Nikhi Advani is raring to go. After giving monumental duds in Salaam-E-Ishq (2006) and From Chandni Chowk to China (2008), he is yet to prove his mettle as a director. A lot has been said about him losing the ‘midas’ touch after parting ways with on-time-friend and mentor Karan Johar, who is still credited for the success of his directorial debut Kal Ho Na Ho (2003). However, all that is history now and everybody is looking forward to his upcoming flick Patiala House, which is set to hit the screens on February 11, 2011 under the banner of ‘Credence Motion Picture’, ‘People Tree Films Pvt. Ltd’ and Hari Om Entertainment.
Release Date: 11th February, 2011
Director: Nikhil Advani
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia
Screenplay: Habib Faisal
Music: Shankar Ehsan Loy
Patiala House Movie Preview
The year is 1979 and the location is Southall, London. Gurtej Singh Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor) is a 34-year old Sardar
who works hard at the Woolfe Rubber Factory. He is used to being ostracized and ridiculed for his turban, and knows how to ignore the relentless taunts of the white-skinned. However, he is also someone who will not compromise with the safety and integrity of his family and is even willing to confront ‘gora’ hooligans to safeguard his home. He takes pride in being the sole protector of his family.
Pargat Singh Kahlon aka Gattu (Akshay Kumar) is a 17-year old lad who’s just seen his Bauji Gurtej Singh Kahlon getting enraged by an ‘official letter’ handed over to him. He then hears Gurtej speak passionately about family’s ongoing struggle against the constant onslaught by the goras and finds the letter thrown back at him.
Flash forward to 2010. Bauji continues to rule the Kahlon family and expects total allegiance to his diktats. Gattu wakes up every morning and walks across the same street he’s crossed for the past 17 years to enter the corner store He does his job efficiently, albeit mechanically. When he hears his neighborhood kids play cricket enthusiastically, he knows that a childhood dream has been crushed into pieces. He is sympathetic towards his siblings’ cynicism, but chooses to remain silent, until one day.
Will life give Gattu a second chance to realize his dream? Will he muster the courage to challenge his Bauji’s traditions and break the shackles of the Patiala House?
While the premise of Patiala House looks promising, it will be interesting to see how Nikhil executes and treats a multi-starrer film that revolves around cricket. Many multi-starrer family dramas have been rejected of late by an increasingly discerning audience . He will be under a lot of pressure after failing to satisfy his audience in his previous two outings. While Salaam-E-Ishq suffered from two major drawbacks: excessive length and a confusing amalgamation of too many contradictory characters, Chandni Chowk to China was a damp squid on all accounts.
The film also holds great importance for Akshay Kumar, who’s had a pretty forgettable 2010 barring Sajid Nadiadwala’s Housefull. The actor is said to have worked very hard to learn fast bowling from ex-test cricketer Balwinder Sandhu for Patiala House, so much so that he’s won lavish praises from former Australian cricketing star Andrew Symonds! Patiala House also stars Anushka Sharma, who’s riding high on three back-to-back successes (Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi, Badmaash Company and Band Baaja Baraat), Rishi Kapoor, Prem Chopra and Dimple Kapadia in pivotal roles.
The screenplay is credited to Nikhil Advani and Anvita Dutt Guptan, while editing and screenplay have been done by Manan Sagar and Santosh Thundiyil, respectively. Like Nikhil’s previous three flicks, Shankar, Ehsan and Loy have composed the music of Patiala House. If initial promos are anything to go by, music does seem to be catchy and vivacious.
Films revolving around cricket have invariably bombed at the box office, with the rare exception being the fantastic Lagaan (2001). Although the film boasts of several famous cricketers like Andrew Symonds, Bret Lee and Kamran Akmal, it will eventually be the script/screenplay which will determine the film’s fate. Let’s hope Nikhil does not get third time unlucky and gets it right big time!