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PATIALA HOUSE - Movie Review : Its more a Rishi Kapoor film than a Akshay Kumar venture with a not so convincing second half. (Review By Bobby Sing)
11 Feb, 2011 | Movie Reviews / 2011 Releases

Writing about PATIALA HOUSE, firstly I would like to thrash all controversies and objections raised by some SIKH Individuals or Organisations regarding the clean shaven look of Akshay as the son of a Sikh character played by Rishi Kapoor. The very first 15 minutes of the film clarify everything about the look and I must say that the director Nikhil Advani does that very convincingly. In fact for me the first half an hour of the movie was the best part of the project to be precise.

Secondly, for all Akshay Kumar fans the news is not bad this time, but its also not very good either. Truly speaking PATIALA HOUSE may be a better movie as compared to Askhay’s all recent releases but at the same time it’s also not anything too good or exceptional when we talk about entertainment. The film remains a half baked product with a good first half and a very unconvincing second with everything predictable till the climax. Though the script keeps introducing new twists in the story post intermission, but still the overall impact on the viewer just remains an average one.
In short, PATIALA HOUSE is neither a complete comedy nor a complete drama movie. It neither makes you laugh whole heartedly nor does it make you cry with all that family drama being shown on the screen in its final moments. Among the merits of the movie, one can undoubtedly rate the performances of Rishi Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Anushka on the top of all in that particular sequence. And those complaining that Akshay has been repeating himself lately, surely get to see a new Akshay in the film, who is calm, sober and cool playing an underdog. But frankly, after watching PH you just feel ok and don’t have anything great to say about the movie experience on the whole.
And there are many factors responsible for this average kind of impact which are given below:
1. The story of PATIALA HOUSE at once reminds you of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM in which Anupam Kher played the role of a SIKH father living abroad and Parminder Nagra played her daughter who wanted to play for the FOOTBALL team. And after all the opposition, her father does come to watch her play in the end. In addition to this it also reminds you of GOAL which talked about a similar racialism issue with a different background. So the inspirational angle again is right there visible vaguely.
2. The film is based on a very uneven script where everything seems to be happening very easily even at the national sports level. Where the first half is pretty fine and impressive, the second one brings in some heavily unbelievable and weird kind of sequences which are not all convincing. The whole act of hiding the developments in the team selection and then stopping Rishi Kapoor from watching the entire tournament till its FINAL, looks like written by a childish brain. In this current unstoppable time of information and technology how could the director and his writers even think of such an insertion in the film of this magnitude.
3. Post interval the film disappoints in many departments ranging from its music to all the cricket tournament scenes showing Akshay taking the limelight. Interestingly Hindi Cinema has a history of films based on cricket not doing well at the box office with an only exception of LAGAAN. And the main factor responsible for this fact is that for some strange reasons, cricket being filmed for the silver screen has never come out to be highly entertaining or watchable in all those films, except LAGAAN & IQBAL (which was not a box office success).
Nikhil Advani’s PATIALA HOUSE also suffers with the same disorder. The cricketing scenes in the film are not at all impressive with some erratic cuts and un-intelligent direction. At many places on-screen depiction of players holding a catch, doing a misfield, appealing for an out, running for saving a run-out or talking with their captain (or opponent) on the ground are nothing close to what we normally see in a LIVE Telecast. So the film which is largely based on the game of Cricket, does not justify the Big Sport on-screen, (despite of the presence of Original famous Cricket veterans) which sadly once again proves the historical fact related to the films based on cricket.
4. Further PATIALA HOUSE plays the romance plot between Akshay and Anushka very loosely with a very questionable kind of explanation given for Anushka and her kid. The romance is never in the air and the viewers never feel like thinking about them as a pair.
5. The director also tries to incorporate the “Follow Your Passions in Life” philosophy made famous by 3 IDIOTS in his film, which unfortunately falls flat and is not able to make any kind of impact on the young viewers.
6. Musically the film is a weak venture too with only one song “Laung Da Lishkara” having some melodious notes. But what was the motive behind putting this song after the movie was literally over remains out of my understanding.
Performance wise, the film is lead by Rishi Kapoor strongly followed by Akshay Kumar playing the underdog impressively. Akshay comes up with a mature act after a long time and he has also worked hard on his bowling scenes particularly. He never goes over the top anywhere in the film contrary to his own style and delivers a fine controlled performance. But Rishi Kapoor excels himself as the SIKH father of Akshay. His getup, dialect, body language and style is highly authentic as well as entertaining. After the recent DO DOONI CHAAR, Rishi once again re-invents himself and delivers a highly polished act of an Indian Sikh living in England. To be straight, PATIALA HOUSE is more watchable for Rishi Kapoor than Akshay Kumar.
In the supporting cast, Anushka plays it real well as a half Punjabi independent girl. The girl continues to surprise me post BAND BAAJA BARAAT. But Dimple Kapadia neither looks good nor gets enough meaty scenes in the film to prove her famous skills. She gets a rough treatment since the story is mainly based upon the father-son relationship. The rest of the cast is fine with a great visual find Usman Qureshi, who exactly looks like the young Akshay Kumar in the flashback scenes.
So in all, PATIALA HOUSE can only be watched for its key performances by Rishi Kapoor and Akshay Kumar. But on a concluding note I would also like to warn that do not miss its initial 20 minutes for any reason, since those remain the most engaging moments of the movie according to me. 
Ratings : 2.5 / 5

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11 Feb 2011 / Comment ( 0 )
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