This film brought me to tears. Several times. The misunderstood child breaks my heart thanks to the experience I’ve had with my own daughters.
* I am writing the review while watching the film, so follow along.
This story is not one for young children though my 8 yr old daughter did enjoy the music. It is hard not to identify with the mother in this movie as she battles with her own lack of understanding in why her son can’t learn what seems to come very easily for her older son. When it is finally suggested that her son has a learning problem, she is overridden by her husband who refused to have a “retarded” son. His words, not mine.
I cannot say enough about the actor who plays Ishaan. His emotions are extremely clear and express a wide range from frustration to rage and pure joy. He is ridiculed by everyone. His peers, his teachers and his father.
Every new teacher seems to only serve to further demean him and I’m hurt to think there are teachers like these in the world even though I believe my own daughter had a teacher like this last year.
It wasn’t until this last year that I found out dyslexia isn’t just about seeing letters backwards. It is letters moving, dancing, and not remaining in a still position. This movie depicts this in a really clear way that anyone without the disorder can see and understand. At several places in the movie, whatever it is that he is trying to read, from a book to the classroom chalkboard, the letters and numbers dance around in front of him.
I’m hoping it gets happier soon, because I’m feeling hopeless for this poor boy. Maybe it is too close to my own story with my daughter?
Okay…. finally, the happy part! The new art teacher ( I think maybe he was on Oprah recently) gets the class singing and dancing, but it looks to to be too late for our sad and emotionally detached Ishaan who simply stares at his desk top through the whole dance sequence despite the instructions for limitless art.
Oh, I have not mentioned that art is this boy’s one saving grace. The walls of his room at home are covered in artwork. His brother buys him paints and it is the one thing he is accepted for and accelerates at.
There are so many details to this movie that even if I told you the whole plot, I doubt I could ruin it for you.
Basically the new art teacher turns out to be someone who works with children like Ishaan and who once was a child with similar problems (I think). Did I mention the art teacher is really cute? He is.
The story evolves and addresses not only the emotional struggles of the child and his family, but the legal and educational ones as well. Okay, so I’m smiling now through my tears. There seems to be hope……..
Indeed, just like a typical Disney movie, all ends well. The boy gets help and his father comes to understand how special his son really is.
The most important lesson? The boy learns how special he is regardless of what everyone else thinks, or in spite of it.
STREET DATE: January 12, 2010
Pricing: US: $29.99 SRP; Canada: $35.99 SRP
Feature run time: Approximately 165 minutes
Languages: English and Hindi; English and Hindi subtitles
US Rating: PG, For Thematic Material, Brief Violence And Language
Canadian Rating: G
You can buy this 3 dvd set next week (01/12/10), but you can also win one copy here!