PATAKHA : A Movie Review

By Suruchi Das

Pic : Canva

Do you have a sibling or a cousin who is pretty close? Do you guys fight over stuff? To which extent do your fights last? (The last time me and my brother fought, I was limping around for a couple of months)

Director Vishal Bharadwaj adapted the story from Charan Singh Pathik’s Do behenein. Set in a small village of Rajasthan two sisters Champa Kumari aka Badki(Radhika Madan)and Genda Kumari aka Chutki(Sanya Malhotra), constantly are in a catfight, and can’t stand the sight of each other. Their father,Bapu aka Shanti Bhushan(Vijay Raaz) is the sole character who can control their atrocity, but at times even he gives up. Both the sisters have their own dreams and aspirations. One loves books, the other loves buffaloes, but both of them loved to hate each other the most, so much so that even in their prayers to the almighty they abuse and curse each other’s presence in their life. Dipper (Sunil Grover), the friend cum fiend is the firebrand of this sibling rivalry.

Badki and Chutki are waiting for their life to take a turn fulfilling their dreams (of becoming a dairy farm owner and school teacher respectively) and subsequently parting from each other, but Karma plays it’s cards(had a better phrase in mind!) and they find themselves married to Jagan and Vishnu who are siblings as well… ending up living together for life.

Sanya Malhotra and Radhika Madan are so full of energy and zing that it hardly contains the screen. The consistency these two maintain is pure delight to watch. Be it hurling of shoes or curses, they both are doing it with so much earnestness that you fall in love with the characters’ hatred for each other. The chemistry is truthful, it hardly seems that they are after all enacting a role. Sanya Malhotra has honed her acting skills to the fullest of her capacity: In a scene Genda is scrubbing the floor of her home,(if you look down closely you will see that there will be a lot of difference in the manner your ‘help’ will scrub the floor then that of your mother cleaning the floor. Malhotra beautifully soaked up the character's development from a young girl to a mother and a wife. Radhika Madan is surely a worthy debutante. The manner these two actors have embraced their roles is substantial and is representing their zeal as actors. Abhishek Duhan’s character Vishnu, (Chutki’s husband)an Army jawaan, the role is minimal, but the manner he got hold of the specific Army Disciplinary behaviour with his innocent quirks is applaudable.(I loved it!) Namit Das and Saanand Verma are cohesively working well in the plot. Sunil Grover as Dipper is doing what he does best, the amalgamation of the impish vagabond and a notorious yet caring friend. Grover has played his part with finesse giving the plot a crispiness and a mediator to the two sisters.

The film’s rural background, real to the ground characters and sweet storytelling gives “Patakha” a different tune to its comedic nature.The background score starts with a bang and somewhat feels dragged throughout the film but the music is beautiful. Naina Banjaare by Arijit Singh is soft and pleasing against the rash momentum of the film.

The film may be, may not be able to strike a chord with all, but raise hands if you and your sibling fought with each other like your house is the Kurukshetra and you dive in promising your last breath. The film brings out nostalgia from forgotten lands. Vishal Bharadwaj less subtly gave the two protagonists the tag of “Bharat- Pakistan.'' But the scope of this film is way ahead of its predictability.