Let’s begin with the all important questions: Does Gattu conquer all? Does Bauji realize the importance of dreams and the triviality of hatred? Does the Kahlon household get deliverance?
You bet the answer to all of the above is YES. Do you know why it couldn’t be any other way? It’s Bollywood, silly! If you don’t know this much by heart, you have no right to watch a Bollywood movie.
Enough said, so let’s begin again.
Does Akshay Kumar conquer all and does Anushka get fourth time lucky? Well, yes ..maybe .. maybe not. In ‘Patiala House’, the formula of the quintessential Indian movie-lore is intact and whether success will follow is something that we are not too sure of. However, in our opinion, the film should do quite well, since it is our Khiladi’s best work in the past one year.
‘Patiala House’, like Nikhil Advani’s earlier hit, ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ is filled with lots of people, colors and “Panjabiyat”. Bauji or Kahlon Senior is the autocratic patriarch who makes sure that everybody in Patiala House bows down to his wishes and whims. Akshay puts up a restrained performance as Guttu, the immensely talented pace bowler who is forced to abandon his dream career and be satisfied with a corner shop in order to satisfy his gora-hating father. Simran (Anushka Sharma) motivates and facilitates him to rise out of the rut and do things which he’s yearned for years. The large number of supporting cast members acting as part of the extended family all around are just meant to emphasize the Punjabi family and underline the fact that the dreams of so many people have been sacrificed at the altar of Bauji’s hatred. How Guttu fights against all the odds and fulfills his Cricket dreams is the basis of the entire story. The metamorphosis of Bauji, as expected, happens near the end of the movie. The last 30 minutes which constitute the climax, are really engrossing.
Akshay’s role was once again his conventional role, with very few new nuances to it, but he’s done his part very well, so no complaints there. Anushka hits home once again and though her act looks somewhat repetitive after a similar enthu-filled character in ‘Band Baaja Baraat’, she delivers … and surely that is what matters.
Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia always had a great deal of charm and talent, and it is obvious in this film that even today many years later they can give stellar performances. Rishi Kapoor as Bauji frets and fumes, and Dimple Kapadia plays the poor mother who is torn between the two important men of her life. These two characters have already been overdone to such a large extent in Hindi movies, that there is little scope for something new. The young “toli” which includes Hard Kaur are fun but only remain on the fringes of the entire film as far as performances are concerned. The movie tries hard to tug a tear from the viewer’s eyes and occasionally it does succeed. “Family-oriented” films thrive on emotional melodramas, and that can be found in ample measure in “Patiala House “.
Music is good. We have been hearing “Laung da lashkara” for an eternity now. The Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy album and background score are very pleasant and complement the mood of the movie but there’s nothing earth shattering in there.
At the end of it all, I thought to myself:
Maybe, I am missing the whole point! Or maybe the story writer did not see the obvious .. when Bauji did not like England, why did he not leave the place and go settle down in his beloved motherland?
The only really redeeming feature of the film are the strong performances from the main actors. The story and the charaterizations are all too familiar and have been played over and over again, hence you feel as if you are watching a rerun of some older film. My assessment is that this is a passable masala fare, tear-jerking in parts, yet on the whole there is nothing that will make you want to leave everything to come and watch it.