At Patiala House lives the Kahlon family ruled by Bauji. They follow his diktats as he tries to hold onto his "Indian values" in the land of the "goras". The younger generation at the Patiala House wants to assert themselves and follow their dreams, but is held back by their respect and love for Bauji and the shining example ...more
At Patiala House lives the Kahlon family ruled by Bauji. They follow his diktats as he tries to hold onto his "Indian values" in the land of the "goras". The younger generation at the Patiala House wants to assert themselves and follow their dreams, but is held back by their respect and love for Bauji and the shining example of Bauji's eldest son, Parghat Singh Kahlon aka Gattu who gave up his dream at the altar of Bauji's biases. less
“One of Akshay's best performances in recent times! Watch it with hopes not too high.”
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Patiala House is the family home headed by Sikh Gurtej Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor). Due to the racial atrocities committed during the 70s, he becomes a protector of his community, the Sarpanch of Southall, and completely anti-British. His bitter past, and the murder of Saini sahib (Prem Chopra), his mentor, at the hands of the goras has led him to hate them with a vengeance. So strong is his passion that he prefers that his son, Parghat Singh Kahlon, Gattu (Akshay Kumar) who is a cricket prodigy, waste his life running a convenience store than play for the English team. Consequently, his extended family lead their lives by following the Kahlonised versions of their dreams.
Hence you have a jalebiwala, a taxi driver, a bhajan singer in the house who want to be a chef, filmmaker and rap star respectively. Obedience to Bauji means leading a puppet existence, of which Gattu is the prized trophy, much to the chagrin of the rest of the cousins.
Simran (Anushka Sharma) is a bubbly, Mumbai returned girl, who ran away to get a break in Bollywood, but failed and returned to Southall. A fault attributed to her white moms genes. The only reason she is allowed into the Kahlon arena is because her father was a Sikh. She is living with her brother Zeeshan (Dayansh Daswani), who is suspected by the people to be her illegitimate child. Due to the dismal performance by the England cricket team, the selectors meet for a team overhaul. Mr. Bedi (Tinu Anand) suggests the name of Gattu as a pacer over and above the county club list shortlisted by the selectors. But obvious, the suggestion is scoffed at because Gattu has not only not played since 17 years, but is 34 years old now, a time when one retires from the game. One of the selectors, Nassir Hussain, remembers being bowled out by Gattu in 3 straight innings and tells Bedi, that if he gets Gattu to play, he will handle the selectors.
Life is all about second chances, is the age old clich. Patiala House is about that second chance. That hope of life which comes to Gattu and is used by his siblings to not only reclaim his, but as an attempt to reclaim their own lives.
Things which become a little difficult to digest in todays times: Selection of Gattu by Bedi on the sheer virtue of seeing him bowl across his house to an empty stump. Had it been around 30 years ago, it was still conceivable, but in todays times, with the amount of competitive cricket being played around the world and in England, it seems too pat for the script.
Bauji lives in Londons Southall area but has never apnaoed the desh, because of his past. If so bad is the situation, then why not leave is a question one asks earlier on. At times, his arguments with the British seem, arguing for the sake of arguing.
In todays google era, where parents are merely informed about their wards career choices, no one even shares their dreams with Bauji, I can accept the girl not wanting to disclose her relationship with Edward, but the chef and film maker do not pursue their choices on the pretext that they have to follow Baujis diktat. But give the man a chance to refuse. So when at the wedding he questions Gattu, as to why and whose dreams has he ruined in the house, he is justified.
The film is high on emotions, drama but in bits and pieces. Thanks to the mediocre screenplay by Nikhil Advani & Anvita Dutt Guptan. There are portions like the war-like preparation for the successful conning of Bauji, during Gattus matches which do strike a chord with you. Or the part where a worried mother lands up cutting her sons hair. But they seem to be too far and too few. The duo fail miserably in the characterisation of the rest of the family members. Hence they seem like extended junior artists at times, just to fill the screen. One more issue with the flick is that Aman Singh Kahlon (Rabbit Sack C) keeps a very trendy beard, how is that allowed by Bauji? Either they should have been normal hair cuts like Gattu n Jassi or complete Sikh like Bauji. Did not understand that aspect too.
Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is passable. Besides Gattus theme, Kyon Main Jagoon, & Laung da lashkara, the rest of the songs are purely okay.
Dialogues too, do not leave much of an impact and are rather predictable.
Nikhil Advanis direction, just like his screenplay has its highs and lows. His entire sepia tainted flashback is well handled. Wonder why did he not use Rishi Kapoor for the younger version of Gurtej also. The moments between father and son are good and those moments should have been highlighted more. For a subject like this, there had to be occasions where the rest of the family also suffers at the autocratic methods of Gurtej, so people can identify and more importantly, relate to the pain of the character on screen. Because it is not that Gurtej does not want his family happy, he goes out of his way to ensure that his wards are taken care of, setting up businesses for everyone, even getting his son-in-law a house next to his. He is just a person who because of his walked path of life, believes that whatever he does is the only way. The placement of the hit item number, Laung da Lashkara is one reason to shoot Nikhil. He not only kills the song, but also the impact of the climax. Another great flaw that kept hitting you in the face was the EBC on the jackets of the selectors and the English team. As far as I knew last, it was English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), wonder how they got that wrong.
Rishi Kapoor, cast as the patriarch of a family settled in U.K. is first rate. He pulls of the Sikh act superfluously. From the body language, the tattoo on his hand, his dialect, to his attitude towards the cops, he lives the character of Bauji. Even his moustache dance for that matter. The star delivers one of his best performances. Even though you disagree with his view point, your heart goes out to him, since his actions are based on his personal experiences and he does not want his children to meet the same fate. A concerned, worried father. Coincidences to Anupam Kher from Bend it Like Beckham can be attributed to Nikhil Advani and Anvita Dutt Guptans writing, or the lack of it.
Dimple Kapadia, like all doting mothers and faithful wives does not have much say in the household affairs. But only towards the climax, does the maa, take over the biwi. Again resemblance to Jaya Bachhans Galat/ Sahi monologue in Kabhie Khushi Khabhi Gham, can be blamed on the Advani / Guptan duo.
Anushka is an integral part of the story. She is Akshay's shoulder, his better half in the literal sense of things and also lives her role as the livewire that her character, Simran is supposed to be. She is so full of energy, it is infectious.
But the star of the film after Bauji, is little Zeeshan. Brilliant. The manner in which he bonds with Bauji is endearing.
Amongst the Kahlons, Punit Singh Kahlon (Faraaz Khan) is excellent as the skeptic. Priti Singh Kahlon (Jeneva Talwar) shows promise. Usman Qureshi, playing the younger Gattu is natural. Tinnu Anand is competent, as always. Prem Chopra is okay. Soni Razdan does a fair job.
Akshay, 43, playing 34, passes off as the suffering Gattu, the deadpan, obedient son, hated by his siblings, as they blame his submissive attitude to be the reason they have to suffer too. His restrained performance during the sangeet, or the wedding announcement is good. He makes you cry in the hospital scene, but the pick of the lot was when he confronts Rishi for the first and last time at his sisters bidaai. His respectful argument with Rishi and the knowing smile when no one stands up for him, show you that the actor is not yet dead, due to the non stop hair brained comedies that he has been doing.
Patiala House is killed by its editing. It should have been cut by atleast half an hour. Still there are quite a few reasons, this film might do well. With the upcoming World Cup and the hype of cricket all around, coupled with the fact that it is a single release this week might help. What will definitely help is the support that the film will get with the NRI audiences. It reminds you of the 80s high on drama flicks, or even for that matter, Akshays earlier films Ek Rishta or Waqt. See it for the reason that it is much better than the kachra that keeps coming regularly, week after week. But please be patient.