CAST: Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, Nargis Fakri, Jugal Hansraj, Sharib Hashmi

DIRECTOR: Ajayan Venugopalan

Produced by Anupam Kher, and written and directed by Ajayan Venugopalan, Shiv Shastri Balboa makes a case for the right to dignified lives by people of older age.

Retired bank employee Shiv Shastri (Kher) is so obsessed with Rocky (the Sylvester Stallone-starrer) that he not just drops inspirational dialogue from the film, but has even launched a boxing club in his colony, that has miraculously produced champions.

Shiv move to the US to live with his son Rahul (Jugal Hansraj) and his family. Fortunately no clichés of nasty daughters-in-law. He desires to visit the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia, but the son has no time to accompany him.

While getting to know his neighborhood, he runs into Elsa (Neena Gupta), the housekeeper of an Indian family, who has in effect, been enslaved by her employers for eight years. ( Trust me, in America….)


She wants to return home to see her granddaughter, and asks Shastri for help.

On a whim, he decides to accompany her on the bus ride to New York, the cute family pug (who gets his own thoughts bubbles) insists on coming along.

The two clueless seniors embark on an adventure of a lifetime, that begins with Elsa’s handbag getting snatched, with her money and passport in it.

Shastri is certain that if they can find an Indian in the strange place where they find themselves, they will get help, and his hunch turns out to be right. They bump into Cinnamon Singh (Sharib Hashmi), who reluctantly gives them jobs and a tiny home till Elsa can get a duplicate passport.

What is a recurring theme throughout the film is the underplayed actors and the absence of typical bollywood melodrama (aka Baghbaan) style.

The friendship that develops between between Shastri and Elsa is just amazing to watch. Cinnamon Singh, who hopes to be a bhangra-rapper, is fabulous.

Neena Gupta delivers another brilliant performance as the Hyderabadi Elsa, can withstand anything life throws at her. Anupam Kher, as the diffident Shastri, who gets the true meaning of life rather late in the day, turns on the charm.

Jugal Hansraj easily slides into their parts.

The movie is well-woven and proves that you don’t need to advertise extensively to get people to watch a feel-good flick.


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