Like Stars on Earth Review

Number 40 on the top 1000 films of all time is another Indian film: Aamir Khan’s ‘Like Stars on Earth.

What’s it about: Ishaan (Darsheel Safary) is an eight year old dyslexic boy.  Whilst he excels in art, he struggles in literacy, numeracy and physical education.  His family and teachers are unaware that he is dyslexic and so constantly berate and belittle him.  It is only when his art teacher Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) recognises that Ishaan is dyslexic and begins tutoring him to overcome it do things begin to improve.

This film is touching and deals well with a sensitive issue.  Especially in the west, where there’s such an emphasis on children with special educational needs, it was surprising to see the ignorance and hosility displayed by Ishaan’s teachers.  However, this was also quite refreshing and interesting to see.  It was an intriguing change to how these learning orders are perceived and portrayed in the west.  I also really liked the visual style of the film.  To convey Ishaan’s thought process, a lot of animation and claymation was used.  I really liked this.  It was very entertaining and quite a creative way to portray how Ishaan thought about things.

However, the film was punctutated by a number of musical numbers.  I know this is par for the course for Bollywood, but it did stilt up the narrative and made things very, very cheesy.  I also felt Ishaan was quite annoying and unlikeable at times.  Granted, this is understandable, due to his growing frustration at his dyslexia, but this didn’t stop him from irritating me.  I also thought that the ending was quite corny.

Whilst this film dealt well with its sensitive subject matter, I didn’t like the musical numbers which unengaged me from the film and I also felt it was a little cheesy at times.

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