My Take on the Movie EVERY CHILD IS SPECIAL also entitled LIKE STARS ON EARTH

Every Child is Special

After more than a two years of telling myself, I finally got to watch this movie. I had always wanted to watch this after all the good reviews my friends told me about this but what really got me more interested was after I watched Aamir Khan in Three Idiots. It was a really nice movie but that’s for another time.

Taare Zameen Par or Like Stars on Earth (Walt Disney’s title) or Every Child is Special is a 2007 Bollywood movie about an 8 year old kid named Ishaan Awasthi.

An eight year old boy is thought to be lazy and a troublemaker, until the new art teacher has the patience and compassion to discover the real problem behind his struggles in school.

IMDB

Here is a more comprehensive summary, beware of spoilers below.

Every Child is Special is a Hindi films directed by Amir Khan .The story is about an 8-year-old boy named Ishaan who cannot cope with the academic demands in school. He once complained that The letters are dancing!” when he was asked to read. Teacher threw him out of the class and the students who passed by the hall mocked him for being punished. Moreover, Ishaanreversed letters when he wrote and demonstrated a poor understanding of mathematical concepts. Sometimes if he commits mistakes everybody laughs at him or will shout on him just like what his father or even his mother did. He always find ways to laugh after evrybody laugh bout what his diong. He was at the risk of repeating a grade level again because of his poor scholastic performance.Too often, he may be caught by his teacher daydreaming and getting low grades.

Ishaan began to evade homework and cutting classes because of his discouragement over his failings. Sometimes his father shouts and doing harsh against Ishaan. When his teachers advised his parents to avail of special education services, his family decided to send him to a boarding school instead in the hopes that the highly structured environment will straighten out his “behavioral problems”. But the academic status of Ishaan was not improve. Alternatively, he became withdrawn and lonely, far from the Ishaan who was active and fun-loving.

Ishaan continued struggling with the same problems in his new school. When he was finally on the brink of suicide,Then came an alternative art teacher Ram Nikumbh discovered that he had dyslexia and consequently turned his life around. Ram Nikumbh change the best way Ishaan would act towards school and figure out how to appreciate himself even more, his art teacher who pay attention to Ishaan and to understand Ishaan whom his parents never finds what ishaan is.
Towards the end of the school year Nikumbh organises an art fair for the staff and students. The competition is judged by artist Lalita Laimi, who portrays herself in the film. Ishaan, with his strikingly creative style, is declared the winner and Nikumbh, who paints Ishaan’s portrait, the runner-up. When Ishaan’s parents meet his teachers on the last day of school they are left speechless by the transformation they see in him. Overcome with emotion, Ishaan’s father thanks Nikumbh. As Ishaan is getting into the car to leave with his parents, he turns around and runs toward Nikumbh. The film ends with a freeze frame shot of Nikumbh tossing Ishaan into the air.

The first 30-45 minutes (it is a two and a half hour movie) kind of bored me but that’s more because there wasn’t much in it except showing that Ishaan had great trouble coping up with his studies. The story got interesting after he was sent to the boarding school and later on Ram appeared in the picture. From then on you’d better prepare your box of tissue besides you. No kidding. I’m not quite certain if its because of Aamir’s teary eyes or the story itself. Whatever it was, the story starts taking shape from there. You get to see a clear picture of what the real plot is and the true story of the kid’s inner struggle.

The teacher-student relationship here is just so heart warming. In fact, it’s more touching than Ishaan’s relationship with his parents.

The Characters and Actors

Let us start with the kid, Ishaan, who was played by Darsheel Safary. At first, I didn’t know whether to hate the kid or love the actor. The glare was most certainly a true glare made by any kids. But it kind of disturbed me when he starts to cry at first however, that changes later on, when I find myself pitying him when he starts to cry. My first impression of the character was that of a rowdy kid who uses fighting to settle things which, I’m apparently totally mistaken. Ishaan’s character was actually well written. Here we see a typical kid with a not-so typical dilemma but coping in the most expected way an 8 eight year old would.

Ram, played by Aamir Khan, is your everyday ideal teacher with just the right amount of wit to make a class so interesting and with the ever flowing compassion towards a struggling kid, whether his students or not. In every sense of the word, Ram’s character was made to fit what a teacher truly is, a person who teaches and that it includes teaching even the parents. Without any words, with just his facial expression and eyes, you will feel the overwhelming emotions that his character is trying to convey. Truly an amazing skill as expected from such an amazing actor.

At first, my impression on Ishaan’s Mother was that of a strict one that wants her son to be all prim and proper. But that soon changed after they went to Ishaan’s school to talk with the principal and the teachers. Here I came to realize that although she is as strict like all mothers, she is also a caring one who just wants what’s right for her children. The hard thing about her role is that she is also a wife who is expected to be obedient to her husband.

Ishaan’s father, on the other hand, is a stubborn man who wanted the perfect son and drives both of his sons to do so. In pushing his sons he becomes blinded to their true needs. Although he was not the most compassionate father figure, you will still feel pity and compassion when he starts to see just how wrong he is.

Ishaan’s brother is the complete of opposite of Ishaan at the start. He is the ideal son, top of the class, never has problem with teachers and schoolmates, ever gets in trouble, very good at badminton, and obedient to his parents. Later on, you will also see a brother who truly cares for his younger sibling no matter what his imperfection is.

The Plot

This is truly a masterpiece with its unique storyline and natural traits of each of its characters. It is a fine piece of entertainment with a moral lesson, a witty yet heart warming drama, it’s a musical play but with strong script, it’s animation for people of all ages, and it’s a slice of life story without removing the la la land aspect. Overall, this is one of the must-see movie of all time.

With numerous awards and hitting box office, it is hard to believe that this is Aamir Khan’s directorial debut.

Every Child is Special Ishaan painting

If you hadn’t seen it yet, you can watch the full movie below.

DUMB and GENIUS hopes you enjoyed your time here ^-^

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