The tale of a love-struck couple's careless encounter, a man's ambitious plan for his life against a woman's sacrifice while raising her child with a supportive mother leads us to a prodigal son- 'Auro' . While Auro's rare and incurable disability of 'Progeria' seems like a tragic foundation for a story whose characters are enacted by Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Amitabh Bachchan, R. Balki's writing and direction walks the sword's edge of realism to give us a funny, entertaining, witty , heartwarming and endearing film.
PAA is enriched with subtlety, reality, simplicity and stuff that comes straight from the heart. The last quality is especially depicted on screen through the sincere performances by Vidya Balan, Abhishek Bachchan, Paresh Rawal and Arundhati Nag. However, there is no superlative adjective in the dictionary for what Amitabh Bachchan has done and achieved in this film. It would suffice to say that even after reading such praise about his performance, you would still be unnervingly surprised after you watch him. To enact a child is one thing but to enact him when he has a genetic disorder that makes him 4 times older than he actually is.... now that's 'performace'. Without the use of ultra-modern technology, R. Balki, with the aid of some outstanding talent in make-up, sound recording, cinematography, music (Illayaraja), screenplay and that of his own writing and directing skills, has generated a marvel that without a doubt sets his work at par with Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Anand' .
Amol Atre is now an MP who is out to change the image of politics while working more 'for the people'. His political ideology is what we would really hope to see in real politicians. Althought one may accuse Balki of over-indulgence in the entire slum-rehabilitation campaign of Amol's to digress from more fun moments of Auro's life, it still remains under control because it does not lead to boredom. Although, it may have been a better fit for the 'Sarkar' movies.
Vidya's journey through being an ambitious young student to a mature and composed un-wed mother is depicted with surprising ease. Her portrayal of the loving and understanding mother who has accepted the reality of progeria's tragic curse is wonderful. Here is one actress who has proven yet again that she can play characters far better than those who play 'roles'.
Although Paresh Rawal and Arundhati Nag have a limited role, they portray their characters immaculately. Watch them closely when their characters have to play awkward parts. Grandmom playing a video game and Paresh Rawal convincing Auro that his time isn't up yet for him.
Among the more brilliant bits of the film are in school. The presence of a child suffering from Progeria who displays all traits of a normal child his age is so naturally convincing that it looks too smooth. Auro's friends are understanding yet playful and comfortable in the presence of this witty lad. Watch out for Auro's telephone conversation with his buddy Vishnu- the most hilarious scene of the year! Also, the explanation on the necessity of Algebra in Mathematics..... It is only after you reach home from the theater that you realize that the funniest scenes of the year, which were rendered by a kid, were actually by Amitabh Bachchan.
Moments shared by Amol and Auro are funny, witty and non-confrontational while the beauty of the film lies in the moments shared between Auro and Vidya. It's only when all three are together in the hospital that the film turns into a quintessential bollywood melodrama but far from the drag of 'Kal Ho Na Ho'. Balki uses music only in the background without disrupting the story's progress and Illayaraja delivers a fine theme for the movie that is lively. With witty humour and a subtle message just like in 'Anand', PAA reminds us to live your life to the fullest, no matter what you have at your disposal. It is an enriching experience that is heartwarming and with an endearing rendition of Big B's little 'Auro'.
9.05 on a scale of 1-10.
Paa definitely makes you feel all of the above.
You go in with a lot of trepidation. Ah? Another case of botched up make -up/special effect saga of bollywood trying to ape hollywood - you fear - but what you see is a surprise package of wholesome entertainment.
Right from the moment Auro walks in - wow what a moment - until we bid adieu to him, it is full of heartwarming, tender, witty, funny, pleasing, thoughtful and whatnot moments...Bravo Balki.
Who said Amitabh was there. We never saw him. We saw Auro, Auro and Auro alone. The make-up was so believable and Amitabh has literally gotten under the skin of a 13 yr old. The voice that he puts on, the throttlr that he gushes out, the way he mollycoddles with his grandma "bum", the anticipation, the buld up that he shows for the Delhi visit promised by the "cool" monkey MP Amol Arte and the disappointment and the subsequent distraction onto the videogames...vow...vow....
The precociously intelligent Auro is so believable - if I am nitpicking- I would say, I saw Amitabh only in the last scenes when he beckons Abhishek with his index finger, while on the death bed.....
His relationship with Vidya Balan and Grandma Arundathi Nag - stupendous...so natural...excellant chemistry....
I loved the way he sits in the kitchen and asks his "bum" ..."you know that I know that isnt it"...great piece...
Viday Balan - great work...the movie could be AURO and The mother...She just fits the role...
Arundhathi nag is fabulous, so is Abishek.
The story - it could have been a bit tight - the father son relationship could have been explored a bit more. But it was a refreshing nice way of story telling without any melodramas. The dialogues were so natural - we could be talking like this everyday at home-
Ofcourse some people might say that the movie didnt address the issue of Progeria, the discrimination etc...But I do think that the line of story telling was deliberately taken...Still you do feel that everybody is so good, nice and accepting in the movie, is a bit too good to be true....
A bit of discomfort in Abhishek, a bit of frustration in Vidya balan, a bit of irritation in Arundhathi Nag, a hint of discrimination at schooll would have added some reality and would have made it interesting to watch the existential dialemma. A frustrated mother and a father torn between love and rejection would have posed an interesting moral question....
But all in all when you watch the movie..Auro is so mesmeric (I totally disagree with NYtimes reviewer calling him "Creepy"-)you didnt think much...you bought the movie...so I would buy another ticket for sure...
Kudos to Auro....
Sr. Bachchan who plays the character called Auro, I would not be surprised, if we have dolls being sold in Shoppers Stop, Big Bazaar, very soon. But one thing for sure, whenever Auro is in front of the screen, he just lightens up the moment.
This movie it seems like Bachchan Sr. is passing the baton to Bachchan Jr. It is high time, he does that. There is no competition amongst each other, but then there are a only a very few movies of AB Baby that are actually good. Naach, Guru, Sarkar, Sarkar Raaj and now this. Abhishek Bachchan is good political MP; no, this is not an oxymoron, it is the character. To that extent that you can actually see his voter's mark on his middle finger in the movie.
Simple Story. The 12/13/14 year old child suffers from Progeria and the disease brings the parent together. Three different occasions, when the age of Auro has been mentioned differently by different characters. One sincere request, stop comparing the movie to Benjamin Button, it is not! It was actually Robin Williams who was suffering the same disease in the movie Jack. It is not actually the original concept. The execution there are just too many cuts, that too very fast ones. The cuts becomes irritating towards the end. (Reference to Jack on IMDB)
Songs are well intertwined and the lyrics bring an amazing soothing effect to the whole scene, last time this feeling seeped into the heart, mind, body and soul, during Taare Zameen Par. Hichki, Hichki and Mere Paa is simple and nice and my favourites.
The movie has its moments, but it just doesnt make you cry. The performance reminds you of Amitabh Bachchan in Black, but then that it was different, that was acting. In Black, when he was smiling, you were laughing, when he was upset, everyone in the theatre had tears in their eyes. Here, he just falls a little short of the getting the audience moved.
The other characters that needs mention is bum, grandmother to Auro played by Arundhati Nag (theatre personality, wife of Anant Nag). She was simply level headed, strong character. She was when faced with moral questions, she would be you take a stand, and you will have my support - that was brilliant. At the same time, the relationship between Paresh Rawal (Dad to Amol Atre) and Abhishek Bachchan does not come out that impactful. But individually there were sound.
Google being subtly being endorsed by Auro. (Tweet)
Public Relations angle to the story, creative people need to stop treating like media as you can buy them out. It isnt like this always, please do not under-estimate the media as your pawn. The movie does bring out the current affairs element in the movie through redevelopment issues and media being used to create a hype on this.
In short, it is a complete worth it paisa wasool movie for Amithabh BAchchan. I would like to highlight, even though Auro is cute it is not for the kid viewing at the same time.