Friday, December 28, 2007

Taare Zameen Par -- A (slightly) different perspective

The recent Hindi movie, Taare Zameen Par, was a refreshing change as far as movies from Bollywood go. It lacks all the loudness of the commercial cinema, and tells its story with a lot of love. Yet, it has the polish of a well made, well produced film -- something that the offbeat, non-commercial movies lack.

The reviews of the movies have mentioned it as a story of the kid who goes through a low and comes out tops thanks to the helping hand provided by his teacher. People find that they could relate to the kid in many ways. I actually had a slightly different experience -- I related just as much, if not more, to the teacher. In many ways, I felt this was a story of the teacher as much of the kid.

A review complained that the teacher having admitted to having dyslexia was a fault of the movie -- where I felt that was the whole facet of the movie that took it to higher level. Just as much it was the story of the child finding his way, it was the story of the teacher in some ways resting his demons. The story of the teacher wasn't developed as well -- but you could see him looking for himself in all the kids he spent time with, and trying to save them the pain he might have had to go through. Finding a child who he felt was a reflection of himself, the teacher finds a path too.

It may well be a viewpoint far removed from the majority of the movie goers. Anyone care to share what they thought?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Random tidbits from Bollywood movies

Some random tidbits you might not know or might not have noticed...

1- Movies "Andaz Apna Apna" and "Mr. India" are related through their principal villains -- or rather their principal villains are related. Crimemast Gogo claims Mogambo to be his uncle ("Mogambo ka bhatija, Crimemaster Gogo!")

2- There is a sequence in the recent movie "Taare Zameen Par" where the kid is daydreaming class, imagining himself to be a space traveler -- a clear rip off of Calvin's alter ego Spaceman Spiff.

3- In "Om Shanti Om", one of the stars who comes in at the premiere is clearly channeling Mithun Chakravorty -- and Mithun himself shows up in a later song in the movie to do the same dance moves.

If you haven't seen "Taare Zameen Par," you should.