Amol Atre(Abhishek Bachchan), a Member of Parliament and fast rising politician, visits King Edwards school on it’s 50th day celebration to judge the “Vision of India” contest. He is excited at seeing the entries and selects a white globe as the winner as it signifies a world without boundaries. When the prize is announced, Amol is surprised to see a 60 year old man coming forward to collect the prize. Amol is perplexed to see the prize winner behaves like a school going kid. The prize winner is Auro(Amitabh Bachchan), a 13 year old boy suffering a rare genetic disease named Progeria. Due to this genetic disorder, Auro ages rapidly and hence he looks older than his age. Auro leaves a lasting impression on Amol.
Auro lives with his mother Vidya (Vidya Balan) and his grandmother affectionately called Bum(Arundhati Naag). When Auro tells Vidya about Amol and his prize, she is shocked. Years back, Vidya and Amol were dating each other while studying in London. When Vidya gets pregnant, Amol is worried as he wants to concentrate on his political career. He wants Vidya to go for an abortion which leads to breakup between them. Vidya flies back to India, gives birth to Auro and raises him. Her mother is very supportive all along.
Slowly, Auro interacts with Amol over email and chat after Auro’s life gets disrupted by the latter’s school visit. Amol promises Auro to show him the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. After this, Auro is very excited and Vidya is terrified. Bum urges Vidya to reveal the truth. During the same time, Amol gets busy with a slum redevelopment project wherein the opposition and the media is not very friendly. How Vidya tells Auro about his father, how Auro reacts to his father, how Amol and Auro bond with each other and how society reacts to an unmarried MP’s new found status of parenthood forms the rest of the story.
R Balakrishnan aka Balki script and directs this drama. Like his earlier directorial venture “Cheeni Kum”, Balki builds emotional scenes using humor which makes this an entertaining movie without sounding preachy or melodramatic. Balki displays exceptional ability in handling kids as it is evident in all the scenes involving Auro and his friends. The conversations are brilliantly written and funny. The interaction with Auro and his group of friends brings the house down. In many scenes, Balki subtly shows that the care, concern and love towards Auro displayed by his friends. He bases his script on a few main characters. As a result, the screen is not overcrowded and the audience develops an intimacy with the characters. His script slightly loses track during the slum redevelopment campaign. In spite of the name “Paa”, the character of “Paa” is underdeveloped while “Maa” outshines.
Aided by PC Sreeram, Balki is able to create picture perfect scenes which are visually pleasing. Ilaiyaraja has reused his previously successful tunes in Tamil for the songs.
Amitabh Bachchan is barely recognizable with the prosthetics. The original voice of Amitabh is lost in the raspy mumblings of Auro. The prosthetics only do a fraction of job in transforming Amitabh to Auro. The rest of transformation is completed to perfection by Amitabh adopting the body language of a 13 year old. The height is the only minus point in this regard. Although Amitabh tries to slouch to cover up this anomaly, he is too tall. But, Amitabh overcomes this with a wonderful performance. His walk, the shrugging of the shoulder and his laughing at his joke are amazing to watch.
Vidya Balan gives a superlative performance as Auro’s mother. Be it the lustful look on her face after spending the evening in pub or reproachful look on her face when Amol touches her to console her, she displays wide range of emotions. This helps her is walking away with accolades in spite of Auro and Paa.
Arundhanti Naag as Bum is a revelation. Abhishek Bachchan and Paresh Rawal sticks to the script.
This is highly recommended and will provide an entertaining watch.
Picture Courtesy: Bollywood Hungama