Director: Aamir Khan, Amole Gupte
Writer: Amole Gupte (dialogue & screenplay), Amole Gupte (story)
Stars: Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, Tanay Chheda, Sachet Engineer
Runtime: 165 min
Genre: Drama, Family
Synopsis: Ishaan Awasthi is an eight-year-old whose world is filled with wonders that no one else seems to appreciate; colours, fish, dogs and kites are just not important in the world of adults, who are much more interested in things like homework, marks and neatness. And Ishaan just cannot seem to get anything right in class. When he gets into far more trouble than his parents can handle, he is packed off to a boarding school to ‘be disciplined’. Things are no different at his new school, and Ishaan has to contend with the added trauma of separation from his family. One day a new art teacher bursts onto the scene, Ram Shankar Nikumbh, who infects the students with joy and optimism. He breaks all the rules of ‘how things are done’ by asking them to think, dream and imagine, and all the children respond with enthusiasm, all except Ishaan. Nikumbh soon realizes that Ishaan is very unhappy, and he sets out to discover why. With time, patience and care, he ultimately helps Ishaan find himself.
The Mumbai-based Awasthi family consists of Nandkishore, his wife, Maya, and two sons, Yohan and Ishaan. Both sons attend St. Anthony’s High School where Yohan excels in his studies, but Ishaan does the opposite, having failed in his 3rd standard twice already. His parents continue to be disappointed with his performance, and as a result he hides his report cards from them, often misses school, and keeps to himself all the time. Things get worse when he gets into disagreements and fisticuffs with other children, prompting his father to have him admitted in the New Era Boarding School in distant Panchgani. Even this re-location does not improve Ishaan performance, and the Principal decides to rusticate him. Then a temporary teacher, Ram Shankar Nikumbh is recruited. Ram meets with Ishaan and believes he has a solution that will improve the child’s life – little realizing that Ishaan does not have much of a future as neither his teachers, his friends, and even his parents believe that there is any hope for him.
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