Our Take

Play on, Bollywood

Play on, Bollywood
Two old men —  a centurion father cheering up his grumpy 75-year-old son — are hardly the stuff of Bollywood hits but with a projected business of around Rs 30 crore after the first weekend, 102 Not Out has emerged quite the family entertainer. With two veteran stars Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor playing characters beyond their age, the quick box office endorsement means that mainstream Hindi film has managed to break the barrier of ageism. Normally, senior citizens are rarely shown sprightly for their own sake; they are stereotyped as lonely, victimised and eccentric, often blindsided as caricatures or as indulgent grandparents. Here they seize the day and shun the geriatric home. And live on their own terms without referencing themselves against anybody.
The film comes at a time when we are talking about the demographic dividend of the young. But we tend to discount the other productive dividend -- of senior citizens whose numbers are expected to rise equally by 2020 and who can be counted on for their seasoned experience. It is this ownership of life force and celebration beyond our strengths and frailties that washed off on the audience. Life is meant to be drunk to the lees. It is we who decide we have bottomed out.


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