Meri Maa Teri Hain Mere Paa

That’s the song that plays at the end when the titles roll – sung by the 13 year old Auro. Listen to the lyrics carefully, the songs sums up what the movie is about – It’s about Auro and his mom. I’m not going to write about the story as everyone knows it by now, I will only pen down what I thought about this fine movie.

Cheeni Kum is one of my favourite movies – for the simplicity, for the witty dialogues, for the unusual subject, for the wonderful cast. Balki gets it right yet again, this time with bigger names in the industry and he does not use any of the charisma the Big B is known for. Aptly he introduces the Amitabh we have never known in this movie in the delightful role of Auro. Forget the critics saying he is too tall for a 13 year old or looks weird with the hunch and hands dangling. Just forget that, it is too inconsequential when one sees the wonders this 67-year old veteran has achieved.

Amitabh Bachachan is no where to be seen and you fall in love with Auro – his mannerisms, his quick wit, his love for his grandma and mom, his innocence, his friendships and his fears. Despite the rare disease that has cut short his wonderful life, he is not a depressed and sulky kid. His grandma and mother have ensured that there is love all around him and he does not feel lost or alone. Add to it a fine set of friends and teachers at school.

Vidya Balan excels – almost eats up Abhishek making him look like a beauty piece in the house. She is brilliant in almost everything she does – when she confesses to Abhishek about the pregnancy, when she cries to her mom, when she confidently retorts that it is a chromosome glitch when a lady asks her what is wrong with her son, when she sees Auro accept the gift from his Paa on TV, when she hands over the photograph to Auro and when she asks Abhishek to stay away from their life after he steps in again 13 years later. Her eyes talk, they really do and she looks beautiful in her cotton sarees and 3/4th sleeve blouses. After Kajol, here is a lady who can act, and act so well that it touches our hearts.

I loved Arundhati Naag as the mom. I simply loved her. Confident, fun-loving, ever optimistic. What a mother to have, see the scene where Vidya tells her about her pregnancy. All throughout that 5 minute scene she only asks Vidya if she wants the child or not. When Vidya says she is single, unmarried, and all alone, her mom just says one line – “I was all alone when your father passed away and you were 2, at least now you have me!” I almost cried at that dialogue.

But my favourite character in the movie is Auro’s friend Vishnu. The guy is gem, dishing out wise cracks one after the other. Loved that bit about why does Algebra have X and Y – Auro’s explanation takes the cake. Vishnu’s dad is in school as Vishnu has not fared well and Auro goes looking for him. When they meet Vishnu says, “There are times I doubt he is my dad. I’m so cool, he is so uncool; but he has the proof yaar – the wedding pictures and the pictures of him carrying me in his arms after that!”

And the bit where Auro asks him what makes him his father’s son – the common factors. Vishnu’s answers have you rolling in laughter. Two of those here:
“We both are lefty – he uses his left hand to slap and I get the slap on my left cheek.
We both have the same aim in life- my death, but he wants to murder me and I wish to commit suicide.”

I found Abhishek okay. He does a decent job nothing excellent, but then his role does not have much to do either. That bit about media expose could’ve been avoided and maybe a little more focus on developing the father-son bond, a little more maybe. It happens too late in the movie.

The houses of Abhishek and Vidya are beautiful. The whole movie is so scenic you can’t take your eyes of the background.

Quite a few people highlighted that the movie does not depict the struggle and acceptance of Vidya as an unwed mother. She is shown as a successful independent lady. They live in a bungalow and she has a Honda Civic – from no angle has her mom and she been shown as struggling to make ends meet. They seem to come from an affluent background and maybe that helped ease her acceptance by society. And if Balki had focused on that issue, there would be no time left to focus on Auro.

Another point of criticism thrown is about the kids have been shown to be too mature in accepting Auro, kids are not that nice or mature apparently at that age is the argument put forth – Wrong! Kids these days are far more mature and smart than we can think of; I’ve seen the proof. Moreover kids do what they are taught. If parents and teachers can guide them correctly they will tread the right path. And having shown them in such a positive manner, Balki sends a good signal to all.

We have grown up to believe that the world is so bad that we refuse to accept when things are shown in a positive light. Good people still exist on this planet and one cannot take that goodness away. If it was as evil as we make it out to be we would not be alive. It’s the goodness in people’s heart that has kept this world going.

What is wrong when a guy depicts everything positive in his film – do we need to bring in negativity in our reviews by highlighting that he has showed no negativity. Why do we always feel that the negative things are reality and positive things happen only in movies? Has none of us ever seen anything nice and wonderful in our lives? Are we getting that cynical in life that we do not want to see a feel good movie which shows only nice people around? Think about it!

Watch Paa, it’s beautiful; it almost re-ascertains your faith in love, family, relationships, friendships. Without being too melodramatic or bringing in a remorse mood about Auro’s impending death, Paa only brings joy to the viewer and keeps us wanting for more – more of Balki’s movies , more of Auro and definitely more of Bum and Vidya.

P.S: This post was to be put up last Saturday but got delayed. In a span of 6 days I’ve seen another wonderful movie! The post on this one soon. But if you get a chance don’t delay watching the movie – Shimit Amit and Jaideep Sahni get it right again and Ranbir Kapoor is climbing my all-time favourite charts faster than I thought he would:-)


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1 Comment

  1. starry eyed

    Lovely review yaar. I like positive movies. And hate nit-picking critics! And totally love Vidya Balan.

    Will probably catch this when it comes out on DVD!

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