A rare film about a rare child…


How do you define a good film? For me, it is the way the film involves you, engages you and impacts you; if it is a comedy, does it make you laugh non-stop or if it is an emotional film, does it move you? Rarely a film completely lives up to the promise made through its promotion / publicity machinery. Paa lives up to the promise but with a slight difference; it was promoted as a very rare father-son / son-father story but what shines through is the relationship between Auro, a 12-year old child suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Progeria and his mother, Vidya. You connect with Auro, the moment he makes his first appearance and from that point onwards you laugh with him and cry for him.

Amitabh Bachchan is re-discovered in this film as Auro, not only because he has acted extremely well but also because you do not notice him in the film. There is no Amitabh Bachchan in the film but only Auro, who is a happy child despite his medical condition because of which his body has aged to that of an 80-year old. His mother, Vidya (played superbly by Vidya Balan) is extremely proud of her son and is not embarrassed or adversely affected by his situation; in fact she calls him ‘lucky’ in one scene. Abhishek Bachchan as Amol Arte, a young conscientious politician, delivers an extremely confident and restrained performance. His scenes with his son, Auro as well as his father (played by Paresh Rawal) are excellent. Performance wise, the film belongs to Auro and another actor who is a real surprise package – Arundhati Nag, who plays ‘Bum’, Auro’s maternal grand-mother and friend. She has an extremely strong character and proves that screen time has nothing to do with the impact made.

Despite the serious subject matter, writer-director, R. Balki (Cheeni Kum) has given the film a very light feel without losing the grip on the emotions. However, there is too much focus on Abhishek Bachchan’s political endeavours that move away from the main plot. Ilaiyaraja’s music is outstanding and completely involves you with what is happening on screen, especially the violin theme. ‘Halke Se Bole’ and ‘Hichki Hichki’ are two wonderful numbers in the film and credit also goes to the lyricist, Swanand Kirkire. Talking about the technicians, I cannot miss out the prosthetic make-up team that helped bring the character of Auro to screen as well as the brilliant cinematography by P. C. Sriram.

After Taare Zameen Par, Paa is a film that manages to connect the audience so well with the protagonist. In a nutshell, it is a beautiful film that deserves to be watched.

My Rating: * * * * Four stars (on five)

Shrey Khetarpal


17 comments on “Paa

  1. Pingback: Twitted by shreykhetarpal

  2. the film undoubtedly is beautiful. Before going for Paa, I had thought that prolly the film and Auro will fail the extreme publicity… but i was soooo wrong and thank god for that…. i got to watch a sweet film that will make u cry and laugh at the same time!!!!
    And Shrey u have been strict…. the film sure deserves a 4.5…. doesnt it?

  3. hey , why can i not share this review? can you not get an option up here , where i can auto mail or share the links of your reviews??

  4. Hey Shrey,

    Hope you are doing good 🙂

    Saw the film yesterday and felt dissapointed.Couldnt connect.After a point, the movie was on a super drag mode.

    It was like –

    Take some Guru, add a hint of Cheeni Kum and a good dash of Taare Zameen Ke and what you have is the staple diet of the protagonist Auro (khichdi) which one consumes with the same kind of resignation as the protagonist does.



    • Hey Amita,
      Am good… and hope you’re rocking the web 2.0 world 😉
      Well, I liked it as you read in the post above… Your Kichdi comment is quite funny but where did you see Guru in the film? LOL!

  5. Hi Shrey,
    I saw the film last night and cannot help but marvel at the way Bacchan is just going from strength to strength …at 68 ….way to go man.I like the deft and light touch and the attempt to consciously not to wring every tear out of every scene a la Taare Zameen Par.
    However the political naivete displayed in the charactersisation of Abhishek’s ‘feel good politician’ detracts from the story line and I feel could have been avoided altogether.Like you what stayed with me after the movie were Auro,Vidya and Bum.
    Would still like to applaud ABCorp for attempting to do something different and hope it works at the box office because I watched it in a half filled hall on the 3rd day after it’s release :otherwise the chasm between different and good cinema and commercial crap and mindless entertainment would always remain.

    • Hi Ma’am,
      Even I saw it in a half filled hall and on the second day of release. It is sad when a film like this opens to a 45-50% opening and crap like Blue had housefull in the first weekend. Anyways, the film will make money due to its moderate budget and gather awards 🙂

  6. The movie is superflop people are not telling the truth the movie is so boring that i sleep in the theater it is very long and nothing in the movie i m telling my frnd just dont go and publicity and all publicity stunt. no story at all

  7. What a brilliant performance by Amitabh. Each character in the movie has stuck to his or her role. Vidya Balan performance is one of her best till date. Abhishek in his neta role evokes mixed responses from the youth, but hey thats what youth is all about. Even Bum’s acting is good. To sum it up AB Corp is back

    • Yes, Vidya has been saved with this film. I am looking forward to watching her in Ishqiya with Naseerudin Shah and Arshad Warsi.

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