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102 Not Out – Another Win For Bachchan & Kapoor?

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News Analysis |

Bollywood fans are in for a treat when Umesh Shukla’s comedy 102 Not Out hits theaters, early next month. The film, based on the Gujarati play of the same name, centers around a centenarian’s relationship with his 75-year-old son and is set to reunite heavyweights Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor. Both veteran actors have been working in the Indian film industry for more than forty-five years.

While Bachchan’s career has been significantly more successful than that of his 102 Not Out co-star, both have attained a level of stardom that is quite unprecedented in Bollywood. So, it is no surprise that ever since the project was announced, fans have been waiting with bated breath for the film’s release.

Prior to 102 Not Out, the two worked on films like the 1976 ensemble drama, Kabhi Kabhie, and the 1977 action comedy, Amar Akbar Anthony, followed by two mega-hits Naseeb (1981) and Coolie (1983).  Naseeb and Coolie were both among the top earning films of their time, and effectively highlighted the chemistry between Kapoor and Bachchan.

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Following the success of Coolie, the two worked, one last time, in the Shashi Kapoor directed superhero film, Ajooba.  Now, after a dry spell of 27 years, the Bollywood legends will join forces once again, to try, and win over audiences. If one observes the duo’s history together, it’s clear that most of their films were certainly bona fide hits.

With the exception of Ajooba — the Shashi Kapoor directed superhero film, which turned out to be a costly flop — their films together have been modest to giant hits. Of course, it’s hard to deny how much the Indian cinema has changed since Bachchan and Kapoor last were on screen together, but 102 Not Out will prove to be a good litmus test, to determine just how willing the audiences of today are to re-embrace the icons of yester-year in starring roles.

No doubt, nostalgia for vintage Bollywood films will bring many older viewers to the cinema to see 102 Not Out. That, coupled with the film’s comedy and unique story will surely draw newer audiences to the theaters as well. It’s up to the cinemagoers now to determine whether or not this Bachchan-Kapoor film goes down in the history books as another win for the two prestigious actors.


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