Star Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Jassie Gill, Yagya Bhasin, Richa Chadha, Neena Gupta
Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
What’s Good: Pint-sized Yagya Bhasin delivers a monumental performance, subduing the drama, yet another relatable character nailed by Kangana
What’s Bad: Fights a constant battle between sports & drama, and unfortunately just one of it wins
Loo Break: Maybe in the second half, during the matches, because you’ll already know who’s winning
Watch or Not?: Read it out & clarify what do you actually look for in a sports-drama
The story revolves around the catchphrase of “every mother deserves a second chance!” We have Jaya Nigam (Kangana Ranaut) who once led the India Women’s National Kabaddi Team and now is just any other mother. She’s living with the burden of what she could’ve made of her life and what she instead chose. She says, “Main kya kar sakti thi aur main kya kar rahi hoon?” to her very supportive husband Prashant (Jassie Gill) and there you feel the pain.
Jaya reunites with her old friend Meenu (Richa Chadha) who used to play Kabbadi with her and is still a successful coach. She decides to make a comeback (for a month) just to fulfill his son’s wish but finds her lost-self and never turns back. It’s all about her efforts to make it to the national team, once again, years later.
Panga Movie Review: Script Analysis
Love the way how Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari treats the slice-of-life aspects of her story, they’re closest to the reality. The first half is filled with very smart and situational humour which grasps your attention. Though I had a complaint about not exploring the ‘sports angle’ much in the first half, the real problem started when they actually did. When Hockey was highlighted as a mainstream sport in Chak De India! we loved it because it had thrills.
Here, Kabaddi remains too formulaic and predictable. Ironically, same as Street Dancer 3D, Panga too suffers the problem of “we know who’ll win, give us the thrills?” Ashwiny loses the balance between sports & story in the second half which stretches the narrative.
Panga Movie Review: Star Performance
Jaya is right up Kangana Ranaut’s alley. She effortlessly portrays the character without any flaws and shines as an actor. It’s her way of underplaying the role the relates us the most with her character. Surely, one of her bests performances. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari exploits Jassie Gill for his million-dollar smile. His smile just lits up the dark cinema hall and it’s pretty contagious. He acts well guy somewhere I wish I could’ve seen more of him.
Yagya Bhasin, as Kangana & Jassie’s son, is the real hero of the film. Interestingly, Ashwiny & Nikhil Mehrotra pen some of the most hilarious dialogues for him and he delivers with similar confidence. Richa Chadha is pretty but plain. She lacks the zing of a sportsperson and just doesn’t come across one. Neena Gupta is adorable! In just a couple of scenes, she proves how she can mould any character to her taste.
Panga Movie Review: Direction, Music
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari gets the emotions right yet again but fails in the other half of the film. In the genre of sports-drama, she gets the ‘drama’ portion on-point. Even during the matches, Nitesh Tiwari’s (Director of Dangal) screenplay just doesn’t add any thrills making it a predictable watch.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have lost their touch completely with this album. There is not a single track that really works with the story. Missed something like ‘Haanikarak Bapu’ during Jaya’s practice session. Mohan Kanan’s Wahi Hai Raste sounds well for the first time but it’s ruined by its placement in the film.
Panga Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Panga makes a daring comment on women empowerment & how every mother deserves a second chance. Backed with some brilliant performances, it connects you with the drama with some inhibitions.
Panga releases on 24th January, 2020.
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