Paa- Movie Reviews, Releasing Theatres, Online Booking, Reservations, Song Lyrics

amitabh-paa

Auro says a `Boo’ — and a mighty big one — to all us skeptics out here who had begun to doubt his ability to entertain after duds like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, God Tussi Great Ho, Aladin…For, it’s not any and every 67-year-old actor who can enter the shoes of a pre-adolescent, without looking and sounding awkward and silly. Amitabh Bachchan not only captures the essence of the gawky, geeky, god-he’s-different teenager with great skill, he creates a whole new benchmark for an actor to experiment, innovate ad reinvent himself when the career graph seems to plateau. The actor looks different (almost unrecognisable as E.T.’s country cousin), talks different (with a slight nasal twang), moves different (an awkward shuffle that breaks into the Auro dance) and emotes different (mostly through his be-spectacled eyes). End result? Paa is an experience that works, only because it is so different.

The film opens with a somewhat static and diffused first half that lights up intermittently, when Auro is around. Wonder why it takes so long to come to the point….Having been given an award in school by the young, upcoming, friendly neighbourhood neta (Abhishek Bachchan), Auro sends single mom, Vidya Balan into flashback mode. That’s because the neta fathered her child and left her to tackle the unwanted pregnancy because he wanted to change the world. Vidya, the archetypal woman of substance, not only carried her pregnancy through, she lovingly nurtured her child after discovering he had a genetic disorder that was causing him to age prematurely. Between them, Vidya and her mother (impressive Arundhati Naag) built a loving and normal world around the young boy who loved King Kong, computers, mirchi and hated kichdi. Trouble begins when Auro unknowingly befriends his dad and requests him for a visit to Rashtrapati Bhawan. Time for some home truths to be told, confessions to be made, repentance to be done and wrongs to be righted. Before time runs out…

The film, which peters off into vague sub-plots about slum redevelopment and unwarranted media-bashing in the first half, suddenly picks up and scales new heights in the second half. It’s here that Auro and his antics prevail as he tries to rebuild his family and establish his bond with his newfound daddy. Almost each and every relationship he shares is imbued with a warm glow: be it that with his `bum’ (grandmum), his mum, his best buddy, his favourite bugbear (that special girl in class). But it is his interactions with his dad which truly touch your heart. Refreshingly, the film steers clear of all sentimentality and handles the overflow of emotions with restraint and subtlety. All you feel are a few gentle tugs at your heart, as Auro insists on making you laugh most of the time with his witty one-liners on life, love and longing.

Watch out for a lilting music score by Ilaiyaraaja, some picturesque cinematography by PC Sreeram, a chuckle-and-laugh screenplay and some fine acting. While Abhishek brings to life the young, uncorrupt neta who speaks straight and acts upfront, Vidya Balan proves her mettle once again as the strong, desi, alpha woman, a la Parineeta. But Paa is primarily a platform for Auro to steal your heart away. He does. And no, he isn’t a desi Benjamin Button.

A word about:

Performances: Everyone is riveting. Amitabh is outstanding. While Abhishek Bachchan seems to have patterned himself well on the Rahul Gandhi-Sachin Pilot Inc in terms of the look and the attitude of the natty, young neta of today, Vidya Balan lends a rare dignity to the image of the Bollywood mom. With her quiet grace and controlled emotions, she is Mother Courage incarnate. But it’s Amitabh’s Auro (read aura) that outlives all other performances. The only actor who seems wasted is Paresh Rawal as the old school dad of Abhishek.

Music: Music director Ilaiyaraaja and lyricist Swanand Kirkire weave a heady concoction with their three versions of the `Udhi Udhi-Mudhi Mudhi’ track. The song has been rendered to perfection both in its male and female versions by Shaan and Shilpa Rao. Amitabh’s ode his dad, Paa is funky too.

Story: Adman-turned-filmmaker R Balki’s story is simple as it traces the bond between Auro and his dad. But it’s the sub-plots, focusing on dad’s attempts to prove he’s a visionary, that take away a lot from the film.

Dialogue: Balki’s dialogue’s are crisp and witty. Sample this. Why does Amitabh call his grandmum a bum? Because she has a big bum. Ha-ha! Or again, why shouldn’t grandmum ask King Kong anything? Because he speaks in Chinese! Haw, again! Also, despite the emotional tags, the screenplay is not maudlin at all.

Cinematography: PC Sreeram imbues his frames with an incandescent light. Auro’s home spills over with a warm redolence and his trip to Delhi (the ride across Rajpath) is magnificently shot.

Styling: Sabyasachi, Aki Narula, Falguni Thakore, Rahul Agastya: With four fashion designers, the film does seem to have got its styling right. Yes, Vidya Balan does look better in saris than in Western wear. Abhishek dons the khadi look nattily and adolescent Auro lives in fluorescent hoodies and bright checks. As for Amitabh’s special make-up, Christien Tinsley and Domini Till seem to have managed quite well. The make-up seems to crack only in the end.

Inspiration: Okay, they might have been mildly inspired by The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. But Amitabh’s Auro ain’t no Brad Pitt’s Benji!

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December 4, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized.

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