Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘13 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

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By Taran Adarsh, December 3, 2009 – 17:34 IST

Can you ever imagine watching an Amitabh Bachchan film and not watching Amitabh Bachchan in it? Seems impossible, isn’t it? The towering persona and the rich baritone just cannot be overlooked. But R. Balki transforms the legendary actor into Auro, replaces the rich baritone with the voice of an adolescent [who’s neither grown up, nor a kid] and taps the hitherto untapped talent of the icon.

Trust me, 10 minutes into the film and you forget you’re watching Amitabh Bachchan. For, Auro takes over the moment he is introduced to the viewer.

BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

PAA is a simple film told in the most simplistic manner and that’s one of the prime reasons why this film works big time. The emotions would’ve fallen flat had the writing been sub-standard or the execution of the material been humdrum or the actors been inferior. But, thankfully, PAA scores in all three departments, although it must be said that the entire slum redevelopment episode is a complete put-off.

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Yet, all said and done, PAA is an outstanding film. A film for every paa, every maa… for everyone with a heart. Take a bow, Auro!

Auro [Amitabh Bachchan] is an intelligent, witty 13-year-old boy with an extremely rare genetic defect that causes accelerated ageing. He suffers from progeria. Mentally, he is 13, very normal, but physically he looks five times older.

Inspite of his condition, Auro is a happy boy. He lives with his mother Vidya [Vidya Balan], a gynaecologist, but is completely clueless of his father’s identity. Till he meets him, Amol [Abhishek Bachchan], who is a full of ideals politician.

Okay, let’s not disrespect Balki by calling PAA a rip-off of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON or JACK. It’s not! PAA looks at the varied relationships so minutely. It may’ve been publicized as a father-son film, but the women – mother and granny – play equally pivotal parts.

The first hour of PAA grips you in patches. The introduction of Auro is brilliant, but the moment the story focuses on the politician and his arch rival’s sub-plot, it goes off-track. Sure, there are some interesting sequences, but the impact isn’t mesmeric.

But the post-interval portions take the film to dizzy heights and camouflages the defects. The father-son bonding and the penultimate 25 minutes raise the bar. The emotional quotient is tremendous. Get ready to overhear a lot of sniffs and see a lot of moist eyes once the lights are switched on.

Note the two sequences in the climax, when Auro reveals what his father’s first mistake was and the pheras towards the end. Also recall the scene when the girl Auro detests for a certain reason shows up with a sketch of Auro. It moves you completely.

But let’s not mistaken PAA to be a rona-dhona movie. It’s a positive film with funny/light moments in plenty. The conversation between Auro and his best friend, on various occasions, are superb. Also, not once does PAA show Auro as ‘different’. He’s one among the kids and there’s no discrimination whatsoever, which is remarkable.

Director R. Balki deserves a salute for thinking out of the box and also presenting Amitabh Bachchan like never before. The writing may be erratic, but his handling of the emotional moments is exemplary. Note this, he would be a force to reckon with after PAA. Ilaiyaraaja’s music is soothing. P.C. Sreeram’s cinematography is incredible.

It would be a blunder if one missed out the contribution of the makeup artists. Transforming the veteran actor into a kid must’ve been an arduous task and Christien Tinsley and Domini Till deserve to be complimented for making Auro look so real.

Now to the performances! No amount of praise, no amount of adjectives and personifications would do justice to Amitabh Bachchan’s performance as Auro. Sure, the icon has enthralled us with superlative performances in his four-decade career, but PAA is something else. The icon keeps surprising you at regular intervals and PAA is one of those beautiful surprises, which will remain etched in your memory forever.

That doesn’t mean that the remaining performances get dwarfed by Auro. Sure, PAA belongs to Auro, but not once does Abhishek Bachchan dither from his position or seems less inferior. This is the hallmark of a tremendous actor, which Abhishek is. Vidya is another surprise of PAA. She takes giant strides as an actor and proves yet again that given the right roles, she can match up to the best in the business.

Paresh Rawal is effective. Arundhati Naag is amazing. So is the kid, Pratik, enacting the role of Auro’s best buddy. His telephonic conversation with Auro is superb. Jaya Bachchan’s presence is lovely.

On the whole, PAA is an amazing experience. It makes you realize two things. One, the Hindi film industry is also capable of narrating fresh stories. Two, Amitabh Bachchan is truly the most accomplished actor this side of the Atlantic.

Talking from the business point of view, PAA has been made in a sensible and reasonable budget [approx. Rs. 17 crores, including P & A expenses], which should easily be recovered from multiplexes alone.

In the final tally, here’s a film that should win awards [for Auro] and also box-office rewards, given its low costs. A film that should strike a chord with every paa, maa… just about everyone with a heart!

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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