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DVD Review: "Like Stars On Earth"

By It's My Life on January 26, 2010 1:20 PM | No TrackBacks

When you head to the video store to rent a DVD, where do you go first? The "New Releases" section? The section devoted to your favorite genre, like Horror, Musicals, or TV? Do you pick new DVD's to watch based on what your friends have seen or current ad campaigns? Sometimes it's fun to just browse the aisles and see what pops out at you.

likestarsonearth.jpgEven with all that, you might miss movies such as "Like Stars On Earth," which was recently released on DVD by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Technically, it's a "foreign film," because it was produced in India and yes, much of the movie is in Hindi with English subtitles. But this is the kind of flick where that stuff doesn't really matter; the story and themes are universal. Plus, we love films that give us a glimpse of what it's like to grow up in a different culture.

In "Like Stars On Earth," 8-year-old Ishaan is not having an easy time of it. He struggles with reading and schoolwork in general, while nobody seems to see some of the wonderful, magical things he does in everyday life. His parents love him but don't understand why he can't just behave and stay out of "trouble" (and why he can't be more like his older brother, who gets excellent grades). Thinking that all Ishaan needs is some discipline, they send him off to a boarding school, where life is even harder for him...until he meets a substitute art teacher who recognizes that there's actually a reason why Ishaan sees the things he does.

That reason, we guess pretty early on, is dyslexia. If you have it or know someone who has it, then you know the problems it can cause. You might also know that dyslexia can also be considered a "gift" -- people with dyslexia are usually very visual, creative, and artistic! Watching Ishaan discover and understand this part of himself is lovely to watch.

The movie's pace is probably much slower than you're used to, and sometimes takes itself a little too seriously -- those are definite flaws. But it makes up for that with some great musical sequences (it comes from Bollywood, after all!). We especially loved the scene where the art teacher, Nikumbh, gets his students singing and dancing. We'll sign up for that class! A bonus disc features deleted scenes, a "making of" featurette, and a panel discussion on children. "Like Stars On Earth" is like taking a quick trip to a faraway place -- a great break from what you're probably used to watching -- and realizing it's not all that different from home.

IML's Rating: B

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