The makers of TZP say that it's a movie which should be watched by the kids and parents together. Well, seems likes most people in town took the advice quite seriously. They arrived in hordes, armed with - Prams, Pampers, Pacifiers, Nannies, Grandparents et al. Nothing and no one was left behind. The entire paraphernalia that goes into raising a piddly little kid, had descended for the 4.15pm Saturday show.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I like kids (as long as I am not asked to play/talk with them). Kids look cute on a playground - jumping with joy awaiting their turn to go down a slide. Kids look cute in a Kindergarten – with neat uniforms & water bottle hanging around their neck. These are the places where a kid truly belongs. But a movie theatre ? That's one place where kids should be banned from entering, ever. What kind of sadist parents decide to put their kids through an ordeal, by making them sit for well over 3 hours in a big dark room amidst total strangers ? Little wonder that these kids, the moment the lights goes off, freak out and scream their guts off in an attempt to flee to the safety of world outside, with all of its bright lights, candies and ice-cream.
"Every child is special" exhorts the tagline of TZP. When I sat down to watch TZP along with screaming and whimpering bunch of fledglings, I felt the tag line should read - "Every child is a rascal" ( "Can somebody please take them out ? I got a movie to watch & review" ) Alas! my silent pleas were met with more high pitched screeching & crying. I grudgingly shut them out of my mind & shifted my attention to the story unfolding on the screen.
TZP is a movie with a heart & message. (And) a very dangerous message at that, depending on how you interpret it. After watching this movie, kids will have an extremely smart excuse for flunking in studies..
"But mamma, can't you see I am dyslexic, like Ishaan in TZP.."
"It’s not my fault. If anyone, blame the flawed genes that you and dad passed on to me."
"Can we watch TZP again now, but before that, Please sign this report card"
So my friendly warning to all parents out there - If your kid doesn't suffer from dyslexia and is just plain dumb & idiot, DON'T let them watch this movie.
Now about the movie proper, it does well in driving home the plight of dyslexic kids. Darsheel Safary (all of 11 years) has enacted his role with just the right dose of innocence, restraint, and touch of naughtiness. The scene which stood out for me, is when, after having a fight with a neighbourhood bully, he scampers up onto the terrace and is seen breaking into sobs, quickly followed by seething rage. Waxing and waning between tears of helplessness interspersed with anger, Darsheel handles these these two extremes of emotions quite effortlessly . I am afraid, I can't pass any compliments to Aamir Khan. I found him a wee bit gimmicky, with just a touch of extra (artifical) zing in his portrayal of a sensitive & bubbly arts teacher. Throughout the movie, he has this patent look : creased forehead, crooked raised eyebrows, dimpled smile, twitching nose and the "Look maa, am so cute and nice" kind of bemused stupid expression (think Akshaye Khanna).
The film flounders aimlessly at times, driving the same point over and over again. The characters are well established, so why not move on with the story ? We are shown Aamir Khan, travelling in a bus, helping a fellow passenger change her kid’s nappies.. (what for ? by now we know that he is a nice guy, so why go for the overkill ?) Another scene he is seen taking pity at a kid working in a Dhabba and treats him with tea and biscuits.. By all means you are a good guy Aamir, and you are the bloody director/producer of the movie as well, but if I was the editor, I would have mercilessly cut these and few more superfluous & indulgent scenes from the movie.
As the credits rolled up, I saw the 50-plus uncle sitting next to me, wiping tears with his shirt sleeve. While walking out of the theatre, I overheard 2 guys (in their early 20s) saying "Ladke ne kyaa acting kiyaa hein yaar, I cried at so many scenes", his friend nodded in agreement , "Haan yaar, I also cried" . Now if a movie can make (seemingly non-sissy) grown up men cry, then surely the movie has succeeded at some (or rather many) levels.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Ubermensch asked me to pick one photograph (snapped in 2 0 0 7) which occupies a special place in my heart, and I did just that. As you can see, I have put up two snaps instead of one. Of course, I have very good reasons to bend the rules of this meme (btw, I sill don't know the real meaning of this word. Just keep hearing it in blogosphere. Never heard anyone in real life using this word while talking. I am not too fond of learning words which don't figure in everyday conversation).
Okay, so why two pics ? It's because one would be incomplete without the other. The blue house belongs to my mum. Most of my school vacations were spent in this house. My visits to our native place became less frequent after my grandmother passed away. She was the nucleus of the joint family, with her being the lone survivor amongst the first generation dwellers of this house. After her, the house got divided in fractions (as it happens with most 2nd generation households). This November, I went there after almost 10 to 12 years. The house is now in a progressive stage of decay. It doesn't feel like a unified unit now. The people staying there appear to me as mere cohabitants and not family members. I didn't stay there this time round. Just visited as a guest, snapped few photographs for posterity, exchanged few "Ohhh those were the days" kind of conversation and walked away like a stranger, totally bereft of any feelings. With the passage of time, I don't know if it's me who has died a little or whether the charm, that this house once possessed, has vanished. I didn't feel anything. And to think, there was a time when we cried unabashedly (all 3 of us - me, my sis & mum) while boarding the bus, heading back to Mumbai, after a month long vacation.
Coming to the 2nd pic, this rather dour looking house with reddish brown facade belongs to my dad. I don't have many memories associated with this house. As you can see, it's quite modest compared to the sprawling house of my mum. Naturally ,we preferred staying at our mum's place more than at dad's place. My grandparents from dad's side passed away while I was still a toddler. After them, this house has more or less been locked up. My dad had spruced up the house with the hopes of staying there after retirement. But along with retirement, came the usual set of ailments which prevented him from realising his one final dream. In May 2005, he spent about a week or two in this house. Within 2 months after returning from that trip, he passed away. It would have been nice if he had had more time to re-connect with the place where he grew up as a kid.
Anyways, this is what makes these 2 pics very special for me. These are my roots.
p.s. : I am bit uncomfortable with the whole passing-the-tag-business, so I won't name anyone in particular to take this thing forward. But, please feel free to be inspired by this concept and put up a special photograph from your own 2007-collection. It's that time of the year, when its perfectly acceptable to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. Don't worry I've got a box of tissues ready, just in case..