By Omair Alavi Ever felt eccentric and loving at the same time? Ever wondered how life would have been had a single incident happened in a different manner? Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out takes you on a journey where an old man is pushed to follow his heart with a man who has a heart...
By Omair Alavi
Ever felt eccentric and loving at the same time? Ever wondered how life would have been had a single incident happened in a different manner? Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out takes you on a journey where an old man is pushed to follow his heart with a man who has a heart of a youngster. The only twist in the tale here is that the ‘youngster’ here is older than the old man, in fact, he is the father and is both eccentric and loving, and wants him to spend the rest of his life as a different person from what he has become.
Dattatraya Vakharia (Amitabh Bachchan) is a 102-year-old kid who wants the best for his son Babulal (Rishi Kapoor) who has presumed that being 75 means he has to act like an old man. Pushed by his father with threats of eviction from their home, Babu tries to change himself so that he can die in peace, in his own home when the time comes. His father has other ideas as he wants to send his to an old age home because he wants to live in peace and become the oldest living person on the planet. Who would win the battle of the oldies is why one should go and watch this film.
We all know that Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor are the most experienced campaigners in Bollywood; however not many know that the two share an excellent chemistry that they displayed in Amar Akbar Anthony, Naseeb, Coolie, and Ajooba. Here, they are back after 27 years doing what they do best and complimenting each other with powerful performances. They might be playing father and son but it looks as if the son is the father and the father is the son here. Rishi Kapoor’s character develops during the film as he goes from a Kharoos Buddha to a Cool Buddha thanks to his father’s silly conditions. As for Big B, words can’t describe his talent because he is on a mission to surprise even his most ardent fans with roles that are challenging and enlightening. As a man who doesn’t want to grow old, he is on a mission and ropes in whatever help he could get; in the process, he gives a towering performance as a man who is over 100 but mentally is quarter his age. The script and direction must also be commended here because had they been below par, even the great actors would have stumbled.
There aren’t any songs in the film which is a first for the pair that had sung Amar Akbar Anthony in Amar Akbar Anthony 40 years back and followed it with Chal Mere Bhai in Naseeb and Lambooji Lambooji in Coolie. One song in the end credits would have doubled the happiness of their fans. Also, the film seems very low-budget because there is no scene in which one has more than 3 characters, with the two being Big B and Chintu, the nicknames of Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor.
The Verdict 4/5
No one in his right mind would screen a film in front of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes The Avengers but if your film has Bollywood’s Greatest together after nearly 3 decades, then you can take the risk. 102 Not Out is an emotional roller coaster of a ride that must be taken by both the young and the old. The one-liners, the emotional connection to the past and the realities of life are shown with an in-your-face attitude that would make you cry, smile and do both at the same time. Saumya Joshi’s script is a winner and rescues Umesh Shukla from the writer’s duty because his last film All Is Well was a disaster despite having Rishi Kapoor and the Junior Bachchan aka Abhishek. To those who haven’t followed Big B and Rishi’s career, this is certainly not a film to be watched but if you have been a fan of any of the two, this film will serve as a breath of fresh air, away from the world of action, romance and adult comedy.