I had a lot of prejudice regarding Paa, for a lot of the obvious reasons. Amitabh Bachchan's acting skills are so praised that there seem to be no new height for things to be said about them to be reached. If everything he does is the best thing ever (aside from Aag) according to people then nothing he does is the best because there's nowhere for him to go. So there was a real sense of people appreciating him because he was taking this leap and because he was AB, not because
the performance was actually worth praising.
And of course, the gimmick of a father playing a son to his own son, and portraying a child with a genetic defect that allows some believability to that, it all just seemed like too much. I was really uncertain whether this movie was a victim of overhype, whether I'd find anything likable in it, just whether it'd work.
And then I saw it.
And it worked. It really worked.
Ramsu's review convinced me to put aside my prejudice and give this film a try, and I am so glad I did. It's been a while since I've been this affected by a movie. I was just so broken by every emotional cue the film gave me, constantly getting misty-eyed, and utterly in pieces during the final scenes. It was kind of ridiculous, but I also loved it. Sometimes a tear-jerker is just what I needed, and because bullshit family drama ala K3G does nothing to my tear-ducts, films like Paa are in high demand.
Vidya Balan broke me the most. There's just something so believable and captivating about her performance. She simply excels at playing these sort of very grounded characters, and of course she looked absolutely amazing. Abhishek wasn't far behind, though.
And then there's Amitabh. I could critisize certain visual aspects of Auro that don't necessarily make for the most realistic portrayal of somebody with Progeria, and the fact a tall man is tough to shrink down in size. And I could also talk about how the character has a bit of "noble sick person" syndrome happening. But you know what? I don't really care. I just bought it, and that's the chief victory of this performance.
The cinematography and editing were top notch, and even if there was a somewhat unnecessary side plot, it's safe to say I really enjoyed the emotional rollercoaster ride of Paa. Sometimes I guess I should believe the hype.