Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘12 year old

Bollywood is coming out with creative, out of the box films and the year 2009 is a witness to it. Paa is one such film that can also be safely termed as ‘most unique film of 2009’. Of course, the USP is undoubtedly Amitabh Bachchan’s wonderful portrayal as a 12/13 year old kid. But that alone isn’t the only thing that makes the flick special. The execution by R Balki is marvelous and the film would have surely fallen like a pack of cards if the treatment wasn’t appropriate. Paa, thus, works well and is definitely a must watch!

The story of the movie: Auro (Amitabh Bachchan) is a 12 year old suffering from a rare genetic disease, progeria which results in accelerated ageing. So although he’s just 12, his body age is 5 times more. But Auro is witty, mischievous and intelligent and just like any other school going student of his age. He lives with his mother, Vidya (Vidya Balan), a gynecologist and Vidya’s mom (Arundhati Nag). All three are living happily but one day their world turns upside down when Auro comes to face to face with his own father, MP Amol Atre (Abhishek Bachchan). But both Auro and Amol are unaware of each other’s ‘connection’.

Paa is simply made and the film grips you from the first scene itself. Auro and Amol’s entry in the narrative is highly impressive. The innovative projects made by the students and Amol’s beautiful speech in the school instantly put a smile on your face. Also note how very less time is reserved for the flashback portions and the focus of the story is entirely on the star of the film-Auro and his paa!

However, the film deviates from the main plot in the first half in the slum redevelopment track. But trust me, it was damn interesting and you’ll silently wish if the politicians of our country were such visionaries and witty.

However, the second half won’t give any reason to complain. Auro’s reaction after finding out the truth and the time he spends with his paa in Delhi is supremely rocking! The pre-climax, when one of the main characters finds out the truth could have been more impactful. But the final 10 minutes which is beautifully directed and leaves the strongest mark, compensates for it.

Although the film is titled Paa, the film doesn’t only focus on the father-son relationship. It wonderfully showcases the child’s relations with his mom, grandmom and also with his classmates, the latter being the cutest! Also, the film isn’t made to only evoke sympathy on progeric patients. Throughout the film, Auro is being treated as any other normal child by everyone around him and this also works a lot in the favour of the film.

There is not a drop of doubt about Amitabh Bachchan’s performance. He was marvelous and outstanding-even this doesn’t justify his well performed job! One forgets that one is actually watching Amitabh Bachchan on screen. The way he speaks like an adolescent and also behaves like one is just amazing and leaves you in awe and shock. And the look given to him is actually quite cute! However, the performance wouldn’t have worked solely with great work by make-up artistes. It was Amitabh’s great work that makes the character believable and lovable. Kudos to Big B-keep shining, keep rocking!

The characterization of Big B as Auro is so strong that you even forget all the past performances of other actors. Abhishek Bachchan simply rocks as the young cool politician and builds up a strong position to himself throughout the film. After Guru and Dostana, this is yet another memorable performance of Abhishek. Watch out for him in another rocking performance in his next, Raavana!

Vidya Balan is a relevation. She gives a brilliant performance, of the same level that she delivered in Parineeta. Watch her in Paa and you’ll forget all about her disastrous period that she faced 2 years back. She is expected to please everyone in her next Ishqiya too!

Arundhati Nag was perfect. Paresh Rawal was fine in his miniscule role. Pratik, who plays Auro’s buddy Vishnu, was excellent and provides laughter in some scenes. Taruni Sachdev, the girl who terrified Auro throughout the film was amazing! Also, Kiran Shah, who played the 5 year old Auro did a great job in his one scene. Kudos to Vidya for lifting this 53 kg old on his shoulder in one of the scenes!

Ilaiyaraja’s music was soulful and melodious. Songs are there in the film but doesn’t hamper the pace of the film-the story moves during the film too. Mudi Mudi is the best song of the lot. Mere Paa, sung by Big B deserved to get a better focus in the film. Background score was cute and mischievous, just like Auro!

P C Sreeram’s cinematography was top notch. Christien Tinsley and Domini Till, the makeup artistes, deserve the highest praise for transforming a 66 year old actor into a 12 year old child! Hats off!

Finally, R Balki deserves the highest praise for coming up with such a wonderful film and making complete use of the opportunity provided to him. As a director he was perfect and it was nice to see the quick editing done in certain scenes so that the film doesn’t drag at any moment. But as a writer, he could have done a better job, especially in the flashback portions of Abhishek and Vidya. But he impresses most as the dialogue writer. Dialogues and wittiest one-liners are the best part of the enterprise! Also, the toilet jokes which are a complete put-off at times are hugely funny in the film!

There were reports that Paa is a copy of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and a section of moviegoers even believed this. By now, the truth is out Paa is miles away from the Hollywood flick. But it’s really sad to see our media and some moviegoers are always waiting for an opportunity to thrash Bollywood and its films. Our industry churns pathetic films at times but it also comes up with sweet films like Paa. Let’s not always act and think so negatively about Bollywood. And now there are reports that Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai’s next, Action Replay, is Benjamin Button’s rip off without even knowing a single line of the plot of the film. Alas, some people don’t want to grow up ever!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1. Amol at the school, looking at the projects and delivering a speech
2. Auro orders pickle from grandmom
3. Amol’s slum redevelopment track
4. Amol and Auro’s video chat
5. Auro all set to go to Delhi (you really feel sad for the poor kid here)
6. The intermission point
7. Vidya’s Hichki-ous justification
8. Amol and Auro’s trip to Delhi
9. The last 30 minutes

On the whole, Paa is a beautiful film, written wonderfully and performed outstandingly! Undoubtedly, it’s a must watch! Go for it, if you haven’t seen it yet!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Paa-181639-1.html

By Joginder Tuteja, December 5, 2009 – 17:26 IST

Vidya Balan Vidya Balan is extremely happy with an all around positive response that she has got for her role of an unwed mother in Paa. While keeping her emotions in check and not allowing all the appreciation to make her go overtly gaga, Vidya does admit though that such huge response has come to her four long years after her debut effort Parineeta.

“I guess the wait has been worth it”, says Vidya who plays the mother of a 12 year old kid (played by Amitabh Bachchan) suffering from Progeria in Paa, “I was doing films and by God’s grace most of them were successful as well. However, the kind of respect that is coming the way of everyone associated with Paa is overwhelming, heart warming and above all humbling.”

It is this respect factor that has been the biggest moment for Vidya. When the film’s trial was held a few days back, she was convinced that the film would certainly be remembered for its sincerity, honesty and truthfulness. Though box office factor wasn’t to be ignored, she along with director Balki knew that at the least film would see good respectability coming its way.

“One can’t say much about box office in any case because sometimes even the most quintessential commercial flicks don’t really click with the audiences. However, you instinctively know whether your film has turned out to be a quality outing or not. I remember the days of Lage Raho Munnabhai when we came out of the first screening. Along with Raj Kumar Hirani, I knew that we had made a good film. Same was the case with Paa“, details Vidya.

Now she is eagerly awaiting the box office response for Paa. Given the fact that it is coming a week after De Dana Dan and a week before Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year, Paa has to score and do that really fast.

“I have been told though that the film has been accepted well by the audience and along with critical appreciation, it is also showing good word of mouth from those who have seen it”, she says with that characteristic smile of hers.

What she says does hold good ground. Though the opening wasn’t exceptional (as expected due to its theme), the film has shown a constant increase in crowd inflow with every passing show. Says a trade insider, “The occupancy for Paa on Saturday is almost double than that of Friday. Everyone thought that the film was mainly targeting the class audiences in big cities but it is doing well even in interiors like Nagpur and other cities and towns.”

Vidya Balan Meanwhile, Vidya’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing. “Such appreciation is always welcome. Ever since the film’s premiere, there have been congratulatory calls, which is heart warming. I have been literally glued to my cell-phone for last 3 days at stretch and I am certainly not complaining.”

Given the fact that her last film Kismat Konnection (2008) was a success and so was Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007), she would be used to such adulation, isn’t it?

“Honestly speaking, there have been good words but such volume of calls is a first”, she confesses, “I remember getting quite a few messages during Bhool Bhulaiyaa or Kismat Konnection. However, so many people actually making an effort and giving me a call reminds me of Parineeta days. Paa has fetched me the best response since my debut film.”

With her much in news Ishqiya round the corner that has an author backed role reserved for her, one waits to see if Vidya gets a further one up over Paa and Parineeta in weeks to come. Starring Naseruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi as the male protagonists, Abhishek Chaubey directed Ishqiya is produced by Vishal Bhardwaj & Raman Maroo and sees a 15th January release.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

RADIO v/s PAA

This weekend will see the release of two diverse films, Paa and Radio. The best thing about both films is its cost-both films are made at a reasonable cost and should not find it difficult to recover it. My take on these films:

PAA:
Undoubtedly, Paa will be the first choice of moviegoers. Directed by Balki (Cheeni Kum) and music composed by Illaiyaraja, Paa has aroused a lot of curiosity. By now, it’s a very common knowledge that Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of a 12 year old suffering from progeria in the film. He looks unique and completely unrecognizable in his new look. Big B has even altered his voice to suit his 12 year old character and it rocks completely. He has even sung the title song of the film in that changed voice which is a treat to hear! To hear Auro (name of BigB in Paa) speak click here.

Besides the chance to see Amitabh in a never before seen avatar, the other USP of the film is Abhishek Bachchan playing Amitabh’s father! The film also stars Vidya Balan and Paresh Rawal as Auro’s mother and grandfather respectively. The film is being promoted innovatively. 2 days back, Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan were on Radio Mirchi FM and spoke as the characters of the film. Listeners were asking questions to Auro (i.e. Amitabh) about his life and he answered wonderfully! It was just brilliant!

Without a shred of doubt, the film will be lauded with appreciation, especially for the performance of Amitabh, Abhishek and Vidya. However, the film has also got some negative reactions from a section of audiences who feel that Big B’s look is horrible and they can’t bear watching him as ‘an ugly child’ for 2 ½ hours. Also, the film should get a good response to sustain in theatres. And if that happens, then there would be no stopping for this film! In fact, I am expecting a Taare Zameen Par-type craze for Paa. Let’s hope for the best!

RADIO:
In an interview, 2 days back to Bollywood Hungama, Himesh Reshammiya shared how he wanted his previous disastrous film, Karzzzz to release on another date. That’s because the producers planned its release on October 17, 2008. 17 equals to 8 (1+7=8) which is Himesh’s unlucky number. But the producers didn’t listen to him and released it on 17th. And then Karzzzz flopped in spite of adding 3 extra ‘z’ in the title for ‘numerlogical reasons’. I really laughed reading this part. Is Himesh trying to say that Karzzzz would have succeeded if it had released on another date? The film was a disaster in all respects and would have flopped even if it had released on some other date or if 100 more ‘z’ was added in the title! Besides having a faulty script and direction, it had a very high cost (reported to be around Rs 40 crores). It was obvious that it would have been impossible to recover this amount. And as expected, the film barely recovered about half of its cost!

But Radio, that releases today, is a safer bet. The film is made at a reasonable cost-6 crores. The film has already recovered this amount from other sources. But to get the prestige of being hailed as a hit, the film’s theatrical collections should exceed 6 crores. It’s difficult to say whether this can happen as Radio has a terrific competition in the form of Paa. Also, the film is an urban love story and is targeted at the multiplex junta, who don’t ‘worship’ Himesh like the masses do! So as of now, nothing can be said about the fate of Radio.

But Himesh is confident because the film is releasing on Thursday 3rd as 3 is his lucky number! He has more faith in numbers than the script of the film. Last time, when Karzzzz bombed inspite of all numerological precautions, he blamed the producer and the wrong release date. Let’s see who he will blame this time, in case Radio flops! But I hope it works and all the best to its entire team!

WHICH FILM ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN? DO LET ME KNOW!
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E-PIRATES MOURN AT MININOVA’S CLEAN UP ACT

E-pirates are a disgruntled lot ever since Mininova went on a Clean-up act. Mininova is the most popular website when it comes to downloading movies, songs, games and other stuff. Every new film used to be available on the site a day after the release or at times, on the day itself. Further, all downloads were safe and didn’t carry any virus. Hence, it was the most preferable website for millions of net users.

Needless to mention, downloading stuff on Mininova were illegal and last week after they lost a civil dispute, the website announced that it’ll share only those movies that are uploaded through Content Distribution Service. Thus, they deleted all illegal stuff which was there in their database. This has proved as a setback for all those who never used to venture in theatres but instead used to watch films on their PC through Mininova.

It is difficult to say whether this step will prove beneficial for our producers and distributors. No one can can say for sure whether these e-pirates would start frequenting cineplexes to watch movies. There were many factors why these people chose Mininova instead of theatres and these factors still exist, the biggest one being the inflated ticket prices. No effort has been done to slash ticket rates and in fact, the prices are increasing. Also, there are many other websites like Mininova (though not safe) from where one can still download films! So unfortunately, piracy will continue to thrive even in the absence of Mininova.

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/ccbhuqsuo/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk77

Abhishek Bachchan to enter the premiere of Paa carrying his father, Amitabh Bachchan, on his back

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 20, 2009)

The premiere of Paa in Mumbai on December 3 will be memorable for more reasons than one. This film is AB Corp Ltd’s first home production in five years, making it all the more crucial for the Bachchans, who are sure to pull out all the stops to make the event a grand success.
The venue of the premiere will be decorated to resemble a child’s nursery.

 

However, the best part of the premiere will be Abhishek entering the premiere by carrying Amitabh piggyback, replicating a sequence from the film. Incidentally, this is something Abhishek insists on doing, despite Amitabh being worried about the effect it will have on his son’s back.

Director Balki confirms the news and says, “Paa is a film that celebrates the spirit of childhood and Amitji does play a 12-year-old in the film. So we thought that the premiere venue should have a child-friendly ambience. We had initially planned to have Amitji dressed and made-up as Auro, his character in the film, standing at the main door of the premiere to receive guests. However, this plan was too impractical. The makeup artiste Christien Tinsley would have to be especially flown down for a day all the way from LA. Besides, Amitji as Auro for an entire evening would have been somewhat distracting for the guests.”

Now Amitabh will receive the guests at the premiere with six child actors from the film – Taruni, Pratik, Nimit, Dhruven, Varun and Gaurav, all of who play Auro’s best friends in Paa.

The father and son are personally inviting all their friends for the premiere. “Plus, there are all my friends from the ad world. It’s going to be quite a night,” promises Balki.


jail

TWO DIVERSE FILMS THIS WEEKEND!

8 Fridays left before the year 2009 comes to an end. Out of these 8, 7 Fridays are marked with the release of some very big and significant films. Tomorrow, Fri Nov 6, will see the release of two extremely diverse films-Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (APKGK) and Jail. While the former is an adorable romantic comedy, the latter is an intense realistic film.

Without doubt, APKGK has an edge over Jail. The Ranbir-Katrina starrer will surely open huge thanks to its lead pair, songs, wonderful promotion and its director (Rajkumar Santoshi) who is back to comic genre after Andaz Apna Apna. Also I feel even the title of the film is damn impressive. What makes it unique is that it’s a long one! Nowadays, we hardly have film titles consisting of 5 words. We mostly find one or two word titles. The very few recent long titled films which I can recollect is Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam, Money Hai To Honey Hai, Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na etc. Coming back to the film, it also seems like a clean entertainer and thus, a perfect family film as well. However, again, the big names associated with the film and wonderful promos don’t guarantee that the film would rock (recently, there have been many such films). So, I am gonna watch this film but like everytime, with less expectations!

Jail, on the other hand, have more chances of being impressive than APKGK. Director Madhur Bhandarkar has always projected realism wonderfully and Jail also looks like another winner from his side. The true picture inside prisons that the film is going to place before the audience is a major reason for watching this film. Neil Mukesh, like everytime, has gone into the skin of his character and is expected to deliver a smashing performance. The film should grow big time with a positive word-of-mouth.

In the end, it will be the content and the audience verdict that will matter. So which film are you planning to watch? Do let me know!
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PAA’S FIRST CUT IS OUT!

paa

The first cut of the most unique film of the year, Paa, is out! The USP of the film as we all know by now is Amitabh Bachchan portraying a 12 year old child suffering from Progeria with Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balan as its parents. The film is directed by Cheeni Kum director R Balki. On the eve of the promo release, I was mightily excited with so many questions running in my mind! Will Amitabh Bachchan look convincing as the child? How has he altered his voice, posture, mannerisms etc in order to suit his character? Will Abhishek Bachchan look convincing as Amitabh’s dad? And what about Vidya Balan? Will she be sidelined in this film or does she have an important role as Big B’s mom? So many questions but not all got a satisfying reply. The first teaser exposes Big B’s looks but doesn’t project his dialogue-delivery. But I am sure it’ll manage to create hype with each passing day!

Ideally, the promotional campaign of the film should have kick-started last month on Oct 11 i.e. on Amitabh Bachchan’s birthday. It would have been the best day for the launch. But instead, the makers just gave a full page ad of the film in newspapers with no pic of its lead actors and just a write-up ‘Amitabh turns 13 today’! Now, the film is just a month away (it’s releasing on Dec 4) and the maker may not get much time to publicize now.

TO WATCH THE PROMO OF PAA CLICK HERE

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/diary/cacdloqto/Fenils-Bollywood-Talk73

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 04, 2009)


 

Paa

W e’ve discovered the secret to how Amitabh Bachchan flawlessly sang in a child’s voice for Paa recently. Director Balki reveals that Amitabh has been able to effortlessly replicate the voice of a 12-year-old for his dialogue and song in the film by using specially designed dentures.

Balki says, “It’s all about the special dentures we got made for our boy-hero Auro (Amitabh’s character in Paa). The minute Mr Bachchan wears the dentures, he sounds like Auro.”

Explaining how it works, Balki adds, “It’s partly to do with the shape and size of the dentures, which help change Mr Bachchan’s voice. He gets a lisp and his speech pattern gets altered because of the extra teeth.”

Amitabh wore the dentures throughout the film’s shooting and also had them on while dubbing. “You can call them magical teeth…they’ve helped transform Mr Bachchan on the sets and also in the dubbing studio,” says Balki.

About the title track sung by Amitabh, Balki says, “Ilaiyaraaja sent us the track his own voice from Chennai. Mr Bachchan recorded for it and the track was sent back to Ilaiyaraaja for mixing.”

Amitabh Bachchan effortlessly sang the title song of Paa in a child’s voice

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 29, 2009)

 

Amitabh Bachchan and Aadesh Shrivastava

We bet you’ve never heard anything like this before. Literally. On Tuesday, Amitabh Bachchan recorded the title song for Balki’s Paa in the voice of a 12-year-old and that too without the help of technology.

Music director Aadesh Shrivastava says, “I thought I would initially record the song in Amitji’s normal voice and later use technological enhancement and modify it to make it sound like a child’s. However, Amitji was firm that I wouldn’t have to do anything of that sort and that he will sing in a child’s voice without any help. He went on to do just that.”

Aadesh, who handled the daunting task of recording music maestro Ilaiyaraaja’s tune in Amitabh’s voice, adds, “It is originally a tune created by Raja sir (Ilaiyaraaja). Normally, I’d never even dream of touching his tunes but I have worked as a drummer for him on Sadma (1983) and he sent this song from Chennai for Amitji to sing it in Mumbai.”

Aadesh predicts that the song will be an instant hit with children. “Amitabh does not sound like a grown-up man imitating a child. Don’t ask me how he has managed to do it. I just sat there stunned.”

Abhishek Bachchan’s dedicated involvement as the producer of Paa impresses director Balki

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 15, 2009)

Paa

As the Bachchans are preparing to release their first home production after a gap of four years (Viruddh in 2005 was the last AB Corporation Ltd release), they plan to host a grand event in the next two weeks where Big B’s look in Paa will be unveiled by the producer of the film, Abhishek Bachchan, who plays Amitabh’s father in Paa.

Abhishek seems to have swept the director, Balki, off his feet. Revealing the plans for the event, Balki says, “We will have a life-size hoarding of Amitji as Auro, the 12-year-old character he plays in Paa which Abhishek will formally reveal.” Even though the look has already leaked out, Balki is unfazed, “What has been revealed so far is nothing. I challenge anyone to recognize Amitji as Paa if they already don’t know who he is.”

The unveiling ceremony will take place after Diwali, the details of which are being taken care of by Abhishek. Indeed, Paa has seen the coming of age of Abhishek as a producer. Balki tells us, “If Paa disclosed an unexplored side of Amitji on screen; it has also revealed Abhishek’s skills as a behind-the-scene administrator.

Balki

Everything from the locations to the costumes and food were supervised by Abhishek. It seems that Abhishek is ready to shoulder the responsibility as a co-owner of AB Corp Ltd, which is well equipped to bounce back with Paa.

“As far as I am concerned, Abhishek was our producer in Paa,” Balki concludes. The scion of the Bachchan family has been keeping accounts making sure the film stays within budget.

Amitabh Bachchan, who plays a 12-year-old in Balki’s Paa, will be introduced as a debutant in the credit titles
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 23, 2009)

Life seems to have come a full circle for Amitabh Bachchan. The 66-year-old star, who has already spent 40 years of his life in Bollywood, will be introduced as a novice actor in the credit titles of his forthcoming film, Paa.

Paa

Director Balki confirms the news and says, “The credits will read ‘Starring Abhishek Bachchan…Vidya Balan… Introducing Amitabh Bachchan.’ I truly believe this is Mr Bachchan’s first film, because he has never played a 12-year-old. His character is named Auro… No, it’s not short for Aurobindo. He’s just…Auro. And if there are any members of the audience who haven’t seen him before, they won’t recognise him at all in the film.”

On the sets of Paa, Bachchan’s transformation into the 12-year-old was so complete that he behaved like a child of that age even when the camera was not on. So startling and complete was his physical and emotional transformation that members of the unit were taken aback. Balki says, “Why 12-year-old? Mr Bachchan behaved like a 10-year-old on the sets. He just allowed the child within him to surface to become Auro. He threw so many tantrums just like an uncontrollable child that we had to literally discipline him at times. On the sets, he would also stomp his feet like a brat and just go on whining, ‘I want…I want…I want!’ until he got what he wanted. We were frightened by the level he had imbibed his character.”

And the complete transformation was not only emotional but also physical. Apart from the prosthetics required for the character, Auro has just 4-5 teeth. “Mr Bachchan’s gummed grin has to be seen to be believed. No matter how prepared you are as a filmmaker to work with this all-pervasive idol of an actor, you are still taken aback by what he does to his character,” says Balki.

Balki

Auro is also a chocolate addict. Although Mr Bachchan’s health doesn’t permit him to eat too many sweets, he constantly nibbled chocolates on the sets. “We had to often pull those bars of chocolate away from his hands. You see, chocolates are good for the metabolism level of those who suffer from Progeria. So Auro had to be shown constantly eating chocolates,” says Balki.

Considering the effort put in by Mr Bachchan, should he get ready to receive all the debutant awards next year? “I sure hope the awards will honour him in the child category or the debutant category,” Balki laughs and says.