Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘auro

The Bollywood superstar is gambling with roles again…

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 29, 2009)

It is the season for the Big B. One day he steals hearts as the adorable Auro. Then he makes you sit up and notice him as the head honcho of a television channel in Rann. And if that’s not enough, the Bollywood superstar plunges straight into playing a Math professor with a quirk in Ambika Hinduja’s Teen Patti.
Here he is in the first look of the 2010 release. Sources say that Bachchan had a field day shooting in locations like the Mumbai docks, the Asiatic Library and the streets of Ballard Pier. “The locations made him nostalgic,’’ says an assistant director. Incidentally, Teen Patti has Bachchan teaming up with Sir Ben Kingsley, and the unit is all women. Talking often of being bullied, in jest, the actor would invariably say he is surrounded by ‘Hitlers’. Producer Ambika says, “Mr Bachchan is a paragon of professionalism. His acting genius is matched his profound moral conscience.” She adds, “I have never met an actor like Sir Ben, so unerringly prepared for his role. He lights up the stage with such formidable presence and
humility. It is my great joy to serve the story of Teen Patti with the best acting and technical talent. I have pulled every card out of the producer’s deck to make it a visual force of story telling.’’

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Progerian character from Balki’s film to make it to animation films and comics

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOBMAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

R Balki’s beloved progerian character Auro from his film Paa will continue to live on as part of a series of animation films and comic books likely to be called ‘The Adventures Of Auro’.
Confirming the news, Balki said, “Auro has acquired the aura of a national icon. Kids, grownups, everyone loves the old child. And the pressure to take Auro beyond the film is immense. Animation films and comicbooks are on the cards. Auro does have immense animation possibilities. It’s time to explore those possibilities.” The filmmaker, who rejected a sequel to Paa, is happy to see Auro go into the realm of animation. For him, cinema is about the emotional interaction among characters. Although he comes from the ad world, computer graphics and special effects do not constitute a motion picture experience for Balki. “That’s where I think Paa has scored with audiences,” he said, explaining Auro’s global appeal.

Meanwhile, the Progeria Research Foundation in the US has suggested a series of tie-ups with Balki and the film’s producers AB Corp Ltd. Audrey Gordon, president and executive director of the foundation, wrote to Balki telling him how the film made an emotional connection with kids suffering from progeria around the world and suggested tie-ups that the filmmaker is happy to implement.

Amitabh Bachchan looks back on the hits and misses in his life over 2009

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 14, 2009)

When Amitabh Bachchan was asked to describe what 2009 meant to him, the great actor said, “Gosh, what a year this has been — a few ups, and a few downs… more downs really! Years, months, days… they rush through at such speed, it’s impossible to keep an account of them.” He’s right, he’s had ups and down all right, but what’s there to complain about? If his Aladin was a disaster, then look at what a thumping success Paa has become; these are the only two films the Big B has had in 2009. He wrapped up work on Johnny Mastana, Rann and Teen Patti by June because he wanted to be by the side of his ailing friend Amar Singh. Now all these films await delayed releases because of the multiplex strike earlier. It’s been six months since Bachchan took on any new film or faced the camera. But he kept himself busy with television, with the Bachchan Sandhya on the occasion of his father’s 102nd birth anniversary, with the promotions of Paa. Here the Big B reflects back on 2009…
Aladin was a disaster, Paa a success…
• Aladin failed and Paa moves in a direction that looks to be one of success, both critical and commercial. Modesty prevents me from disclosing what reactions we are getting. But no amount of prudence prevents me from admitting that Auro has been embraced in a manner that I have never seen before. The other noticeable factor has been the will of the people. They want Auro and this film to succeed. No amount of sophisticated marketing will ever stand in the way of the choice and demands of the masses and this is why all traditional assumptions on the business trends for Paa are falling short. Auro is dictating an unique box office attitude all by himself and the so-called pundits are wrapping up their janam patris and shifting base.
You’re back on television, a new experience…
• It is different from KBC and gets more intricate as we move along. The medium and those that are attached to it, work diligently round the clock, and it is a marvel to see the amount of thinking and labour that goes on behind the scenes to create something like this. I feel very saddened when I have to announce the person who has been voted out and then later to spend time with them after their eviction. It’s much like what I used to feel when on KBC I had to inform the participant that his answer was wrong. You’d think KBC was harder because that was my first time on television. But no. Every time I do anything new and that means starting a new film too, I get butterflies in my stomach.
The year zipped by for you…
• I really have no recollection of what went by. I know what I am doing now. Age does have this adverse effect on one and I am no different from any other. It may seem power packed for you but for me, it is just another day, another job. I endeavour to do what is assigned to me to the best of my ability.
You’re 67 and still going superstrong…
• I don’t know if I am still going strong, but yes, I am alive and I exist. I have never wished for any fancy recognition or accolade. I am grateful for the jobs that I get and am thankful that I am given opportunity for work.
Your thoughts on the world around…
• I wish for there to be peace and harmony. For humans to understand that we are all one and that we all have common characteristics. To understand that all faiths need to be respected, for none of them are different in their beliefs. That we are one nation, united by our independence and our sovereignty. That this world we live in belongs to all of us and we need to protect it for its survival. That a kind word and a smile never did harm anyone.
The most significant occurrence in your life this year…
• That I am still alive!

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

Auro turns cricket commentator for the India-Sri Lanka T-20 match tomorrow

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 11, 2009)


Paa

Amitabh Bachchan as Auro will now be a T20 cricket commentator for the India-Sri Lanka cricket match to be held on December 12. Amitabh will be doing the ‘expert commentary’ in the breaks between the match.

Confirming the story, Paa’s director Balki says, “Auro will be doing the expert commentary for television for the T20 match in Mohali.”

A big cricket aficionado, the challenge for Big B would be to do a cricket commentary for the first time, and that too in Auro’s soft and childish voice. A challenge that the actor is already gearing himself for.

In the meanwhile, spurred by the poignant story of Auro, Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced financial aid for the two Bihari progeric brothers Eqramul and Ali Hussein.

Balki is delighted by the impact of the film. “Now that’s the kind of story one likes to hear about Paa. But let me repeat we did not make Paa to spotlight progeria.”

The Progeria Research Foundation in the US is showing a keen interest in Paa. Says Balki, “I’d be only too happy for them to watch the film and decide how Paa could spread awareness about progeria.”

By Devansh Patel, December 10, 2009 – 08:21 IST

Abhishek Bachchan Indian cinema’s finest premiere comes to an end. People all over the world are doing the monkey dance. Such is the hysteria. Facebook status of various friends read that all those who’ve watched Paa proclaim it to be one of the biggest hits of it’s time. It’s strange, but it’s true, a newly wed couple decided to watch Paa and postponed their honeymoon for a day. Is Paa becoming a revolution in itself? UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama’s London correspondent Devansh Patel asked a few rapid fires to the Paa himself, Abhishek Bachchan, on the feedback he’s been receiving or has received so far. “The kind of reactions that I have been getting be it on facebook or twitter or via SMS or via email has been overwhelming. Overwhelming because I still haven’t managed to answer all of them, there have been so many of them! And without trying to sound very pompous I think 99% of it is all very very positive. The response has been fantastic, I don’t think I have ever received response to any of my films like the way we have received for Paa“, answers Bachchan junior. We recall the day when Big B was all tears after watching Abhishek perform in Guru and so we asked the multi-talented Abhishek, “Did that happen to you while you were watching Amitabh Bachchan as Auro?” Surprisingly, he replied, “Yes”, and after a long pause, said, “No too, because every time I got sucked into the film and tried to react to it emotionally, the producer in me would wake up and try and find ways that I could have done certain things better. So for me, it was like balancing – being an actor and a producer, and a lot of times the producer in me would not allow me to be the actor whole heartedly. So although I do think its Pa’s best performance till date, I still feel that as a producer I could have performed a lot better.”

For the two days after the film was released, all the social networking sites were flooded with comments, suggestions and some interesting and thought provoking reasons to go and watch Paa. One such interesting suggestion read – Don’t you feel that a film like Paa should be doing the rounds of the international film festivals and should be screened especially for the BAFTA members? To which Abhishek comments, “I think that’s being a bit presumptuous, I am more than happy that our Indian audience and the Indian diaspora is watching the film – I think film festivals and BAFTA and all are although very prestigious, are things that the international jury will decide. If that is the fate of the film, I am happy. What I am most excited about is that our audience is currently enjoying the film.” Getting Abhishek Bachchan over the phone these days is like making a call to the White House. AB is a busy man and an even busier producer. All the running around has boiled down to many one liners – Paa is a hit! Paa is a super success and Paa is inspirational. One last question to the busy man, “How content is the producer today?” we ask. The answer was filled with content. Abhishek replies, “I am very content, it’s been just a few days since the release and my film is already in overflow which means it has covered its costs, I am in profits. So as a producer, economically speaking, I am very happy!”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Amitabh Bachchan’s flawless performance in Paa has resulted in an international version of the film, which will be released soon

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 07, 2009)


The overwhelming response to Amitabh Bachchan’s performance in Paa has triggered off a whole new chain of thought processes among those who are involved with the project. It is now felt that the film’s theme of age-acceleration by progeria and its muted dramatic depiction through Amitabh’s performance as Auro deserves a global platform. Consequently, an international version of Paa is now being put together.

Paa director R Balki says, “The version for a non-Indian audience will have to be edited very differently but the connectivity with Auro’s character will remain unchanged.” A lot of Abhishek’s character’s activities as a young politician will have to be edited for the international version. However, without those scenes Abhishek’s role will become shadowy. What will remain is the central conflict involving the progeric child’s search for his biological father.

The theme of progeria is obviously a huge incentive to market the film internationally. Balki reveals, “I have a friend in the US who drove down 70 miles to a theatre in Miami to see Paa yesterday and the hall was packed. But let me tell you, I’m not the first filmmaker to tackle the subject. I thought I was embarking on a revolutionary mission by making a film on progeria but when I checked on the net I discovered there were nearly 40 films on progeria across the world.”

Balki saw all of the films based on the same subject in order to bring out a new side to the subject. He adds, “I wanted to make sure Paa had nothing in common with the other films. Now, when we do an international version we’ll ensure the audience abroad would never have seen anything like Paa.”

It isn’t decided as yet whether the international version of Paa will be dubbed in the English language or the spoken language will remain Hindi with English subtitles.


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