My interest in movies revolving around children first started when I watched Anjali, my all time favorite. After a huge gap, a movie on a defective child plus direction by Aamir Khan really made me to go to the first show itself. My expectations for the movie rose as the main character's name was credited before anyone else, including Aamir.
Ishaan is an inattentive child, lagging from his fellow classmates in studies. He also engages in fights. The initial few symptoms made me to wonder if he's having Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). As time goes by, his problems become severe and he bunks class to prevent being punished by his teache. His parents fearthat he wouldn't be a studious person like his elder brother and send him to a boarding school. The movie which was revolving primarily ard Ishaan, now onwards takes a shift. Here after, it is about how Aamir Khan (art teacher) recongnizes the disorder in Ishaan, Dyslexia, and helps him to overcome it, and in the climax eventually the child succeeds.
The movie doesn't engross you as good as the story promises. The second half is way too lengthy, with Aamir Khan uttering several monologues to bring forth his opinions about non-understanding and demanding parents. He burdens the movie with himself, and cries too much to test our eye glands, unsuccessfully. The moment we realize that Aamir Khan is after Ishaan, we know how it is gonna end, exactly. Too much predictability takes away any further attachment we can have in seeing the success of Ishaan.
The kid acting as Ishaan was terrific. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy do a fantastic job with some slow numbers in the first half. Nothing much to say about the supporting cast, including Aamir.The argument Aamir has that the dyslexic kids do have the rights to study alongside 'normal' kids holds little water after we see what a specially trained and well-aware Aamir can do. Also, instead of addressing the larger problem of undue pressure on children in the present times, the attention in the second half is only on dyslexic kids. Sure, it is not to be taken lightly, with 10-15% of population reported to have it, but I am not sure if it is them (and their parents & teachers) whom Aamir wanted to target this movie for.
With Aamir Khan touted to act in next Mani Ratnam's movie, I wish he had sought an advice or two from the master director on how to take a movie based on a child. Nevertheless, Aamir needs to be applauded for his good intentions.