Review - Paathshaala: I don't want to go to school
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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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
- 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.
Paathshaala - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Eros International, A Paperdoll Ent
- Producer: Shaira Khan
- Director: Milind Ukey
- Lead Cast: Nana Patekar, Shahid Kapoor, Ayesha Takia, Saurabh Shukhla, Anjan Srivastava
- Supporting Cast: Sushant Singh, Sushmita Mukherjee
- Story: Ahmed Khan, Ahmed Khan
- Screenplay: Ahmed Khan
- Dialogues: Hanif Shaikh
- Cinematography: Badshah Lal Sayed, Basha Lal
- Editor: Ashfaque Makrani
- Background Score: Hanif Shaikh
- Choreography: Ahmed Khan
- Music Director: Hanif Shaikh
- Lyrics: Hanif Shaikh
- Costume Designer: Komal Shahani
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 135 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi