Planet Bollywood
Taare Zameen Par
Producer: Aamir Khan
Director: Aamir Khan
Starring: Aamir Khan, Tanay Chheda, Darsheel Safary, and Tisca Chopra
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Shailendra Barve (Guest)
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi and Amole Gupte (Guest)
Release Date: 21 December 2007
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“My choice of films is governed by my heart and instinct. I’m not governed by what the market demands” (Aamir Khan)

He may be a very private person off screen and against media attention but who can doubt Aamir Khan’s acting abilities? For many of us, what makes him stand out compared to other actors is that he is very selective in the movies he appears in. This means that he makes fewer movies. However those he does star in turn out to be award winning on many fronts. I mean the guy is a perfectionist!

So when this hugely talented actor launches his own movie house ‘Aamir Khan Productions’ and at the same time marks his directorial debut in ‘Taare Zameen Par’, you have to take note. But what’s this fascinating theme that has inspired him to mark his debut? Well the movie has been billed as ‘a sensitive portrayal of childhood’ based on one man’s experience of working with children for 7 years. That man is Amole Gupte, an actor himself but also a close friend of Aamir Khan (for 25 years) who is the brain behind the movie (writer).

The story revolves around a teacher’s (Aamir Khan) relationship with his pupils, in particular a dyslexic pupil (Darsheel Safary) and a candid perspective of their interactions and behavior as seen through their eyes in their world.

Amole Gupte was originally the director too with Aamir’s involvement limited to lead actor/producer. However after only a single week into the shooting he (Aamir Khan) saw what was to his eyes, a product not conquering his perfectionist approach.

Hence, he quickly moved to drop out of the movie altogether (in the nicest way possible, after all they both go back 25 years) only for Amole to offer the directorship to his friend in a last bid effort to keep his involvement intact. Aamir accepted and well, only time will tell if it was the right decision.

Early signs are quite promising; for example, Aamir has already praised the entire cast including debutant Darsheel Safary (lead child actor) for his impact and if the recently released TZP soundtrack (by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) is anything to go by, this will be a special movie. Indeed the music shines from start to finish and only adds to heighten expectations for the on screen production.

One can see and hear the impact of Aamir (and in particular Amole) on the music production which together with the movie is based on real life research of what childhood means from the perspective of those in the know i.e. children/parents/ teachers etc. The foundations are thus clearly laid but how good will his acting and directorial be? Can he take the pressure and aspire for perfection with all three roles? Well if anybody can do it, it’s Aamir Khan, the star to some of our favorite flicks of this century thus far including Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti and Fanaa.

Here’s hoping TZP follows suit, if nothing else than for the common goal of the movie which is to enhance our own sensitivity towards children and maybe, just maybe rekindle our own childhood in the process. After all, can anything beat being a kid? Is there anything more rewarding and satisfying in life than seeing children happy?

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