Fenil and Bollywood

Dad was a good son-Abhishek Bachchan

Posted on: November 14, 2009

ROLE REVERSAL: Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan in a still from their film that’s releasing on December 4

Abhishek Bachchan plays his father’s father in R Balki’s new film

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 14, 2009)

On the occasion of Children’s Day, BT managed a peek into the world of 13-year-old Auro, a very special child who will visit cinema theatres this December 4. Who would’ve thought that Abhishek Bachchan would actually play a father to Bollywood’s biggest legend Amitabh Bachchan someday?
The near impossible has happened. In Big Pictures’ Paa, the iconic Amitabh and son Abhishek come together to create a never-before-seen magic. Says R Balki, the director of this ambitious venture that is the current talking point with astute cineastes, “The idea came when I walked into Amitji’s office one day and found Abhishek there in a very mature mould. I was completely fascinated seeing a sombre Abhishek and a playful Amitji who was lounging around. The scene I saw made it seem like Abhishek was the elder and Amitji was the son.’’

Fascinated with this role reversal, Balki who won several accolades for his Cheeni Kum with the Big B, decided that he should capture this father-son equation on screen. He decided to cast Abhishek as an understated politician with a special child. “On the net I came across the disease Progeria,’’ says the filmmaker. “I read extensively about it and learned that there are only 40-odd cases of children across the world who are afflicted with this disease. It matched the concept I had in mind. So in a way I found the concept first and then went looking for a disease to match it. Not the other way around.’’

This film will mark the return of AB Corp to Hindi cinema after a hiatus. When asked how he felt playing his father’s father on screen, AB Junior says, “Paa was an unique experience, in fact the unique nature of this role was the reason I chose to do the film. The film gave me the opportunity to see how real life role reversal works. When Balki first spoke to me about the film and the concept he had in mind, I told him immediately, ‘I am on!’ It is not every day that you get to play your father’s father. It was great working together and he was a good son!”

Balki adds, “The film’s USP is that it will be the only time when you get to see a son playing his dad’s dad and also the one time when you get to see a father playing his son’s son.’’
Balki is particularly pleased that being professional actors — both the Bachchans have pitched their performances right.
Guess Balki couldn’t have asked for anything better for his second outing at the movies.
meena.iyer@timesgroup.com
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