Patakha

Cast- Radhika Madan, Sanya Malhotra, Sunil Grover, Vijay Raaz, Daanand , Namit Das

Writer/ Director- Vishal Bharadwaj

Is a story that revolves around two sisters Genda (Sanya Malhotra) and Champa( Radhika Madan) who are permanently at loggerheads with each other. They live in a village in Rajasthan with their father( Vijay Raaz) who is forever trying to pull them apart.

When I say loggerheads, it literally includes abusing, slapping,punching, kicking and pulling each other ‘s hair and when I say revolves, it literally goes around just about this relationship with no side tracks or alternate angles.

It was difficult to fathom how a film of 2 hr16 min would go around this constricted plot and the pace is evident from the start of the movie itself.

But that’s where the art of master story tellers like Vishal Bhardwaj comes into play. The characters grow on you and you gradually get absorbed in his absolutely rustic set up, earthy dialect and dialogues, the no holds barred language, the costumes, the literally muddy and grimy characters.

The film has been written by Vishal Bhardwaj himself and is based on a story by Charan Singh Pathak. Bhardwaj’s comedies have his quirky sense of humour as evident from

his last comedy “Matru ki Bijli ka Mandola”. Last one was a satire though and this one is simple straight comedy but the quirkiness remains.

He leaves no stone unturned to etch out these two warring characters as fiery, foul mouthed , grimy and absolutely raw.

The bidi smoking girls have no qualms in spewing their own innovative abuses.

While one wants to study further to be a teacher, the other wants to start her own dairy business. Each one is keen to get married and get away from each other.

When one falls in love with an army man, the other one quickly responds to a wooing suitor who is a junior engineer.

Fate lands them in a same household when after eloping they realise that their respective hubbies turn out to be brothers.

After a few years of monotonous life of matrimony , rest of the story is how they manage to achieve their two main mottos in life , their respective ambitions and getting away from each other. There is a slight out of the box twist too toward the finale when things go wrong inspite of achieving what they wanted.

Bhardwaj’s writing and set up have been backed up by solid performances by the duo. Both Radhika and Sanya have worked very hard to look Genda and Champa to the core. Their expressions, energies and fieriness never eased up.

Right from their dirty faces,tobacco stained teeth,dry dirty lifeless hair, dirty nails and even putting on the weight bit in the second half , everything was to the T.

Vijay Raaz was great as ever as the exasperated father.

Sunil Grover plays their childhood friend and neighbor who always added fuel to their fires. His trademark humour and expressions were a great addition.

The rest of the ensemble cast did a good job and looked very authentic.

Music was pleasant and melodious . I really liked ‘Naina Banjare ‘and found “balma “ peppy.

Editing by Sreekar Prasad could have been better though. Some of the scenes and sequences could have been shortened.

The length and pace of the movie seems to lounge but has its own charm. A little less of length could have been better mayhap.

But I must confess that VB’s comedies are like that fancy international dish which could be way too perfectly done as per his own recipe, but wouldn’t give you that wow feel right in one go. It might be take some effort to align the palate accordingly.

I personally feel more inclined towards his intense and brooding genre in cinema. But the rustic touch to this one, with its own kind of humour and the power packed performances made up for it.

Score 7 on 10

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