Recently, there have been lots of rumours that last year’s smash Bollywood blockbuster Taare Zameen Par is going to be remade in Tamil. This is not in the least surprising because the story and message in TZP is universal and it can be remade with ease in any language and, in fact, such a move was expected. What will be interesting to see is the cast and crew since a movie like TZP practically rides on the shoulders of the entire cast. With Aamir Khan proposed to be producer, we can expect him to make all the right decisions to make TZP a hit in tamil just as he did with the Hindi version. Before any official announcements are made, I wanted to take a closer look at who the cast and crew for the Tamil version of TZP should be comprised of.

The whole business of a remake started with a rumoured meeting between Aamir and Cheran in Mumbai, so no second guesses as to who the director will be. I guess Cheran fits the bill perfectly. There are a lot of subtle emotions in Taare Zameen Par and with the way Cheran has handled such movies in the past with Autograph and Thavamaai Thavamirindhu, he should have no problems dealing with the emotional depth present in the movie and presenting it in a realistic way.

Arguably the second most important character in TZP was that of Aamir Khan’s and it has been rumoured that it would be either Vikram or Surya in that role. Being a Surya fan myself I would definitely like to see him in that role. But Surya’s already got his hands full with Vaaranam Aayiram after which he moves on to do an AVM film and also a film rumoured to be with Murugadoss. However, even from a neutral perspective I think Surya would work better for this role than Vikram for a number of reasons. Plus, Aamir owes Surya for Ghajini, so I think he would be keen to return the favour.

The other important characters are that of the mother and the father. I have already raved about the splendid performance given by Tisca Chopra as the mother in various places so I think it would be quite a task to fill her shoes. The name that immediatly comes to mind is Charanya. She would be a nice choice for the role given that she has played mother roles in both Thavamaai Thavamirindhu and Emttan Magan. The role of the father is slightly more difficult, however. Vipin Sharma played it ideally being tough and rude in the earlier portions of the movie and bringing out his emotions ideally when he noticed his son’s transformation in the later parts of the movie. Again, Rajkiran crops up in mind when thinking about a father figure since he has played such roles in the past. I also heard that Nasser’s performance in Emmtan Magan was very good and it was very similar to this role, so he would also be a good choice.

Most important of all, I think the role played by Darsheel Safary is being lost in the news about Surya or Vikram playing Aamir’s role. There is not a single child actor currently in tamil cinema who can play that role as well as Darsheel did. I have seen very few great child performances in the past — Kamal in Kalathur Kannama, Baby Shyamili in Anjali, Keerthana in Kannathil Muthamittal and the child who played deaf and dumb in Poovizhi Vaasalile (would’ve been ideal for this movie) are a few that immediatly come to mind. Darsheel’s performance was as good if not better than any of those roles and it would take a lot of effort to extract such a performance from another child actor. My choice would be for Darsheel to act in the Tamil version as well, though my guess is as good as anyone else’s at the moment.

Rounding it off, there are still many gaps left to be filled if Taare Zameen Par has to reach to both the classes and the masses. The music director is very important given how good Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music was in the original and that combined with soulful lyrics from Prasson Joshi made the songs a treat to listen to. Another important but unsung hero in the original was the dialogue writer who should have been given the filmfare award for his excellent dialogues. All these roles have to be cast perfectly in order to get the combination just right.

Of course, all of these are just my ideal choices and as I said, they are all wild guesses at the moment. The idea of remaking Taare Zameen Par in Tamil is a very good one. Cheran himself stated that the message is universal and such a movie in Tamil would take a message intended for the class audience and give it a wider reach by bringing it to towns and villages which wouldn’t be bad at all. Now, the long wait begins for the official announcement to be made.