lessened the impact of the first half by concentrating on dyslexia in the second half, and not on how some children just don’t like to study the usual subjects. Upon second viewing, i don’t think it lessened the impact at all. In fact, because of dyslexia, Aamir could romp home the point that children suffering from this can be brought into the mainstream. Also, Aamir was able to tear down his protagonist’s ‘duffer’ image with the ammunition of dyslexia. Otherwise, he would have landed in a moral dilemma: are schools good or bad for children.
3. I felt the first half was quite long and painfully delightful (quite a feat!) the first time round. But this time, i felt it was short and someone had done some very crisp editing where all the boring bits are taken out. And where some seemed to be separate sequences, he’s done a mosaic and inserted them in the song sequences itself. Succinct thinking.
4. Though I wasn’t a duffer at school, i could still relate to the protagonist because Aamir the director takes us inside the mind of 9-year-old Ishaan Awasthi. Close-ups of the puddle in front of his classroom window, swinging on the gate, seeing alphabets dancing in his book… they all make you feel one with him. There’s so much empathy created in his every naughty act, be it bringing his eyes together when his mother says, ‘Ishaan, concentrate!’ to scowling at his father when his mother calls off his dad’s bluff that he’s leaving home because of his bad showing at school.
5. I thought there is room for improvement, particularly in the second half. But on repeat viewing, i felt the film was good as it was, because i felt the film was viewed, reviewed and revised a million times by the perfectionist Aamir, before it made the final cut.
6. Aamir’s idea of getting Ram Madhvani to direct the song ‘Bheja Kum’ which scored on photography and sophistication that you come to expect from TV commercials, was a great way of infusing some excitement into the frames. Similarly, showing Pandey’s documentary on children when the credits roll at the end was a masterstroke. By this, Aamir is saying that Ishaan could be anyone, a Chinese, a Nepali, a rich or a poor child because Ishaan belongs to just one age: Innocence.
7. On a working day, i saw several people dragging themselves out of bed to watch the 10am show at PVR. Some collegegoers were heard saying, “I know many guys like Ishaan who had the same problem man, and i thought they were just dumb!” If the film was an eye-opener to them, their comments were an eye-opener to me.
8. The distributors problem with multiplex owners over TZP and Welcome has helped TZP atleast at all the PVRs in the country at the expense of Welcome. Take my case. I had gone to see Welcome at PVR in the morning, but at the ticket window, i realised there was only one show of Welcome at 10pm. So the man behind the counter handed me a ticket of TZP instead saying, ‘I have only one ticket left.’ With no other option, I bought it… and didn’t regret!