Its not easy to create inspirational films that has humble beginnings and end on a really high knot. The combo of Rosshan Andrrews and Bobby- Sanjay has worked on such a plot and delivered a very good product in the form of How Old Are You. A peripheral analysis of the film may remind you of Sridevi’s English Vinglish, but the building blocks they have created here is different and unlike the Gauri Shinde film, How Old Are You takes a huge risk of social preaching and women empowerment (not the Rahul Gandhi version) and executes it in a flawless manner. With a leading lady who has the capacity to depict the transformation on screen, How Old Are You easily becomes that heartwarming feel good movie.
It is the story of Nirupama, a UD clerk who doesn’t have much ambitions in life. She has all the pros and cons of a middle class government employee. A question raised by her daughter to the president of India gives her media attention, but her performance at the key point makes her a fun making element across the state. The egoist government employee had to face a lot of trouble after this incident. Her decision to build her dreams with the stones thrown at her is what How Old Are You all about.
Frankly what attracted me in this film was the real feel of the events. The Nirupama we see in the first half is not at all a totally fictional character. And watching that character was like watching certain people whom I have seen in my life. They have not tried to make the character a charming persona; she is lazy, she is less ambitious, she has a huge ego and she has issues with her age. All these are enough to create problems in someone’s family life and we do get to see a sensible conflict. The risk involved in the content was in creating a convincing and over the top solution for the problem and I must say that the film maker in Rosshan Andrrews has done a fab job in conceiving it cleanly.
On screen, Manju Warrier was excellent as Nirupama Rajeev. The trailer voice over looked quite dull and heavy, but when you watch the film, this tiredness has something to do with the nature and state of the character. The expressions are impeccable and she hasn’t lost her touch in creating humor with her expressive replies. Kunchako Boban performed nicely as the dissatisfied husband. The girl who performed the role of the daughter was really good. Muthumani and Thesni khan did their part nicely. Vinay Forrt was memorable as that innocent inspiring young employee. I loved those small roles played by Kalaranjini, Kunjan and Prem Prakash.
Rosshan Andrrews has this vision to beautify the film with visuals. Crain shots, heli cams, uncut long sequences and many other style are there which blends in with the narrative. The script creates sensible characters and real emotions. It flawlessly builds the arena for the final showdown and things never went to an overdramatic level. The president – question episode was included smartly into the content. A small jitter I could feel was in the scene in the college having Kaniha and Manju. Cinematography was good. Nice music from Gopi Sunder and the background score was also fabulous.
Listin Stephan continues his Midas touch. How old are you is that feel good entertainer which manages to build that pleasant smile on your face. I am going with a happy 4/5 for this Rosshan Andrrews film. The explanation for the rating is that I have seen a lot of Skeptical Nirupamas and I would like to see more optimistic Nirupamas. The idea to cast the charming Siddharth Basu as the president of India deserves a handshake.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended