Film Review: 102 NOT OUT

Baap Aur Punya 

The best known sequence, till now, of Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor is of ‘Naseeb’ (1981) where the two cavort to the evocatively sung Mohammad Rafi’s ‘Chal mere bhai’.

Now, in ‘102 Not Out’, their sixth collaboration, AB and RK deliver an unbridled comedy, based on the eponymous Gujarati play, written by Saumya Joshi, younger brother of Abhijat Joshi (writer of ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, ‘3 Idiots’).

It’s a film with a generation gap-but in reverse gear. Dattaraya Vakharia (Amitabh) is an exuberant and buoyant 102-year-’young’ widower who feels he is on course to outlive the world’s oldest human – a 118-year-old Chinese. The only hitch is that his fastidious but moody and pessimistic widowed 75-year-old son Babulal (Rishi) refuses to be packed off to an old-age home. The artful father stipulates a half-dozen conditions aimed at turning round his melancholic son’s nature.

102 Not Out is a delightful and perky 102-minute (coincidence?) film which, for the most part, has a theatrical feel to it.

It’s a father-son bonding of an unusual kind. The film begins with some animated caricatures of Mumbai’s landmarks to the voice-over of Vijay Raaz and some frisky background music. It’s essentially a two-character film, apart from Dhiru (Jimit Trivedi), their part-time Man Friday. All three deliver excellent performances, especially Rishi Kapoor, whose fatalism is in direct contrast to the centenarian’s exhilaration. Director Umesh Shukla deserves credit for the way each character is introduced in the film. But the haphazard way in which father and son put on and discard their Guju accent is a little difficult to digest. Even the airport scenes I found a bit too contrived. The songs are average with the much hyped Amitabh’s Badumbaa missing from the film.

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