Review: Paa – Bring home the awards

Dear Paa,

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words, ‘Daavar seth aaj bhi main phenke hue paisa nahin utatha ‘ or ‘Pandrah sau rupiyah ki pagaar mein ghar nahin chalta toh imaan kaise chalega, Gaitonde saab? ‘. What about my personal favorite where Anthony Gonsalves tells Inspector Amar, ‘Apun ek hi maara lekin solid maara na saaheb ‘. Let me answer that for you, these memorable lines are best remembered by the baritone voice that accompanies them. Now if you take that away and introduce a raspy teenagers voice with a slur, what do you get? Surprisingly Paa, the results if not phenomenal were quite refreshing and I managed to pull it off very well. Right from the time when trailers hit the market, we knew this one was going to be a winner. When you bring the biggest name in Indian cinema and one of the greatest music maestros together, it sure promises something special. What made it even more special was the fact that I got to play a teenager at a time when many younger to me were being offered grandfather roles.

It was a surreal experience to watch myself on screen with all the prosthetics and hard to believe who it really was behind those layers of extensive make up. We tried to capture most of the elements that
tend to
associate with 12yr olds
elements that you tend to associate with 12yr olds like being cranky, stubborn, potty jokes and the childish reasoning and logic. It was a good decision to steer away from depicting the suffering and sorrow of living with a incurable genetic disorder, and instead focus on the innocence of coping with daily life. I’m sure parallels will be drawn to the fantastic ‘Taare Zameen Par‘, for it is the only other A-grade kids film to deal with a serious problem. Our movie on many levels matches it right from the music, to the stunning camera work and even the direction. The only mis-step might be in the emotional connect that our film slightly falters with. It doesn’t quite tug at the heart and you don’t see many in the audience with a lump in their throat.  On the contrary, almost everyone who saw ‘Taare Zameen Par’ walked out with tears in their eyes. We did however put our best foot forward and left no stone unturned when paying attention to detail right form the special dentures. The only thing that I failed to understand was the use of the word ‘just’ for a budget of 15Cr. I must have either been frozen in time or the Rupee fell below the Yen, for INR 15Cr is not a modest amount from where I come atleast!

So tell me Paa, why were you hell bent on grabbing some screen time for yourself? There could possibly be no other justification for the sub-plotno other justification for the sub-plot with slums, corruption and the following tirade against the media. It could possible not be to portray you as an astute and honest paalteeshan, also we could have done with a little more son-father moments given that it is the tag line of our movie. Barring the 15-20 minutes screen time that we shared, it seemed more like a mother-son story and not like the posters suggest. Nevertheless the whole cast brought their A-game to the table and the kid who played Vishnu was fantastic. There is something about the ‘Palakkad‘ gene that makes Vidya Balan awesome every time she smiles with a twinkle in those eyes. Paa, I’m sure everyone will enjoy the movie and it sure is a refreshing change from the trash that is dished out every friday these days. If there was anything we could change, it could have been the predictable penultimate scene and the starting credits. Announcing the names of the cast is definitely unique, but seemed quite absurd when executed on screen. All said and done Paa, I am happy we made this movie and we can now wait for the awards to start rolling.

Love Auro

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