Writer: JanakWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Cheeni Kum”, “Tare Zameen Par”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Revisiting the themes in "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button", Bollywood has replaced Brad Pitt with the legendary Amitabh Bachchan in a drama that offers a new twist - that is, aside from casting Abhishek Bachchan as his father, in a role reversal of sorts.
"Paa" challenges you from the outset itself. Can an old man play son to his real life son? Amitabh Bachchan is Auro, a boy with an genetic condition that causes him to age rapidly. Recently, many Bollywood directors have presented him in many peculiar roles. There's the Jack Sparrow look-alike ("Jhoom Barabar Jhoom"), Gabbar, The Baddie Robber ("Aag" comparing with "Sholay"), Friendly Ghost ("Bhootnath") and also a helpful Genie ("Aladin"). Here, he has gone one up by straying as far as possible from his trademark towering presence and deep booming voice by playing a simple boy with charming ways. Other than that, Vidya Balan goes beyond being eye candy and really shines in this film. Co-starring with Amitabh Bachchan has improved her acting by a lot. Abhishek Bachchan on the other hand doesn't do much but a few scenes with his Amitabh is quite emotional. Supporting cast like Paresh Rawal help add extra fun to the film.
As we all know, the plot of the film is very much copied from Hollywood adaptation "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" and a little of last year's hit "Tare Zameen Par". The first half is more interesting but the second half is very slow at times. Perhaps director R Balki wants to instill more father-son character development which causes the pace to take a dip. In any case, the winsome plot prevails in the end.
Like in "Cheeni Kum", Amitabh and R Balki's previous collaboration in 2008, "Paa" is entirely shot in UK and mostly at Cambridge and Oxford University. Cinematographer PC Sriram does a wonderful job and the quiet backdrop of the UK really blends in with the story, giving more focus to bring the story forward. The traditional special effects in the film should be lauded as well. Amitabh's transformation to Auro looks very real and the scenes involving Auro doing multiple stunts was incredible. As one would remember, AB Corporation (Amitabh's production company) which was declared bankrupt back in the 90s returns to boost the feel of the movie.
In terms of the songs, former Kollywood composer Illarayaraja steps in with the background music and the songs for the film. Since the movie is more character driven, the songs doesn't need to make much impact. Still, the theme track and another song ('Udhi Udhi Ittifaq Se') is very pleasant on the ears.
Overall, this movie is really worth a watch for audiences of all ages. Its simplicity and moral values will be the high note. Also, it has all the elements of a typical Bollywood film which involves drama, emotion, love and most importantly, it has the great star acting in it. Not to be missed for any Amitabh Bachchan fan.Cinema Online, 06 December 2009