Review: PATAAKHA


See Two Women Fight!
Then What Happens?
Women Fighting! Why Do you Need A Story?

Seriously?

1.5 stars


Mini Review:


The film is based on a short story called ‘Do Behnein’ or Two Sisters, written by Charan Singh Pathik. When Vishal Bhardwaj chooses to make a film then you expect some meat to the story. Alas, they only take delight in the sisters giving each other gaalis and cat fighting, because it could be a ‘thing’. Cheap chuckles at the cost of telling a story?

Main Review:

Naaspeetiyon! Naaspeetiyon! Naaspeetiyon!

The first half of the film is a tedious extension of the trailer that showed it all. Two sister who like to fight and the whole village gathers around to watch them tear at each other’s hair, slap and kick. And the gaalis stop being charming soon. It’s just a polite excuse to watch catfights, no? Porn is more honest! But Vishal Bhadwaj is making it, so it must be five star stuff, right?

Wrong. The fights only mean Vijay Raaz who plays dad, has to show up to separate them, calling them Naaspeetis. I stopped counting after the fifteenth time he said it. I was happy to step out and get some coffee, and wonder what Dipper’s motive was in getting the two sisters to fight. And how does he not age? Perhaps not doing anything but stalking the sisters keeps him ageless. Dipper is played by Sunil Grover who hams it like it were a high school play. You wish the director was awake during his scenes. Dipper’s head shake, his nudging, his popping eyes… I could have stolen popcorn from the tub of the chap sitting next to me, but I could throw up watching Sunil Grover in a saree. Apparently the whole nation has seen him in a saree so I googled that… It was still the first half.

Vijay Raaz’s daughters who are advertised as Bharat and Pakistan because they fight so much, are called Genda and Champa. But they left school, right? How come their insults are cleverly crafted? You remember how you fought as kids. Vocabularies were limited, so we just said, ‘You’re tatti!,’ and ‘No, you are tatti!’ which we repeated over and over again. These clever insults spoken in bumpkin accents are written to prove how clever the film is! And of course when Vishal Bhardwaj wants rustic, you get five star rustic, no?

If you saw the trailer, you don’t need to see the first half at all. What do they do when they discover they’re married to brothers? ‘They will now fight with sindoor!’ Exclaimed one lad chuckling at the catfights. I’m hoping for something more. ‘Maybe they’ll wrestle in the mud!’ he dreams on…

I give up. But I notice that the girls are speaking oddly, jutting out their mouths for close ups! Oh! Look at the gunk carefully placed between their teeth so they look rustic! The grandmother has better teeth! And she lives in the same house. But if Vishal Bhardwaj wants to add gunk instead of darkening the girls’ pearly whites with charcoal, who am I to say, ‘Watch Jack Sparrow’s close ups in Pirates of the Caribbean’, no?

Naash Patiyon Ka! Naash Patiyon Ka!


The second half is as boring as the girls’ lives. Dad has given them kasam to stop fighting. You wonder what would have happened had he given that kasam when they were kids? Pehle Kyon Nahi Dee Kasam? Would have saved us all this torture, eh? But Dipper shows up, and reignites the fight.

‘If you can’t fight for your dreams of a dairy and an education, get the husbands to fight.’ he advises.

Champa, played by Radhika Madan, is the older sister who does care for school but wants to open a dairy, filled with milch cows and buffaloes. And Genda the younger sister is played by Sanya Malhotra, wants to study and become a teacher. Both fall for Dipper’s con, again.

And yes, this is where the story gets unbearable. The brothers separate, and the girls achieve their dreams. But they still hate each other so much one stops speaking and the other becomes temporarily blinded by her sister’s achievement. This is so stretched that the men who were cackling at the catfights have fallen asleep. I have so much collected scorn at such objectification that I have poured Coke into my neighbor’s popcorn. He is so bored, he hasn’t noticed it…

The end, you can see a mile away. You just want to send Vishal Bhardwaj a link to Shakespeare’s collected works and a note saying, ‘Please don’t get distracted. This was a short story stretched beyond belief. Shakespeare works. We’ll even watch Coriolanus should you choose to make it. But spare us such nonsense.’


(I wrote a saner review appears on www.nowrunning.com)

   

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