102 Not Out highlights what Bollywood may lose out on, due to its obsession with youth

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102 Not Out highlights what Bollywood might lose out on, thanks to its obsession with youth

Three years in the past, in Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, Amitabh Bachchan performed a senile 70-year-old, obsessive about self-victimisation and all of the scientific problems that plagued his physique and thoughts. In Umesh Shukla’s current launch, 102 Not Out, he’s giving life classes to his 75-year-old son.

Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in a nonetheless from 102 Not Out. Screengrab from YouTube

Sure, Bachchan performs father to fellow senior citizen (Rishi Kapoor). He’s 102 and ‘not out’. The selection of phrases is apt since he certainly considers his life a sport of cricket. His proverbial second innings is seamless and the rating is cumulative of all of the matches he has performed, and can play within the close to future. As you might have guessed from the film’s trailer, he needs to be the oldest man alive. That’s fairly bold for a person as younger at coronary heart as his 102 Not Out character.

In reality, he doesn’t restrict his age to his indefatigable physique. He additionally tries to instill the identical philosophy in his son, who has taken the “bhojan, bhajan and Bhajji” mantra of Paresh Rawal’s character from Cheeni Kum too severely. He doesn’t wish to interact in any exercise uncharacteristic of his age. He’s holding on tightly to his previous regrets and future fears. He can not declare what his daddy cool swears by: “Primary apni life mei ek bar bhi nahi mara (I’ve not died even as soon as in my life)”.

Their 102 Not Out characters are an extension of their offscreen personalities as on the age of 75 and 65 respectively, Bachchan and Kapoor simply refuse to decelerate. It could even be argued that they’re of their prime, as hardly ever do actors who’ve crossed into the ‘senior citizen’ pale get such important lead roles.

Final 12 months, Salman and Shah Rukh Khan confessed their age was becoming a hurdle when it got here to picking tougher roles. Shah Rukh cited his leg surgical procedure as the explanation he could not get down on his knees to play a dwarf in Aanand L Rai’s Zero. Salman admitted he can not do roles that demand heavy prosthetics as he has a 90 % blockage in his nostril. In the meantime, it was alleged {that a} reliance on steroids had helped Aamir Khan execute his magical bodily transformation for Dangal.

That is important as a result of it was once they entered this very age bracket that the Khans at the moment are in (50+) that Bachchan and Kapoor switched to non-lead roles (or “age-appropriate” roles). Each have had their share of well being points; nonetheless, they’ve additionally spoken out concerning the lack of considerable lead components to return their approach.

Age could be a frame of mind, but it surely’s a quantity that hardly ever hits bull’s eye on the field workplace. Within the upcoming movie Hope Aur Hum, Naseeruddin Shah performs an antiquarian in love together with his photocopying machine. His romance with the classic machine would have made for a poetic story in itself, however the director additionally ropes in a number of younger actors, together with two kids, to populate the movie. Shah’s reasonably intriguing character will get misplaced within the chaos.

Naseeruddin Shah in a still from Hope Aur Hum. YouTube

Naseeruddin Shah in a nonetheless from Hope Aur Hum. Screengrab from YouTube

Equally, his spouse Ratna Pathak Shah’s narrative in Alankrita Shrivastava’s 2016 movie Lipstick Under My Burkha warranted a movie of its personal. However three extra ladies, throughout all ages, deliver their tales to the desk too. This enhances the movie’s communal feeling but additionally undermines what may have been a solo story of an aged girl from Bhopal who aspires to study swimming, solely in order that she will be able to bodily really feel her a lot youthful coach, whom she is infatuated with.

In what could be a landmark scene in current cinematic reminiscence, Ratna is seen, and heard, masturbating within the washroom whereas participating in cellphone intercourse. She additionally loves studying Hindi erotic literature which speaks to her in a approach that no bhajan would. In a rustic the place intercourse is a taboo, and sexual wishes in ladies past a sure age perceived as non-existent, Lipstick Below My Burkha pushed the envelope — and the way.

Ratna Pathak Shah as Buaji in a still from Lipstick Under My Burkha

Ratna Pathak Shah as Buaji in a nonetheless from Lipstick Below My Burkha. Screengrab from YouTube

Aparna Sen additionally addressed points like sexual pressure, menopause and waning magnificence in her final movie Sonata. It starred three ladies, within the twilight of their lives, bonding over wine, cigarettes and their midlife crises: a free-spirited Shabana Azmi sports activities a brief costume, Aparna struggles together with her rigidity, whereas Lilette Dubey struggles with boyfriend issues.

To see the three ladies grapple with the unlucky perceptions round previous age, and discover solace in one another’s firm, was a bittersweet second — one that’s hardly ever explored in Bollywood. Notably since Raj Kapoor’s 1975 sensation Bobby, Hindi cinema has been obsessive about younger romances. With the demographic offering wealthy returns after liberalisation, tales about youngsters have substitute these of individuals previous center age.

One distinct, and audacious, providing that went towards the tide was Rajat Kapoor’s directorial debut Aankhon Dekhi. The Sanjay Mishra-starrer establishes its philosophical tone proper initially and presents its protagonist’s midlife disaster beneath the guise of existentialism. The reason for the disaster isn’t defined. However the compelling story of previous man hunting down the authenticity of data that he has not skilled first-hand was a stinging rebuke to producers who would not put their cash on unconventional topics, or on movies led by actors of a sure classic.

Zohra Sehgal and Amitabh Bachchan in a still from Cheeni Kum

Zohra Sehgal and Amitabh Bachchan in a nonetheless from Cheeni Kum. Screengrab from YouTube

A refreshing business success had beforehand got here within the type of R Balki’s Cheeni Kum. Amitabh performed the 64-year previous protagonist who falls in love with Tabu’s character, 30 years his junior. Right here, age is certainly proven as a non-issue as Amitabh’s Buddha (a pun on the Hindi phrase for an previous man) goes about his each day chores like all teenager, together with being subjected to jibes from his mom (performed by an unbelievably-sprightly-for-95 Zohra Sehgal).

General although, the tales revolving round older folks have been few and much between. Previous individuals, when depicted in movie, are normally the protagonist’s father or mom, usually incapable of autonomy. The considering in Bollywood appears to be — what can a 102-year-old man contribute to society anyway, given that he’s on the verge of demise? The reply, as 102 Not Out reveals, is: To stay like there is no such thing as a tomorrow.

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