Patiala House is poor in all aspects

Producers: Twinkle Khanna, Mukesh Talreja, Bhushan Kumar, Krishn Kumar.
Writer: Nikhil Advani.
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia.

MUMBAI: Patiala House is about sports, about cricket since that‘s the sport Indians know best.

The germ of the story is the plight of a man who excels in a particular aspect of this game but has to refrain because his father has some misgivings about who he plays for.

There is this place called Patiala House, an indefinable construction with numerous pigeonhole-like rooms inhabited by no one knows who all, numbering a dozen or more at different times.

Rishi Kapoor, a Sikh migrant, is the lord and master of what he thinks this pigeonhole empire is; Dimple Kapadia is his typical, suffering in silence, Indian wife. Akshay Kumar, as a 17-year-old (played by Usman Qureshi) starts making headlines as a fast bowler and has a promising future in the England team. However, he has to give up cricket and any aspirations for playing for England. Instead, he is handed some sort of store which he runs for the next 17 years till a neighbourhood lass, Anushka Sharma, comes visiting his shop, the only good thing to have happened to him in all these years it would seem.

Akshay Kumar bears this burden of not having been able to do what he loved most- play cricket and even as he continues his bowling practice every night, he never changes his expression of perpetual sulk! Anushka, the new entrant in his life, wants to change this, make him play again and play for England national team; that he is 34, now notwithstanding.

But what is it that stops Akshay Kumar from playing cricket? The reason is that Rishi Kapoor‘s kin, Prem Chopra, was killed by skinheads and since then all Britons are enemies for Rishi Kapoor and playing for them amounts to being a traitor! And, Akshay Kumar would see him dead if he dared play, was his stand. If this is the silly premise on which Patiala House is based, no prizes for guessing how silly rest of the content will be.

A little about others occupying the pigeonholes of Patiala House; they all carry a uniform scowl or frown on their face except when they are taunting Akshay Kumar; their grouse is that because he obeys Rishi Kapoor all the time, even they have to! This is the kind of logic the rest of the script is also made of. Finally, led by Anuskha Sharma, they all convince Akshay Kumar to play again (England team is so depleted they are even waiting for him to return!). While he starts playing, the pigeonhole clan plans and plots to keep this from Rishi Kapoor, blocking all media from him.

The problems for the film are manifold. The story idea is silly, script is even sillier, music offers no relief and direction by Nikhil Advani is immature to say the least. Amid many gaffes, he even casts some old looking character as young Rishi Kapoor! Except for Akshay Kumar, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, there is no clue who is who in this crowd and it would take a Arthur Hailey to chart out a family tree!

Being veterans, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia manage to hold their own despite flaws. Akshay Kumar is better here than doing buffoonery in other films but that is not enough. Anushka Sharma does well.

Patiala House is poor in all respects and that is how it will stay at the box office, too.


Angel: An ill conceived theme

Producer- Direcor: Ganesh Acharya.
Cast: Nilesh Sahay, Maddalsa Sharma, Aruna Irani, Manoj Joshi

Angel is about a girl, Maddalsa Sharma, suffering from limbs disorder borne out of mental trauma, as the film tells you. Nilesh Sahay, who has been the cause of this girl‘s father‘s death, befriends her and helps her recover so that she talks, walks and uses her limbs normally.

Maddalsa languishes alone in a chawl room at the mercy of an ayah who is either smooching her boyfriend in another room or gold bricking while her brother and bhabhi stay in a semi luxurious flat provided in her name by the government because she is handicapped (does this happen in India?)!

However, this makes things convenient for Nilesh Sahay to visit her and tend to her and as would be expected, both fall in love and are attracted sexually, eventually.

An ill-conceived theme, Angel is poor in execution. Casting is a drawback. While Maddalsa Sharma passes muster, Nilesh Sahay is no actor material; his character is poor to add to his woes.

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