Patiala House - Review

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

The more number of non-engineers/CAs/MBAs/doctors I meet, the more I hear, "oh I did my engineering for my parents, but this is (films/writing/dancing) where my heart lies. We have had many movies that comment on our inept system and control-freak older generation, they usually become a tad too dark. Patiala House keeps the balance towards being light. But completely messes up the good, strong start that it gives itself by going the clichéd route.



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Wogma Review

Either you or someone really close to you has been a victim of patriarchal monarchy. That makes the first half of Patiala House so easy to identify with. But in vain because the second half is diametrically opposite. Patiala House goes all filmy on us, not that it’s a surprise given the director's earlier ventures and that it is an Akshay Kumar film and that it is set in Punjab of the UK. Now there's a stereotype that justifies itself if there was one. And it is frustrating as a viewer.

A well-established, decently-performed, smartly-edited, first hour sinks into mediocrity just as the characters are talking about trying to make most of their average lives. Here we start off with - - a brilliantly balanced view about racism, changing times, generation gaps, deep-rooted Indian culture, and its misgivings; - a pointer that each family has a a-la-Nirmala-from-Khoobsurat type strong and respected personality who keeps the family going and yet is the villain; - arguments for and against a characters and what made them the way they are; - a comment on human nature and how most of us are ready with a scapegoat to blame our failures on; - a woman's need to be a savior and how she invariably falls in love with the guy who she thinks needs her

How and why, why, why does it change into ridiculously quick, or rather, convenient character transitions, lame situations, clichéd resolutions, and a oh-not-so-fun walk towards the climax?? It barely looks like the same person wrote the remaining hour and a half.

The standards set by this very industry make us expect a loud film whenever there are Punjabi characters, and with a name like Patiala House, there no room for doubt. But the silent first few minutes come as a lovely surprise. The grainy flashback interspersed with Parghat Singh Kahlon/Gattu's (Akshay Kumar) current life gives you hope of a good couple of hours ahead.

This anticipation is met with a screenplay that sets up a good understanding between Parghat and his father, Bauji (Rishi Kapoor). Alongside, it also reinforces the equation that bauji has with his family and the larger community. It introduces you to and makes you comprehend his thought process. He was the one who stood up against racists. He was the one who brought dignity back to the community that was wronged. Of course, people respected him for what he had done. Of course, this fed his ego and he was proud that peopled followed his will like it was law. And of course, there was unrest. All this without a dialogue to that effect, just through performances. And yes, I had actually begun enjoying an Akshay Kumar film.

I declare cricket to be the mantra! Patiala Househas done for Akshay Kumar what Chak De! did to Shah Rukh Khan and dare I say Lagaan did to Aamir Khan - bring out one of their best, if not THE best, performances thus far. It is pure joy to see a loud actor like Akshay Kumar play a meek guy and yet not make the character look like a buffoon. Equal credit to the writing and direction. How I wish he didn't break the bubble by slipping into Akki-mode every once in a while, especially the romantic moments.

Fortunately, there weren't too many of those. His love interest, Simran (Anushka Sharma) is not the focus of the story. Her strong character knew when to step on the sidelines which also made her look inconsistent. But then again, the focus of the story was Bauji and not Simran, so who cares, right?

Yet, Anushka certainly does her best to help Simran bring a smile and more from the audience. The lady has a screen presence that is rare even a part of it is owed to overacting - she is bright and refreshing. It might not stay fresh for too long if she continues to play the same type of a role again and again, though. Another woman who is just effective by her presence is Dimple Kapadia. With barely a couple of lines for her, she registers her silent protests.

The rest of the cast is apt in being bitchy, resigned, cool, caricatured, confrontational, and so on. A reasonable variety of characters is on display only for the pack of cards to fall. I guess I'll just thank them for not doing the many things they could have done to go overboard in the last few minutes. Oh well.

Anyway, with Valentine's Day coming up, you'd expect a romantic movie to be out this Friday. But, I guess, no popular holiday can replace the cricket world cup that begins next week. Unfortunately, Patiala House is a lame opening ceremony, especially with god-awful camerawork that captures the cricketing moments. Anyway, a half-good ceremony is only half-good (pliss to appreciate my attempt at inane commentary!)

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few fist fights and protest scenes
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Just one club song, but it hardly gets out of hand, other than nothing else
  • Concept: That of balance between respect and being spineless
  • General Look and Feel: Bright and an attempt to remain chirpy.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 2.5
  • Music Director: 2.5
  • Lyrics: 3

Patiala House - Movie Details

Patiala House - Trailer

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Comments (5)

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@ligne laung da laskara is one of the ones i thought was ok.

@UK Desi Like Dhana dhan Goal. I don't understand how anyone is to win this fight against racism by calling British locals 'ye gore' or 'ye kaale' in a derogatory tone. The Indians living abroad that hate the locals so bad, shouldn't they come back to India? There is no racism against Indians here. Or are they then bothered by the blatant poverty, dust and all things not-so western? My point is them discriminating against us doesn't make us great or our use of derogatory language right.

NRIs giving out 'holier than thou' spiels while conveniently enjoying everything else about the country they live only sounds like misplaced patriotism - both in reality and in films


@Jai exactly, what i was trying to say!

corporate trophies:

I'll be quite happy if I get to see any of these movies.


akshay from now on you'd better find an editing job for youself and may god bless you


the first few minutes completely set the mood.. but it drifts into the same monotonousness after a point!

And yes,
"It might not stay fresh for too long if she continues to play the same type of a role again and again, though."
have expressed the same on my blog...

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