Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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!

Vishal’s make-up team was detained at the Mumbai airport recently as they were carrying a lot of chemicals which got the authorities suspicious


By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 27, 2009)

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

After Kaminey, Vishal Bharqdwaj is kicked about his new film starring Priyanka Chopra and seven guys. For the look test of the film, Vishal has roped in the same make-up team that styled Brad Pitt’s look for the Academy award winner The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. However, when the make-up team flew in from the US, the Indian airport authorities got suspicious and detained them.

Priyanka Chopra

The amount of chemicals and make-up material they carried raised doubts and seemed fishy to the authorities. Even after they were released, their luggage, which contained all the things required for Priyanka’s look test was detained by two days.

Our source revealed, “The look test for Priyanka happened recently, but it had its ups and downs. Last weekend, the make-up team from the US was here, but was detained at our airport earlier as the authorities had their doubts about the chemicals. They seized their entire luggage, including make-up equipment and cosmetics.

Though they were released after a couple of hours of questioning, their luggage was released only after two days. And after that, they conducted the look test. They make-up guys tried several looks, as Priyanka’s character has seven husbands in the film.

Vishal Bhardwaj

The test took five long hours, but Vishal is happy with the results.

Vishal’s official spokesperson admitted, “Yes, it is true that the luggage and equipment was held up at the airport for two days.”

 


By Subhash K. Jha, September 3, 2009 – 13:21 IST

Katrina Kaif On Tuesday morning, the appeals court in Kolkata ordered that the entire Box-Office collections of the Bengali film Poran Jay Jolaye Re be deposited in the court. The film which was released a couple of months ago to a rousing welcome in Bengal is said to have so far collected whopping figures at the Box-Office.

By depositing the entire collection at the Box-Office, the producers Venkatesh Films of the Bengali film stand to lose a substantial amount of money.

Says Vipul, “They’ve to deposit every single penny that the film has collected. The judgment of the appeals court says that the ‘entire’ Box-Office collection of the Bengali film be deposited in court. It is historic in terms of violation of copyright infringement. To know the court can stop a film is a clear signal that plagiarism can be fought. The judgment will now be a reference point for all plagiarism cases. It was needed. Every filmmaker contemplating plagiarism will now think twice.”

The alleged copyright violators of the Bengali film can now appeal in the Supreme Court. As for the money that the court has confiscated from the Bengali film’s collection, it is now legally a part of a damage suit that Vipul chooses to file.

“However I don’t want any monetary compensation. That wasn’t my intention. I wanted to make a strong case against copyright infringement. The honourable court has done the needful. I think its victory for all us filmmakers. We used to make a joke about copyright laws by saying copyright means the right to copy. I think the joke has now ended.”

Akshay Kumar who’s the co-producer of Namastey London has decided not to sign any film that he knows to be an illegal copy

Says Akshay, “By God’s grace, all my films seem to be original. Even Vipul’s Action Replay which some people think is a copied from elsewhere (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) is original. People who spread these rumours should be careful. Copying films is as serious an offence as accusing an original work of being a copy.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Vipul Shah is taking every legal precaution to safeguard his next film, Action Replay; makes copycat Pritam sign an anti-plagiarism indemnity
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 15, 2009)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar

Pritam may be hot property in Bollywood, but he got there with a little ‘help’ from other bands that he has generously ‘borrowed’ from. Now his past is coming back to bite him as he has made his producer Vipul Shah wary, lest he lands the producer into legal tangles. As a safeguard, Vipul has made Pritam sign an indemnity clause for the music of his film Action Replay, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar. This is virtually unheard of in an industry that is particularly lax about copyright infringement.

Vipul Shah has become very cautious about derivative material in his films especially after his victory in court against Shree Venkatesh Films who have been accused of lifting material from Namastey London for a Bengali film, Poran Jai Joliya Re. To avoid any potential disasters that might blow up in his face with his next film, Action Replay, the filmmaker is not taking any chances. Given Pritam’s track record, the composer is quite the candidate who is likely to trigger the explosion.

Vipul confirmed, “I have taken a written indemnity from our music composer Pritam that not a single song in Action Replay is a copy. How will I know if he takes something from a Chinese, Taiwanese or Syrian song?”

In fact, the written indemnity says that Pritam will be solely responsible for his compositions and that the filmmaker/ producer will not be liable if his compositions are found not to be original. With no stringent laws in place to check copyright infringement, people like Pritam have been getting away with plagiarism repeatedly.

Pritam said, “I have no problem signing the indemnity as it every producer’s responsibility to make sure that every aspect of his film is fool-proof. However, I do feel the producer shouldn’t always be blamed if any aspect of the film is accused of plagiarism. For instance, if there is an accusation that the film’s story is directly lifted from some other piece of art, then the writer should take responsibility for this. Same goes for other branches of filmmaking.”

Strangely enough, the Bengali filmmakers have accused Vipul of plagiarising a Hollywood film to make his forthcoming film, Action Replay. Vipul’s office has been working round-the-clock to prepare a voluminous defence against the charge that Action Replay is a remake of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Meanwhile, a few people who have seen portions of Action Replay claim that the film bears no similarity to Benjamin Button and is actually a take-off on HG Wells’s The Time Machine.

TRACKS PRITAM HAS COPIED IN THE PAST
1 Shikdum from Dhoom-Original: Sikdim by Tarkan

2 I Miss You Every Day from Kya Love Story Hai-Original: Alatoul by Karina

3 Lamha Lamha from Gangster-Original: Kal Shab Mein Ne Dekha by Waris Baig

4 Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai from Gangster-Original: Sacral Nirvana by Oliver Shanti & Friends

5 Ya Ali from Gangster-Original: Ya Ghali from Guitara

6 Wicket Bacha from Hattrick-Original: Man smart (Woman Smarter) by Harry Belafonte’s

7 Dil Samundar from Garam Masala-Original: Kuzu Kuzu by Tarkan

8 Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai from Woh Lamhe-Original:Tak Bisakh by Peter Pan

9 Chori Ki Baatein from Fight Club-Original: Channoby Ali Zafar

10 Is This Love from Pyaar Ke Side Effects-Original: A Mi Maneraby Gipsy Kings

Pritam

Vipul Shah


Aishwarya Rai ’s extended shooting schedule for Raavana is delaying Vipul Shah’s Action Replay
By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 14, 2009)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar

Mani Ratnam’s film Raavana is the prime reason for the delay in completion of Vipul Shah’s Action Replay, starring Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Vipul needs to shoot three songs with Aishwarya for the film, which reportedly is based on the Hollywood film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With Aishwrya having to shoot extra portions for Raavana, Vipul’s plans to release his film in October have been foiled.

Vipul says, “Yes, what you have heard is true. I need about a fortnight from Aishwarya to shoot the three songs. I’m sure she’s as eager to complete the film as I am. Unfortunately, Raavana has taken far more of her time than she had expected. Besides, she is also shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish, so I have no option, but to wait.”

Vipul is hopeful of getting Aishwarya’s dates towards the end of September. However, they wouldn’t be sufficient as he also needs to shoot with her in November. Also, her dates will have to be co-ordinated with Akshay, who isn’t any less busy. “Both Aishwarya and Akshay are very professional. We’ll soon sort out the dates and as Akshay is also the co-producer of Action Replay, he has an added incentive to give me his dates,” adds Vipul.

About his plans for releasing the film, Vipul says, “I will only be able to release Action Replay next year. I had initially planned the release in October which was later pushed to December first week. But now I don’t want to release Action Replay in December even though I am sure it’ll be complete by then.”

Commenting on what prompted this change in plans, Vipul says, “I can’t release my film just a week after Akshay’s De Dana Dan, which releases on November 27. There’s no way we can have two Akshay starrers in two weeks. Another reason for the delay in Action Replay is that my film London Dreams releases on October 30.”


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