The Common Man Speaks

11Aug/180

Short Story: The product owned by a family in Versova

A rich Mumbai family consisting of a man, his wife and their 25-year-old son staying in Versova reached a place in Goregaon in their expensive car to buy a product they badly needed. The sellers, who were keen to sell it soon, presented it in a must-buy manner. The family was initially not sure if they should believe them.

But after asking numerous questions about its various features of the product, they were finally convinced. The deal was done!

A number of guests came to see the product the day it was brought to their luxurious home near Versova beach. They couldn’t stop being in awe of it while the three family members looked on with pride.

The machine was performing brilliantly as it was brand new. But after a few weeks, it started having some issues since the family started over-using it. It was asked to perform more than its capacity by the husband and wife. On top of that, the son also used it after returning from office.

Versova Beach

Hence, it stopped performing as per the promises made by its sellers. The family got furious and complained to the people from where they bought it, although they knew they were wrongly overusing it.

The people came over to their place in a jiffy. After their visit, the product started functioning like before. The family was just happy that it is ready to function as per their wishes! The three of them didn’t know what those people did to the product, whose name was Ashwini. (Read again if confused)

Note: Inspired from a real story. The name of the character and places has been changed.

By: Keyur Seta

5Aug/180

Did we normalize lynching and killing last month?

Lynching protest

As we all know, the horrors of lynching have emerged since last three years. The common pattern is that those suspected to carrying or storing beef are lynched mercilessly by the Right Wing Gaurakshaks, the so-called protectors of cows.

In 2015, when it all began, prominent people from the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) played it down and even went onto justify the horrific incidents. There was, obviously, a huge outrage in the country.

The incidents have started happening more regularly since recent times. And, as expected, members of the BJP and RSS, their affiliate, have justified it.

Here are some reactions to the latest lynching and mob killing incidents:

Comment: “If humanity gets rid of this sin (eating beef), the society will get rid of this problem (lynching).” – Indresh Kumar, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) leader
Meaning: If you don’t stop eating beef, you will be killed.

Comment: “It’s (lynching) not the reality of Rajasthan. It’s the reality of the world.” – Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan
Meaning: It’s happening everywhere in the world (which is a lie). In other words, bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain.

Lynching protest

Photo: IndianExpress.com

Comment: “I would have got the intellectuals shot if I was the Home Minister. Our country faces grave danger from intellectuals and seculars than anyone else.” – Basanagouda Patil, BJP MLA from Karnataka.
Meaning: This one actually makes you speechless. It’s self-explanatory actually. It’s like a dangerous goon openly threatening to kill anyone who asks questions or criticizes the government. The second statement compares intellectuals and seculars, which are praiseworthy qualities, with someone as dangerous as a terrorist.

However, there is no hue and cry this time. One can understand the silence of the unofficially government owned loud-mouth pseudo ‘news’ anchors who are otherwise ready to tear into someone from opposition even for hugging someone. But what happened to the genuine social media users?

If those ruling this country openly threatening to kill anyone who believe in secularism isn’t outrageous enough, what is? This raises a disturbing question as to whether we have normalized such Talibanistic behavious, statements and attitude.

By: Keyur Seta

22Jul/182

Short story: Letters in the valley (Inspired by a real story)

Rajouri

The road going through the picturesque valley of Rajouri in Kashmir suddenly came alive with the arrival of a herd of sheep walking through with discipline. Their white colour went well with the blue sky above. When the herd ended, the 10-year-old Sanjukta slowly emerged like a fresh flower just blossomed from the early sun rays.

She appeared carefree in her school uniform covered with a thick sweater and her hair tied like always. She walked as if she was swaying to the tune of nature all around her. With a smile on her face, she enjoyed passing through the herd of sheep. Although she had experienced it many times before, since she was born and brought up here, it still made her joyous.

There was another reason for her joy while going to school. Generally, most of the students are always on the lookout for a reason to bunk school. But Sanjukta surely wasn’t one of them. The reason for this was Damini, her class teacher, with whom she had become friends recently.

Damini ma’am, as she was always addressed, was somewhere in her mid-20s. Dressed in her simple usual salwar kameez, she had a peaceful expression on her face, which didn’t need much reason to break into a smile. Her appearance went perfectly with her nature. The long red purse with flowery designs always accompanied her.

Damini was kind and understanding and went out of the way to help and comfort her students. Attending her class was like therapy for Sanjukta. In fact, her presence itself was enough to bring positive vibes around.

As Sanjukta entered the main town, her mind was recalling the times when Damini put in special efforts to teach her and few others who were struggling to master a topic. It was so nice of her to go out of her way, she thought. But Damini’s kindness was not limited to teaching. She showed special affection and care when a student falls ill or gets injured.

Sanjukta still remembered the day she had hurt herself while playing. Damini provided her with first aid and consoled her. The two always shared a good bond but this incident brought them closer. The comfort she felt with her after that incident was the same one provided by a steaming hot cup of Kawah in her chilly town.

Rajouri

Rajouri (Photo credit: Trekearth.com)

Sanjukta entered her classroom with these thoughts and her trademark smile. After the formal ‘Good morning teacher’ Damini gave a smile to Sanjukta and few others and started teaching. The little girl was quick to realize that her smile had something missing today. She didn’t think much about it and busied herself in the teaching.

 

The reason for the missing spark in her smile came after the period got over. It struck Sanjukta like a thunderbolt when Damini announced that she will be quitting the school as her family has shifted to the outskirts of Rajouri. She had to take the decision since traveling to and fro daily would be a toll on her. This semester, which will be ending after two weeks, will be her last.

Sanjukta stood numb fighting her tears. Obviously, her body language was alien as she walked back home. The usual chirpiness and delight was nowhere to be seen. Her condition was opposite the lively and enchanting greenery of Rajouri. She finally broke down after reaching home. Her mother comforted her while she kept asking as to why Damini ma’am can’t travel a long distance for work like few of her classmates.

Sanjukta did well in the half yearly exams. This was followed by the vacations. Needless to say, it didn’t bring much joy to her, like it did every year. She did speak with Damini few times during the exams while trying to appear normal. It broke Damini’s heart as she could easily make out the efforts she was putting in to be strong.

Just like her last few vacations, Sanjukta went to the outskirts of her town with her family for an outing. She bumped into her school friend Nazia. During the course of the conversation, Nazia revealed that Damini ma’am has shifted just near her place. After soaking in the news, an idea stuck Sanjukta.

On the first day after the school re-opened Sanjukta hurriedly passed on a white paper to Nazia after the final bell. The next day, Sanjukta was happy to know that Nazia delivered her letter to Damini ma’am. Her joy doubled when her friend instantly gave a verbal reply from Damini’s side.

This became a regular routine for Sanjukta. She kept writing letters to Damini who would reply verbally through Nazia. The letters were written in broken English with lots of mistakes. But despite being a teacher, Damini ignored the errors automatically. She could only see the innocence of a lovable 10-year-old girl.

The give-and-take continued for six months as her fifth standard came to an end. The regular conversation was enough for Sanjukta to return to her swaying steps while going to school and vice-versa. She once again started appearing as delightful as Rajouri.

The summer vacations meant not meeting Nazia to hand over her letters as she, like Damini, stayed at the outskirts. When the school finally re-opened, Sanjukta was excited to resume the process of sending letters.

She was trying to think about the contents of the letter as she passed through the staff room. Something caught her eye and she went back a few steps and peered in. On the handle of a chair in the staff room hung the long red purse with flowery design.

By: Keyur Seta

Inspired from a real story of a sweet and innocent little girl in Rajouri.

15Jul/186

Why the usage of the word ‘Mardaangi’ is worrying

Mardangi movie

In a country like India, wrong notions are spread easily through generations. People blindly believe and accept whatever their elders believed in, without realizing the changing times. This also includes the educated lot, including myself (at one point of time).

Patriarchy is so deep-rooted in Indian society that it appeared fine or normal to me all these years. It is only since a decade or so that I realized its toxic nature. One such characteristic of patriarchy that is considered normal even in today is the usage of the word ‘Mardaangi,’ which translates to masculinity or manliness, and its context.

The real meaning of the word might not be dangerous. But in India, the word is generally used to describe qualities like:

Strength (physical and mental)

Bravery

Courage

Hence, using the word ‘mardaangi’ in the context of having the aforementioned qualities is very problematic. Why? Because it affirms the belief that only men possess such qualities.

Mardangi movie

Ask yourself, don’t you know a single woman or girl in your life who regularly displays qualities like strength, bravery and courage? I am sure you can put down a list.

That’s not all though. For some reason, the practice of drinking liquor is also considered a by-product of mardaangi. Just recently I came across a person who indirectly expressed his bravery of discussing about hard drinks with a man in the presence of few women. Little did he know that I know quite a few women from the group who drink.

I have seen people blame our films and television serials for this. In the popular serial Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, women are never even seen having soda. Only the men residing in the Gokuldham Society gather around at night to have soda.

But cinema or any piece of art is a reflection of the society. Such beliefs about mardaangi are accepted even in 2018 and that is exactly why I am forced to write this. And if you think only older people belonging to previous generations hold such beliefs, you are grossly mistaken.

Holding such beliefs is detrimental towards men as well because it is assumed that they can never afford to appear weak in any way. And if by any chance a man is seen weeping, he is not considered mard enough. Dialogues like ‘Mard ko dard nahin hota’ being uttered even today make it worse.

So, next time you hear the word ‘mardaangi’ used in this context, give it some thought before accepting it normally.

By: Keyur Seta

30Jun/181

Sanju Review: Rajkumar Hirani’s weakest film, yet not a bad film

Sanju poster

Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju is said to be a biopic on veteran actor Sanjay Dutt. As is the case with Indian biopics, this one too is more like an effort to glorify someone. But even if you watch the film as a work of fiction, it only turns out to be a one-time watch, which is surely not what you expect from a Hirani movie.

It is clearly his weakest film till date, although it’s not a bad film.

Sanju is a fictionalized account of actor Sanjay Dutt’s life. The film concentrates on his early days with drugs, struggle to come out of the addiction and, most importantly, his involvement in the illegal arms case related to the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

It is a pipedream to make a real biopic in a country like India. To be fair to the film, Dutt’s dark period with drugs is shown unabashedly in the first half. His struggle to come out of it gives a strong anti-drug message without preaching. But apart from this aspect, the film largely concentrates on making the actor look like a truly innocent human being.

Even in the scene where he grossly misbehaves with someone after being high on drugs, the victim volunteers to take the blame on herself, which is weird to say the least.

Dutt’s involvement with illegal arms and his links with the underworld and the surrounding incidents are presented like jokes. For example, along with AK-56 rifles and bullets, hand grenades were also procured by the actor, as per official records. However, the film doesn’t show him possessing grenades because that would make him look too bad no?

Hence, the blame of his fate is put on the media. There’s no denying that Dutt has been a victim of unethical reporting. But to show that the biggest villain in his life has been the media while the actor just can’t do anything wrong is outrageous, even by Indian biopics’ standards. If this wasn’t enough, there is also a song on media’s malpractices.

Sanju poster

So, the only way to enjoy this film is to watch it as a work of fiction (which is exceedingly difficult, mind you). Like Hirani’s brand of cinema, Sanju has a fast moving screenplay and appealing dialogues, which ensures that one is glued throughout the duration of 161 minutes.

But this surely isn’t enough to ensure that you leave the hall satisfied for two reasons. Firstly, the second half suffers from lack of proper conflict and flow. This ensures a half-baked climax, which comes as a rude surprise for a Hirani movie. Adding fiction in the all-important moment when Dutt is released makes it worse.

Secondly, the character of the author is shown to be too dumb. She believes everything she hears without giving it a second thought, leave alone cross checking. By the way, there’s another character who doesn’t notice a question mark in the headline of an article he has been carrying with him since more than a decade.

The acting arena is the biggest plus point of Sanju. Ranbir Kapoor has given the performance of his lifetime. His task was cut out as he couldn’t have afforded to just mimic Dutt. The actor succeeds in living different facets of Dutt’s life brilliantly.

Paresh Rawal too comes up with one of the best performances of his life. You feel for him every time he comes up on screen. The biggest surprise is Vicky Kaushal who is phenomenal as Dutt's best friend Kailash. This act will become the turning point of his career.

Manisha Koirala doesn’t have a lengthy role but she manages to leave behind a solid impact. Anushka Sharma too has shown her talent but her aforementioned characterization doesn’t help her cause. Dia Mirza and Jim Sarbh are above average while the actress playing Dutt’s sister, Priya Dutt doesn’t get to do anything except smiling continuously.

Overall: Sanju is an entertaining saga with great performances. But it is more like an image cleaning PR exercise than a biopic. The film has opened to excellent numbers at the box office but it won’t be a huge success.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Rajkumar Hirani

Producers: Rajkumar Hirani Films and Vinod Chopra Films

Writers: Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal, Anushka Sharma, Dia Mirza

Music: A R Rahman, Rohan Rohan and Vikram Montrose

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 161 minutes

16Jun/183

The incest angle in Race 3 (SPOILERS Alert!)

Race 3 poster

Director Remo D’Souza’s Race 3 is trending since its release yesterday, although not for the good reasons. The film is bashed left, right and centre by audience and critics alike. But while a lot has been said about the content or the lack of it, many of us seem to have missed a subtle incest angle in the film.

SPOILERS Ahead

Yes, you read it right. This is how it is. We are shown from the start that Bobby Deol’s character Yash works for Shamsher (Anil Kapoor). He is so loyal that he is as good as a family member. Shamsher is father to Sanjana (Daisy Shah), Suraj (Saqib Saleem) and Sikander (Salman Khan), who is his step-son.

Race 3 is full of twists, although not convincing. Deol is shown to be the love interest of Jessica (Jacqueline Fernandez). But later we are told that he actually shares a romantic relationship with Daisy’s character.

Race 3 poster

Now, here is where the fun begins. Just before the climax it is revealed that Deol is actually Kapoor’s son. So, this makes Deol and Daisy siblings!

A clean action entertainer that has the word ‘family’ included in the dialogues every now and then dared to show something as bold (not overtly though) as incest.

It might also be that the film has so many unnecessary twists that the writers or the director themselves didn’t realize this. And like a large majority of the audience, our sanskari CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification), popularly known as the Censor Board, missed it too.

In this way, Race 3 becomes the second film of 2018 to explore the incest angle after Arjun Mukherjee’s 3 Storeys.

By: Keyur Seta

10Jun/180

Kaala: Rajinikanth makes his dislike for Hindutva politics loud and clear

Rajinikanth

Superstar Rajinikanth announced his entry into politics on 31 December 2017 but has so far kept mum about which side he belongs to. There is no name for his party yet, so similarly there is no party flag or colour either. But through his latest release Kaala, he has made his dislike for Right Wing and Hindutva politics loud and clear, which proves that his party’s colour is surely not Saffron. So much so that it is not mere a subtext.

SPOILERS ALERT

The Pa Ranjith directorial makes no qualms throughout the film about its severe dislike for the Saffron brigade and portraying them as villains. So, we have Nana Patekar as Hari Prasad who is the head honcho of a Saffron-clad party, thereby hinting towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He wants to build towers in Dharavi and doesn’t care a damn about its residents.

He is so self-obsessed that he makes sure his face appears everywhere and anywhere in Mumbai. He keeps making references from epics like Ramayana. He promotes initiatives like ‘Pure Mumbai’ and ‘Digital Dharavi.’ Now, you don’t need to be even close to a political expert to know whom they are indicating at.

Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth in Kaala

The builders who are hell bent in redeveloping Dharavi for their own good are called Manu Realty. Another clear criticism of the most hated ancient text, Manusmriti. A shop in Dharavi is seen selling beef, which is something the Right Wing considers blasphemous.

‘Epic’ comparison

Kaala even goes to the extent of reversing the Ramayana, called the Hindu epic. Patekar is shown as Ram, who has nicknamed Rajinikanth as Raavan. Evil elements committing atrocities against the downtrodden is, over here, Ram teaching a lesson to Raavan. Rajini’s men coming up one after the other in a fight scene are described as different heads of Raavan. And, of course, Dharavi is a symbol for Lanka.

But that’s not all as far as Hindu Gods are concerned. The evil doer is called Hari and his subordinate Vishnu. Ideally, it should be the other way round since Krishna was Vishnu’s avatar. But Kaala is a reverse journey, so that’s purely intentional. It’s Kalyug, so the avatar is more powerful than the creator and Ram is not noble.

Dalit angle

Rajini’s character is shown to be as a messiah of Dalits (I hate labeling anyone on the basis of their caste but it’s needed here for understanding). Gautam Buddha’s temple and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s picture are shown around him quite a few times and his locality is called Bhim Nagar.

Nana Patekar in Kaala

Nana Patekar in Kaala

In fact, during a confrontational scene with Hari Prasad, Kaala declares, ‘I am ready to fight even ‘your’ God.’ This line subtly indicates the renouncement of Hinduism and embracing of Buddism by Dalits.

There is an article where Rajini’s die-hard fans are urging people to take Kaala as just another fictional film. But it surely won’t make any sense if Rajinikanth wholeheartedly bashes Saffron politics in a movie and supports the same in real life. As we all know, onscreen image of superstars is taken so seriously in India.

Maybe Kaala is more like a push for Rajini’s political career and his own way of revealing his political side.

P.S: Earlier in the year, Kamaal Hassan had said that it is unlikely that he would align with Rajinikanth if his political colour is Saffron. So are we in for something big?

By: Keyur Seta

3Jun/180

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero: A film that forced me to go down memory lane

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

How I found director Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is not the aim of this article (still if you are too curious, you can scroll down for the snippet review). More importantly, the Harshvardhan Kapoor starrer created a deep, personal connect with me, which rarely happens.

The base of the film’s story is social activist Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption (IAC) movement of 2011 for the passing of Jan Lokpal Bill. It compels the characters of Kapoor and Priyanshu Painyuli, his best friend, to start their own movement against injustice through the medium of a YouTube channel called Insaaf TV.

They go around stopping people against wrongdoings like urinating in public, not following traffic rules, etc. The issues might sound petty but they mean a lot to them. It was their selfless contribution towards, what was then considered, India’s biggest fight against corruption or any kind of wrongdoings.

The movement is one of the biggest events in my life. Never even in the wildest of my dreams did I ever imagine lakhs of ordinary people selflessly taking on the streets waving Indian flags while demanding change (not chhutta or khulla paisa, please), which would also include me. The long march in heavy rains from Bandra station to Juhu circle still feels like last week.

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

I remember few people whom I had acquainted then confidently predicting that the country is in for a major change now and this is in a way the second Independence movement. I thought this is far-fetched but still felt like agreeing with them. After all, the scenes looked like flashback portions from India’s freedom struggle.

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero also touches upon the diminishing impact of the movement during the second phase in December 2011. Just like the two characters, I and many others were standing disappointed, wondering how it all fizzled out so soon.

The film characters continued their fight, which saw dangerous percussions including death. This doesn’t deter Kapoor’s character. In fact, the death of his friend makes him a superhero of a kind who unmasks the corrupt while wearing a mask. Without giving away the climax, I would just add that the hero’s fight wasn’t like any other Hindi film where he would win against all odds.

This is where my path diverted from the film’s characters’. I didn’t venture out to be a superhero against such powerful villains because I am not a film character. I am a ‘normal’ human being who doesn’t fake being fearless of being hunted down and probably killed.

Anna Hazare movement

During the long march from Bandra station to Juhu circle.

In other words, my contribution towards the fight against corruption, if it can be called one, ended with the fizzling out of the Jan Lokpal Movement.

However, the movement did help me personally as I started taking a keen interest in the political atmosphere of the country. It increased my knowledge on politics, although I don’t have much right now. Before 2011, I didn’t even know the meaning of an MP and MLA.

It was also because this movement that I started writing on the current socio-political issues on my blog, which was earlier almost limited to just film related stuff.

In between I also heard from a lot of learned people that it is important to better yourself before you think of bettering the world. Samaaj ko behtar banane chale hain, pehle khud ko toh behtar banao. These words had a profound impact on me and I started making efforts in being a better version of myself, although I am not sure if I have succeeded.

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero doesn’t leave you in a hopeless state. It shows that there is still hope. Even though little but hope nevertheless. This is exactly what I would like to believe too…

(I never believe in writing so much about myself. But this movie just forced me to. Still I am not sure if this was relevant to you.)

About the film:

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero is a decent film that could have been better if the flaws in the second half were taken care of. It is still an important film that makes you think in addition to providing some thrills.

By: Keyur Seta

20May/180

Race 3 box office prediction

The box office prediction of Race 3 will be the talk of the town as the film is now nearing its release. It’s another Salman Khan movie that will be releasing on the festival of Eid. Will the actor strike gold yet again at the box office?

A hardcore commercial film starring Salman is naturally expected to become a blockbuster. The same was the case with Race 3 until its trailer was released last week.

To put it simply, the promo hasn’t gone down well with the audience at all. In fact, no other trailer of a Hindi film has been trolled this much on social media. It has been five days since it was out but we are continuing to see funny memes (especially of Daisy Shah’s ‘business’) made on it despite other important event like Karnataka Floor Test taking place.

The song ‘Heeriye,’ which was released a couple of days ago, hasn’t helped the cause either. Hence, the trailer and song have wronged all the predictions that were made earlier about the film.

Race 3 poster

But, although the film is trolled heavily, we can’t deny that it is getting all the buzz. Any publicity is good publicity these days. Race 3 is talked about continuously, which will ensure that more people will go to watch it in the opening weekend.

Hence, Race 3 will enjoy good weekend numbers at the box office. It will at least earn Rs 55- to Rs 65 crore in the first three days. It is releasing on a Friday since Eid is on that day. This means that it won’t have a long extended weekend like other festival releases.

After the weekend, it will all depend on how the film has been received by the audience. If the content receives thumbs up, it will go onto earn well. If not then we are staring at another Tubelight (2017) or Jai Ho (2014), the only two Salman films that didn’t click much at the box office and are considered flops.

But Race 3 will surely reach the Rs 100 crore mark even if it gets a negative response, which the aforementioned films also did. But will this be enough? Certainly not since the film’s budget is very high, considering Salman and other actors’ fees and the huge scale on which it is shot in foreign locations. Plus, it has numerous action and stunt sequences.

So, the bottom line is that Race 3 needs to impress with its content or face defeat.

P.S: Race 3 has only two weeks to earn as Rajkumar Hirani's Ranbir Kapoor starrer Sanju is releasing on 29 June. The buzz for the film is very positive. Plus, it will be publiziced and marketed heavily next month which might eat into Race 3's buzz.

By: Keyur Seta

5May/180

102 Not Out Review

In India, it is believed that films for youngsters should have young actors playing modern characters along with other ingredients like romance and songs and dance. Without these elements, a film doesn’t get acceptance from the youth.

But rarely we see a film like Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out, which transcends age groups. The fun element and the emotional message ensure that it’s worth watching more than once.

102 Not Out is about Dattatrey Wakharia (Amitabh Bachchan) who is 102 years old man staying in Mumbai. He is energetic and full of life despite his age. But his 75-year-old son Babulal (Rishi Kapoor) is his complete opposite. He is tired of life and has ‘accepted’ his old age.

Dattatrey tries a trick to ensure his son starts living life in a jovial way. He gets the timely help from Dhiru (Jimit Trivedi), a guy working in a neighbourhood shop. Will they succeed in changing Babulal’s perception towards life?

Rajkumar Hirani had once said that he follows a theory that a scene should either make the audience laugh or move them emotionally and this is how he structures his entire film. This is seen in 102 Not Out as well. A large majority of the film is filled with moments that get you in splits regularly.

102 Not Out

At the same time, it keeps providing emotional doses. Mind you, this is not an tear-jerker in any way. There is a sequence pre-interval where a character goes down memory lane and enjoys the simple joys of life that he used to cherish at one point. This is one of the most delightful moments you would see in a long time. In fact, this part can even be seen separately as a short film.

More importantly, the person going through it might be aged. But it is appealing for anyone having a heart, irrespective of his or her age.

The story of Shukla’s much appreciated OMG! Oh My God (2012) changed track in the second half. The narrative does the same in 102 Not Out as well. But like the previous film, it doesn’t turn out to be a problem due to the message and the brilliant climax.

On the flipside, there should have been more insight into Bachchan’s character. The melodrama in a pre-climax scene should have been reduced. The main conflict constantly reminds you of Bachchan’s own Baghban (2003).

There is not much scope for music. But ‘Bachche Ki Jaan Lega Kya’ turns out to be impressive. The production designer deserves accolades.

102 Not Out has only three main characters and they all rise up to the task. Amitabh Bachchan effortlessly switches between humour and seriousness while showcasing his immense acting prowess. On few occasions though, it seems he tries hard to bring out the specific tone needed for his character.

Rishi Kapoor doesn’t get overshadowed by him in any way because of the depth of his character and, of course, his excellent performance. This one has to be one of his best acts. Amidst such powerful performers, Jimit Trivedi leaves behind a terrific impact despite being a debutant. He succeeds in building a rapport with both characters.

Overall: 102 Not Out is a delightfully moving saga that is worth experiencing for people of all ages.

Rating: 4/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Umesh Shukla

Producers: Treetop Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Benchmark Pictures

Writers: Saumya Joshi and Vishal V Patil

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi

Music: Salim-Sulaiman

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 102 minutes