Movie Review: PAA (2009)

Published by Shah Shahid on

There are very few instances of emotionally epic movies in worldwide cinema. However, writer and director R. Balki has achieved it with his simple and heart breaking story in PAA.


3 Out Of 5 Stars

70 year old Amitabh Bachchan as a 12 year old boy… just wow!

Basically about a 12-year-old boy with Progeria (rapid aging disease) PAA shows us the life of a boy in this condition and how his quality of life or spirit hasn’t been affected by it. Not to mention the impact it has on his parents. However, PAA is not a preachy and tragic look at someone with this disease. It’s a lighthearted and endearing tale of such a boy, who never once stops smiling or causing the audience to smile.

PAA also marks, probably the first time in any movie industry, of any country in the world, where a real life Father-Son duo are playing the lead characters, not in the way you would think. Amitabh Bachchan, one of the most legendary actors of the Indian Industry who is 70+ years old, plays the 12-year-old with Progeria, Auro. While Abhishek Bachchan, his real life son in his early 40’s, plays Auro’s on screen father. It’s an awesome feat of make up, but never the Senior Bachchan completely convinces us that he had the mind of a 12-year-old boy.

father son – son father combo…

After a whirlwind love affair in their younger days, Vidya Balan’s Vidya and Abhishek Bachchan‘s Amol get pregnant. Due to Amol’s ambitious future plans, he reacts impulsively by wanting an abortion. To this, the proud and independent Vidya responds by leaving him forever, and having the child on her own, relegating herself to the stigma of a single mother. However, things are further complicated when the baby is discovered to have Progeria and an over all life expectancy of only 12-14 years. During a chance encounter, now a public politician, Amol unknowingly comes across his own son, thus starting a friendship that will turn 3 lives upside down… this is PAA.

The honest and realism portrayed in every R. Balki directed film so far, is what makes PAA so refreshingly heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. The performances are all stand out and expectedly so.

Vidya Balan as the single Indian mother of a child with Progeria is beautifully mature and superbly brilliant. Abhishek Bachchan as the young politician trying to change the world through honesty and determination is also a change, especially when his career is threatened by the revelation of his earlier indiscretion. His scenes with his real life father and on screen son are probably the best. Leading us to Amitabh Bachchan.

Any actor finds it a challenge to play emotionally disabled characters, however for a 70 year old to play a 12-year-old boy, with all the appropriate emotional range and innocence is pure genius. And the Senior Bachchan does so with ease and grace. Bachchan Senior plays Auro as so sweet and amazing; however, being aware of his condition also provides him with a mature outlook on life. I still can’t get over the fact that a 70+ year old actor plays a 12-year-old boy so convincingly, that never once can you imagine this to be the case.

I think it’s insane to have a real life father son duo, playing opposite roles in their own real life relationship. PAA does this brilliantly, and the dynamics are pure awesome. However, I warn you… you will cry! PAA will invoke every ounce of maternal and paternal instincts in anyone over 19! It’s a sweet and touching story about the relationship between a father and son, a mother and son… and over all about life’s precious moments.

PAA isn’t a movie highlighting the disease of Progeria, nor is it a preachy tale trying to tug at heartstrings in order to evoke a certain emotional response. It’s a simple story about families and the relationship a child has… with unique circumstances. It’s heartwarming and touching.

still blows my mind…

R. Balki’s genius with the screenplay is further proved by his execution of the film. Similar to his previous, CHEENI KUM, PAA is too good to be described in a review, and simply must be seen by anyone appreciating tales of endearment.

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Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


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