102 Not Out Review

Remember Baghban? Where grown up children with lives of their own behave really badly with their parents? Who like Lear have signed off all their wealth to the ungrateful brats? The film assumes that the parents can never go wrong because 'Indian Values'. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham had the same infallible mother character and an autocratic dad who eventually comes around. Bollywood celebrates age and parenthood as if it were some treasure. Goe are the days of Lalita Pawar who practically dumps the baby from her hands in Sujata. 102 Not Out is a 140 minute moral science lesson that's sugar coated.


Rishi Kapoor is a star performer here, playing the grouchy 75 year old, set in his ways, and disagreeable to change. Even though it is his dad who plots and plans to infuse some enthusiasm into the old man, it is Rishi Kapoor who steals the thunder with his reactions.


Amitabh Bachchan plays the father who is 102 years old but acts as if he is 26. He is full of life and his will to live is amazing. It's his awful wig and the missing tooth that is very distracting. Considering that there are only three characters driving the film, the wig is a huge distraction. But it is very good to see Amitabh Bachchan play the kooky father with a motive with as much enthusiasm as he did when he played the stern patriarch in Sooryavansham.


In this film, he is trying to teach his crotchety son how to live. Reminds you of him singing 'Mere Paas Aao Mere Doston Ek Kissa Suno' when he teaches life lessons to his son. The one scene where he says, 'I will not let my son lose', he is brilliant.


The third character in the film is a medical store delivery chap who is practically a part of the household, a bridge between father and son. Almost like a conscience. Actor Jimit Trivedi does a fine job.


But the treatment of the entire film is so melodramatic, it takes away from the joy of the story. Especially the TV soap ending. This film is a great Sunday afternoon TV watch.

A man who is 102 years old and full of life teaches a lesson or two or three for his grouchy 75 year old son. Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor make this father and son melodrama a good watch simply because they deliver. But if you step away from the casting coup, the loud violins that accompany the moralising and the mawkish sentimentality could put you off. Should have been a Sunday afternoon theatrical production, with a family hug afterwards... (2.5) - Manisha Lakhe

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