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Friday, February 11, 2011

Patiala House - Movie Review


Director-
Nikhil Advani
Producer-
Bhushan Kumar, Mukesh Talreja, Kishan Kumar, Twinkle Khanna, Zoeb Springwala
Starring-
Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Prem Chopra, Hard Kaur, Soni Razdan, Tinu Anand, Kumud Mishra, Jeneva Talwar, Masood Akhtar



Patiala House is a film about the Kahlon household of Southall. The family is headed by orthodox Sikh Gurtej Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor) who expresses every emotion with a little moustache dance. His bitter past of witnessing certain racist exploits has him utterly disregard everything British. Consequently, his giant family of 12-14 people are refused to pursue their dreams (since that is very British?). So most of them resign to Indian versions of their dreams. The Kahlon who wants to be a chef starts frying 'jalebis', the one who wants to a filmmaker finds himself behind the wheel of a taxi and one of the sisters (Hard Kaur) who wants to be rapper is forced to croon bhajans (the only thing worse than her rap).

While most Kahlons are caustic about their miserable lives, Gurtej's own son, Parghat Singh aka Gattu (Akshay Kumar) is completely indifferent. The 43-year-old actor plays a 34-year-old (passable for a 50-year-old) who could've been in the England team 17 years back if it wasn't for his father yelling at him and to a crowd of 100 people (?), "Tu England ke liye cricket nahin khelega!"

While Gattu plays an obedient son who has forsaken his dreams to moo the way his father instructs him to, Akshay Kumar decides to play it up a notch (to prove he can do such roles and for delirious fun). So obedient becomes borderline spastic, emotionally bankrupt and at times just down-right demented. The way he interacts with his childhood friend, neighbour and love-interest Simran (Anushka Sharma) is nothing short of challenged. The result, Gattu has glimpses of Taare Zameen Par, My Name is Khan and even Paa.

Anyway, this dreary story takes another ludicrous turn when Mr Bedi (Tinu Anand), the (minority) cricket selector who gets Southhall Sikhs represented in the England team, decides to give Gattu another chance. Why? Because he's seen him bowling at the empty field opposite his house for 17 years. Really? That is it? How about starting with County or a club even? Where the film goes from here would hardly make a contest question.

With cricketers like Symonds, McCullum, Gibbs, Pollard etc making an appearance, the most dramatic one is by ex-England captain Nassir Hussain who tries his mouth at Hindi and manages to sound like a robot speaking in Japanese. Another unintentional comic element in the movie is Hard Kaur fashioned as a Punjabi aunty which can be equated to Ozzy Osbourne dressed as a Sikh.

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