Business Rating: 1.5 Stars
Star cast: Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rsihi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia.
What’s Good: Some comic punches; emotions if you are soft-hearted; Rishi Kapoor’s acting.
What’s Bad: The screenplay; Akshay’s character of an unassertive guy.
Verdict: Patiala House will not get packed houses, neither in Patiala nor anywhere else!
Loo break: A couple of places in the first half!
Watch or Not? Watch it but be prepared to be bowled over by Rishi Kapoor, not Akshay Kumar!
Hari Om Entertainment Co., T-Series, People Tree Films Pvt. Ltd. and Bugle Boy Films Ltd. (U.K.)’s Patiala House is the about life giving a second chance. Parghat Singh Kahlon alias Gattu (Akshay Kumar) is a second-generation Indian living in London. Son of Gurtej Singh Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor), Gattu is an excellent cricketer and is very passionate about the game. However, he sacrifices his passion for the sake of his father’s happiness. Gurtej Singh, who is head of a large joint family, hates the Englishmen because they had perpetrated atrocities on them when they had tried to settle in London. There were racist attacks against Gurtej Singh’s family but he had managed to protect the large family. Over the years, Gurtej Singh had become bitter about the Englishmen and was, therefore strictly against the idea of Gattu playing cricket for the team of England. He had set up a store for Gattu to look after when he grew up, and Gattu, like an obedient son, was toeing the line decided by his strict father.
All of Gattu’s cousins were also scared of going against Gurtej Singh’s wishes and had suppressed dreams and desires which they couldn’t pursue or fulfill because Gattu’s example of an obedient son was always thrown at them.
One day, Gattu gets an offer to play cricket for England. Around the same time, Gattu meets Simran (Anuskha Sharma) who makes him realise the foolhardiness in letting someone else decide the course his life would take. Simran asks Gattu’s family members (except his dad, Gurtej Singh) to coax him to accept the cricket offer but Gattu doesn’t want to hurt his father’s feelings. Gattu’s cousins also tell him that if he’d revolt and have his way, each of them could then also pursue his/her dream. Finally, Gattu relents and joins the England team.
Watch more: 5 Things You Did Not Know About Patiala House
From now, the job is to not let Gattu’s father know about Gattu’s inclusion in the English team. For this, Simran and Gattu’s family members take the entire neighbourhood into confidence and ask the thousand-odd people there to never let Gurtej Singh, himself a cricket lover, know that Gattu was playing for the team of England.
Do they succeed? Does Gurtej Singh get to know that his own son had joined the English team in spite of his hatred for the Englishmen? Does Gattu perform well on the cricket field? What about his family members in general and the young cousins in particular? Do they face punishment at the hands of Gurtej Singh or are they allowed to pursue their dreams?
Story and Screenplay – Patiala House Review
The story is childish and the screenplay, penned by Nikhil Advani and Anvita Dutt, is not without flaws. Firstly, playing cricket is not the life-and-death matter it is made out to be in the film. Even if the writers had intended to show it as a question of life and death, they should’ve included scenes to substantiate this important point because that is the very foundation of the film. But except for showing a downcast and unhappy Gattu, there’s little else the writers have shown to explain why not playing cricket is such a big tragedy for Gattu. Another question not answered by the writers is: if Gurtej Singh Kahlon was so anti-Englishmen, why did he not return to India?
Yet another flaw of the screenplay: Gattu’s cousins prod him on to take up the offer of the English team but it is difficult to comprehend whether they do it for selfish reasons or selflessly. For, when they are in the process of convincing him to join, each of them comes up with his/her sob story about how he/she can’t pursue his/her dream because Gattu didn’t pursue his dream and, instead, let his father rule his life. Had this point of each cousin’s dream not been brought up at this stage, the support of the cousins would’ve looked far far more heartwarming and completely selfless. But the way it has been shown, the audience gets the feeling that each of the cousins is an opportunist and is supporting Gattu just so that he/ she can do what he/she wants to do. Instead of helping Gattu, this comes across as making him a scapegoat.
Again, most of the things the cousins, other family members and friends of Gattu do (like cutting off the cable TV line when Gattu is on the field and his father is in front of the television set, unaware of the goings-on) to keep his father in the dark are childish, to say the least. Some things are also very funny but even after enjoying and laughing at the funny anecdotes, the point that it is a childish drama that’s going on, continues to haunt the viewer and comes in the way of his complete enjoyment. Even when Gurtej Singh reaches the cricket stadium while Gattu is underperforming, it seems that Gattu’s performance doesn’t get influenced by his (father’s) presence there because there is not a single shot of Gattu’s eyes meeting his dad’s. Also, Gattu expresses surprise when he sees his dad at the stadium after the match is over. If that is indeed so and Gattu was, in fact, not aware of his father’s presence in the stadium, what was the point in getting him there?
Because Gattu is playing for the English team, the audience does not experience the rush of patriotic feelings, without which the drama has no meaning. Had he been playing for India and leading the country to victory, it would have been a different thing altogether.
All in all, the film turns out to be designed as a tear-jerker first and an entertainer thereafter. But the youngsters would definitely not approve of the rona-dhona – also because the emotions look contrived and made up. A lot of Akshay Kumar’s fans would not be happy to see him in this role of a reserved, helpless, consigned-to-one’s fate kind of a guy who ultimately does something heroic. They would rather see him do heroic deeds galore or at least make them laugh.
In short, the first half is boring and doesn’t involve the audience too much. The pace picks up post-interval but because the drama is kiddish and the emotions aren’t very strong, it doesn’t have the desired impact.
Star Performances – Patiala House Review
Akshay Kumar gets limited scope to act or show his histrionics, which is a minus point for the film. He is good but his scenes aren’t substantial enough. Anushka Sharma is very endearing and free in her acting but even she doesn’t have much to do post-interval. The film actually belongs to Rishi Kapoor and he is extraordinary as Gurtej Singh Kahlon. He performs wonderfully. Dimple Kapadia plays his wife with maturity. Hard Kaur impresses as Komal. Armaan Kirmani is quite good as Jaskaran Singh Kahlon alias Jassi. As the pregnant wife of Jaskaran, Jeneva Talwar holds her own. Rabbit Sack C and Faraaz Khan are alright as Aman Singh Kahlon and Puneet Singh Kahlon respectively. Soni Razdan makes her presence felt. Maya Sarao is lovely as the over-the-top bride-to-be, Manmeet. Tanveer Singh is okay as her husband-to-be, Ranbeer. Simi Melwani and Kumud Mishra lend fair support.Devansh Daswani is effective as Zeeshan although he has been given lines to mouth, which don’t go with his age. Prem Chopra has a minuscule role to play. Tinnu Anand, David Frost and Roly Lee fill the bill.
Direction and Music – Patiala House Review
Nikhil Advani’s direction is okay. However, the drama looks made up rather than naturally flowing. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is very good but not as popular. Laung da lashkara song is fast-paced and its picturisation (choreographed by Remo D’Souza) is nice. Kyun main jaagoon has lilt and melody. Rola pe gaya and Baby when you talk to me are also enjoyable numbers. Anvita Dutt’s lyrics are appealing. Santosh Thundiyil’s cinematography is superb. The foreign locales have been captured beautifully. Editing (by Manan Sagar) is okay. Dialogues (Anvita Dutt) are very good at places.
The Last Word
On the whole, Patiala House is an ordinary fare which will face an uphill task at the box-office. It has taken a very dull start and that will tell on its ultimate tally at the box-office.