102 Not Out Review: The initial and refreshing notion of ‘102 Not Out’is its strength. This film similar to other Hindi films is all about relationships, but thankfully here the story spins across the bond between a couple aged 102 and 75. The narrative never gets too complex, the story is told from the perspective of just the three main characters – Dattatraya, (Amitabh Bachchan), the 102-year-old father, Babu (Rishi Kapoor), the 75 year old son and Dhiru (Jimit Trivedi), their man friday. The film features several locations from Mumbai, but nearly all of it plays out within the walls of the Vakharias’house. Director Umesh Shukla’s film turns its limitations into its strength. It does not deviate into thrilling scenes or make our jaws drop with unexpected twist, it never tries to be pointlessly clever. And in doing so, it manages to give the audience, the most effective of what it must offer.
The highlight with this film would be the performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor. Both these brilliant actors have, over the course of the long and illustrious careers, proved they have impeccable comic timing. Rishi Kapoor plays the grumpy old man with nonchalance. While Amitabh Bachchan plays the loveable centenarian, with the zest of a 20-year-old, with flawless precision. Together, their chemistry and repartee creates an entertaining experience. It’s great to see such contrasts come together and warm the cockles of one’s heart. It’s rare to see two leading actors in a movie who are 65 (Kapoor) and 76 (Bachchan) years of age in true to life, working such charm via a story that will find a general connect with the audience. For the generations which have grown up watching these actors on the silver screen, this film might make the nostalgia of the nice old days. Young Jimit matches steps with his veteran co-stars and provides performance that’s in the same way delightful. The actors though cannot accomplish the sprinkling of Gujarati in the dialogues.
Director Umesh Shukla’s treatment is unmistakably light and breezy. ‘102 Not Out’has brightly lit frames, attractive production design and a visage that just looks and feels pleasant. The writing by Saumya Joshi, who also penned the original Gujarati play that inspired the film, is in tune with mood of the film. The film even gets dramatic and emotional, specifically in the two scenes where Mr Bachchan shines with impactful monologues. Though, the possible lack of a backstory for Dattatraya’s character and the absolute absence of something as simple as dinner table conversations, that you’d expect you’ll see between household members in a property, feels a bit odd. The situations in the film have the ability to draw you on, yet the writing somewhere lacks depth. Also for a 101-minute film it will feel a bit too long.
Films like ‘102 Not Out’are best enjoyed with the family. The ease with that the film portrays the bittersweet relationship between its characters is fantastic. Such films are like soft serve ice cream on a sparkly Sunday afternoon. They cause you to happy. You will find parts in the film where emotions run high, but it’s never too overbearing. It’s only a happy and healthy entertainer that tells you that residing in as soon as and making probably the most of everyday of your lifetime is all that matters. And age of course, reported by users, is a number.