Mirror Image: Taare Zameen Par (2007)

Amanda Goh reviews Taare Zameen Par (2007), an iconic Bollywood film which tackles themes of childhood and disability.

Amanda Goh
4th November 2019
Image: Youtube

Everyone should be watching Bollywood films. Even if you don't understand it, neither do I, that is what subtitles are for.

For me, Bollywood films encompass a different feeling to Hollywood films. Their films are jam packed with emotions and subtle themes that Hollywood sometimes try but fail to do. While there are a myriad of Bollywood films that would tug on your heartstrings, one of my favourites is Taare Zameen Par (Eng: Like Stars on Earth).

The film celebrates the abilities of children

The film was ahead of its time, produced by Aamir Khan in 2007, it explores the imagination of a dyslexic child, Ishaan,  and his struggle to overcome his disability. Khan not only directs the film with amazing filmography, he also stars in it as an art teacher. The film celebrates the abilities of children.

The way the film is produced, with art and animation scenes coming up from time to time, represents how a kid's mind behaves. It also gives us a tiny glimpse on what dyslexia looks like. While we may never be able to feel the pain and trials of a dyslexic in our life, the film is able to sympathise with those with the disability and gives us more of an open mind to struggles of the disability.

Khan is able to open our eyes to a whole new world

What  makes this film great is that Khan is able to express this disability physically to the world. As we are not able to physically identify someone with a disability like dyslexia, Khan is able to open our eyes to a whole new world. Not only does this film sympathise with those with the disability, it also encourages them to know that they are not alone. Through the bright colours and animations, it also teaches us to show our creative side - to know that grades are not the only thing that is important.

The film raises so much awareness for the issue of dyslexia, prompting more discussions about the illness - especially with parents, schools and activists. It had also changed the way parents had been treating their children.


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