Every once in a while a director takes on a challenge and attempts to tell a tale with his handful of characters and a story close to the heart of the Indian audiences. Paa is one of those movies and portrays Bollywood at its finest.
Directed by R Balki, this movie spells wonders and can be considered as one of the most ‘beautiful’ films of the year. Casting the Bachchans in the movie would obviously get it through the initial hitches at the box office but the fact remains that there is absolutely no reason why you should skip this. Especially given the condition that if you have a heart, you will absolutely fall in love with 13-year-old Auro (Amitabh Bachchan) and his paa and maa.
Auro (Amitabh Bachchan) is an intelligent and creative 13-year-old kid who is suffering from a form of Progeria that causes accelerated aging and makes him look a lot different than kids of his actual age. Vidya (Vidya Balan), a gynecologist and an absolutely loving and single mother, leaves no stone unturned while bringing up a kid who looks bigger and older than she does herself. You will figure out in the very beginning that Auro is an unwanted son (and unknown too till the second half begins) of an aspiring visionary and a politician too cool to be fit in Indian context, Amol Atre (Abhishek Bachchan). The interaction between the three lead characters and the fact that Auro suffers from something as serious and incurable as Progeria forms the rest of the story.
Some of the best moments Balki puts forwards range from the emotional void of the characters to the tears that leave you stunned because of small and meaningful dialogues. Coming from an advertising background, Balki puts his experience to good use. Being used to the art of storytelling in just 60 seconds, in Paa, he actually makes every 60 seconds of the movie worthwhile. He manages to deliver the best without unnecessary dialogues and over stretched scenes with the use of the songs with unmatched creativity.
The music of the movie stands out but it seems like the extension of music director Ilaiyaraja’s Cheeni Kum. Swanand’s (Kirkires) lyrics are going to stay with you even after the movie is over. This movie has a couple of songs which might be considered as Swanand’s best. The situational use of the music and lyrics blended with the background score almost has a mesmerizing effect. P C Shreeram as the cinematographer weaves magic with astonishing frames, though the movie has been shot indoors mostly, his rendition of life around town (especially Lucknow) is breathtaking.
Big B reinforces himself as a great actor and he proves once again that he can make a character come to life almost effortlessly. Junior, as well, played the character of a visionary politician with utmost ease. Supported brilliantly by Vidya Balan and the kids (playing Auro’s friends, especially the character of Vishnu) this movie should ideally be making it to the top of your to do list for the weekend.
Unfortunately, the movie promotes itself as a ‘rare father son – son father story’, which creates an illusion that is very close to real life. Though there are some touching scenes and dialogues which involve the duo, it was never to the point where the movie should be marketed calling it a father son affair. The fact that everyone knows that the reel life son is the real life father definitely worked in the favour of movie but I wonder if this movie would have been so appealing without the first family of Bollywood?
The movie has the potential to live beyond the tagline and is phenomenal when it comes to the superb performance by everyone (though there are hardly 6 or 7 important characters) and a well written script with comic, often cute punches every now and then served in a platter garnished with lots of emotions.
The final verdict says that Paa is a must watch emotional flick. Contrary to the rumors that it was a more refined version of Taare Zameen Par and a less refined version of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Paa stands out to be the one of Bollywood’s best this year portraying the very best of original execution and needless to say, it is entirely different from the two movies that have been mentioned.
One thing that you should keep in mind while watching this in theatres; please finish your supplies of drinks, popcorn, or other eatables in the first half because the only thing you would like to be in your hands for the second half is a just a pack of tissue papers.