PAA (R. Balki). 133 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (December 4). For venues, times, and trailers, see Movies. Rating: NPaa will.
PAA (R. Balki). 133 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (December 4). For venues, times, and trailers, see Movies. Rating: N
Paa will likely satisfy diehard Bollywood fans but won’t win any converts to India’s maddening but lucrative movie industry.
Mimicking Robin Williams’s character in Jack, Amitabh Bachchan (the Bollywood superstar idolized in Slumdog Millionaire) dons Benjamin Button’s latex and E.T.’s massive cranium as Auro, a 12-year-old who ages five times faster than normal kids.
Auro’s absent and unaware father (played by the star’s own son Abhishek Bachchan) is a well-intentioned politi cian who’s too busy housing India’s slum-dwelling homeless to realize that he has a child from that girl he loved so long ago. Cue the romantic flashbacks and melodramatic reunions awkwardly set against a pedestrian diatribe against India’s corrupt politics and media.
There’s neither singing nor dancing in Paa, which tries to ecape categorization as typical Bollywood fodder. But the movie still indulges in loud, irritating musical montages, its characters skipping merrily along, as if it can’t deny instinct.
Though this in not a musical, its jarring shifts between romance, politics, melodrama and slapstick prove that its filmmakers are tone-deaf.