I had been looking forward to the release Balki’s Paa. I had enjoyed watching Balki’s first film Cheeni Kum, and was expecting something of the same caliber; but like most other directors with a fantastic first film (M. Night Shyamalan and his Sixth Sense, for instance), the second offering was very disappointing.
Beyond the novelty factor of the real life father playing the son’s part on reel, both father and son, Amitabh and Abhisek let me down. Amitabh’s portrayal of a 13 year old was very contrived, and Abhisek trying to play cool and mouth English dialogues was very painful to watch. In my view, there are very few Indian male actors who look natural on-screen mouthing English dialogues – Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna come to mind immediately; Shah Rukh can pull if off with ease as well. Watching the rest is very painful and awkward – Aamir Khan and Salman Khan look very uncomfortable; Amitabh gets very Shakespearean – he always seems to be holding up an imaginary skull; Govinda shouldn’t even try – he looks like an idiot!
Overall the movie is trash – how it managed to get average and above average ratings in press is beyond me.
There are only a couple of positives – Vidya Balan has done a good job, and Illayaraja’s music is fantastic as always.
For folks who have not watched it yet, I would suggest wait till it is out on DVD and watch it at home. It really is not worth burning gas to drive to the theater, and to spend Rs. 300.00 and you don’t have to mortgage your house to pay the by-the-minute car parking fees.