Written by Manisha Lakhe
Accha Hai Lekin Moral Science Se Bhara Hai
A man who is 102 years old and full of life teaches a lesson
or two or three to 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…
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. Gone 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
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 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
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.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)