Review - Paathshaala: I don't want to go to school

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

There seems to be absolutely no limit to exaggeration. I understand the greed for money and bureaucracy is rampant in the most private of corporations, including schools. But, to showcase the entire corporate and publicity sector as the meanest, most heartless people is a bit too much. Our rotting education system needs desperate attention, but spare me the lop-sided one, please.



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Wogma Review

Boy, do we have a superlatively inept schooling system or not? I should know. Educated myself in degrees I never had any hope of being interested in. The brilliance of the system (teachers, parents, government, and the kids) is that I didn't even realize it! It didn't even occur to me that I could have a creative streak? A complete 180 degree overhaul is a must, in everyone's attitude, including the students themselves. A powerful medium called cinema many a time takes the responsibility of showing us our flaws. Paathshaala is rather regressive, in this age, when more and more schools are trying their best to get out of the rut. Unfortunately, the film does such an awful job, that you want to hold a mirror for them. So, let's give it a shot.

Getting the credit-where-it’s-due part done with - At any time, dealing with a non-standard topic to make a Hindi film is a huge risk, so that is something I really appreciate. Also, whether I like it or not, a point of view is presented on a contemporary topic. Also, it'd have been so easy for the writer/director to have plugged in romance, the ensuing songs and maybe even a related complication or two. But the refrain is evident. Also there are some sweet moments every once in a while.

You'd think someone who's smart enough to make that decision will also use logic, at least partially, in the rest of the story. But apparently that's too much to expect from an FTII product (I wouldn't have said that, if he hadn't tagged it with his name in the titles!). So, you pick a pertinent issue and then go ahead and pick the most extraneous factor to focus on. I mean, "schools becoming businesses"! I could've borne the issue - you know, audience has no say in what topic writers should choose in the first place, right? But, there are just SO many things wrong with the examples and sub-plots chosen.

First of all, how can 100% of the people involved in reality shows and publicists not be so inhuman? You want to stereotype directors of TV shows, ok. Granted. But assistant directors, photographers, agents…everyone is living without a heart? And then you have some more heartless people in the management of this school.

If these things are not agonizing enough, you have other inexplicable silences and characters blind following other characters without any rhyme or reason. So many tiny sub-plots seemed like they were there to squeeze in a point which might or might not flow with the rest of the screenplay. For example, the Hindi and Marathi teachers don't like the fact that Rahul (Shahid Kapoor) was an English teacher. Not only do we not know why they carry such an attitude, but it conveniently changes in the very next sequence!?! And such short stories are in abundance. And let's not even get to the laughable climax to the main story.

In this ambience, Nana Patekar, Ayesha Takia and Shahid Kapoor do the best they can with this lame script and inane lines. Even at their worst, each three of them could have chosen a better script than this. Oh well…

Schooling is not so superfluous. The argument that school facilities to be updated in moderation is half-baked. Monsters don't rule television shows. And the evils of money-making is just way too "old-school".

    • *

By the way, what's so wrong about a school being profitable? Also, how does charging more fees make a school evil, if they are providing the facilities? And what is so wrong with having good infrastructure? Isn't access to latest possible technology a necessity rather than luxuries? It's not like the intention was to build a school for the poor, if you think teaching has to be philanthropic. No clue why teachers shouldn't be paid competitive salaries. And no clue where that money will come from, if it's not from hike in fees. Another profession that nobility is demanded of is doctors. Why should a person who has spent 27-28 years of his life educating himself not earn for himself?!

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A mean look at our educational system
  • General Look and Feel: An attempt to keep it light. Bright and colorful, it is for sure.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1.5
  • Story: 1
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 1.5
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 1.5
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 1

Paathshaala - Movie Details

Paathshaala - Trailer

Comments (6)

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Nice take on the subject that the movie is about. Of course, this takes us to the age old debate about whether these nobel professions should be paid for or should they just live on the graciousness of the society. Who doesn't know those age old stories where witches used to cure a person for free, provided they used to provide the jadi booti, and who doesn't know the scenario where entertainers used to entertain kings and the kings would award them, not pay them, and who doesn't know the scenario where a teacher sage would teach princes and get nothing except Gurudakshina in return?

However, these aspects are quite inane in this age and world, and yes, as the movie shows, not everyone is so senseless in the media, but some of them are, and its your badluck if you encounter them and only them.

While I watched the climax, I was kind of oonfused as to who won and who lost, and how? On to Phoonk 2!


@Roy I think we are giving the topic much more thought than the entire crew did in during the entire film's making! The whole point was baseless. How could a school be as profitable as any other venture that the property owner could get into? Anyway...

Friday Freak:

Well, when they can pour crores into a movie behind that topic and come up with a dud, we can use some of our Internet to mull about what they did wrong. :D

Hindi Radio:

I think Shahid Kapur is going on SRK's way. 1st Jab we met which was bit similar to DDLJ and now Pathshala which is i think similar to Mahobattein!


Phew. 0.4 out of 5 is the worst ever rating. Glad did not book tickets in advance to this. Even Deshdrohi probably would have got a better rating!

Thanks Meetu for taking this bold risk of watching this movie and hence saving many lives like mine.


@Friday Freak sure we can!

@Hindi Radio naah...i don't see resemblance between Paathshaala and Mohabattein.

@Kalyan at your service! All for the human good :P

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