Saturday, May 28, 2022
Outlook.com

Paa

The film moves you in parts but stops short of being an overwhelmingly stirring experience. There are some jarring and tackily-handled scenes.

Paa
Paa Paa

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Arundhati Nag, Paresh Rawal
Directed by R. BALKI
Rating: **

There are some delightful elements in Paa. Like a little school girl’s fixation with Auro, the child afflicted with progeria (Big B, boosting his much-celebrated performative skills with pain-stakingly-put-together prosthetics), and Auro’s own amusing uneasiness with her. Then there’s Auro’s best friend Vishnu who has some pert issues to sort out with his dad and says rather philosophically: “Do mard ek ghar mein saath nahin rah sakte.” The best thing about Paa are these kids—empathetic, warm and funny in an unassuming way. They bag the best scenes and the best lines. Also heart-warming is the affectionate relationship Auro shares with his single mom (Vidya Balan, back to looking good and acting well) and grandmom “Bum” (Arundhati Nag, wonderful with her sheer screen presence) and his growing bonding with his estranged dad (Abhishek, earnest and sincere). Wish there was more of it. Unfortunately, the individual moments in Paa don’t get knit together very well as a whole. The film moves you in parts but stops short of being an overwhelmingly stirring experience. The first half gets particularly scattered. The narrative flounders as you wonder what it is about—is it to do with a couple disagreeing on whether to have or not have a kid, is it about a politician learning his first lessons in being crafty or is it about a single mom bringing up a child on her own?

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