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Patiala House – movie review

Conflict of ideologies in an Indian family since 4 generations living in the UK


Patiala House, movie review

Patiala House the film, is based in Southall – London where the Kahlon family has been living for the past 4 generations. Ruled by an autocratic and stubborn patriarch Bauji (Rishi Kapoor) the members of this household have no other choice but to adhere to his ways, his whims, his rules. Scarred by a racial incident that took place 20 years ago – an incident that led to the murder of his mentor and guardian, the senior advocate leader Mr. Saini, Bauji began hating the British and everything that the country and its people stood for. Patiala House movie review…

A hindi family drama with a background of cricket, the film is about Gattu (Akshay Kumar) who is living the life his father forced upon him. While young, our Gattu faced the racism problem which was a big issue then.

On one instance on his birthday, the Whites broke his home window and yelled “We don’t want you in our country.” From that moment onwards, Gattu’s his father, Gurtej Singh Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor) was fed up with the Whites. On the spur of the moment, the father grabbed a pot and almost hit one of the Whites with it. He was arrested soon after, but then released.

In yet another instance, some weeks later, Gattu’s uncle was killed in a racial attack. The obedient child, Gattu had always listened to his father, which made his siblings resent him.

1979 – Southall, London, UK

Gurtej Singh Kahlon, 34 years of age has just completed his shift at the Woolfe Rubbr Factory, he slowly walks back home, ignoring the “gora kid” while walking with his mother, pointing at him – the funny “brown man” in the turban.

Gurtej just crosses the street when the group of “white” disgruntled, unemployed factory workers tries to provoke him into a confrontation. He finally enters his warm cozy home and sings “happy birthday” to his six year old son Gattu. The father shields his family when the shards of shattering glass threaten to injure them. the Indian dad will chase the “gora hoodlums” who threw the big stone shattering his glass window screaming that he would break open the “gora skull” with his bare hands…. Gurtej has been protective about his family, and now on will continue to do so lifelong.

1994 – Southall, London, UK

Gattu grows up he is Parghat Singh Kahlon, a 17 year old lad hands over an official letter to his dad Gurtej Singh who reads every word. Parthat, in anticipation watches the unexpected reaction from his father who reminds the boy of his struggle period when Parghat was just a Gattu. The father in a rage, tears the official letter in pieces, shattering the teenager’s dreams.

2010 – Southall, London, UK

Parghat Singh Kalhon is now 34, just woken up one morning, and as he has been doing since the last 17 years, walks across Southall, opens his corner store across the tube station and tends to his customers. He hears the neighborhood boys playing cricket in the back alley and remembers that his dream could have become a reality. But then, he continues to tend to his customers.

All through these years Parghat Singh has watched his father ruling the house, a family, a community like he has for the last 25 years. Parghat Singh has silently borne the snide remarks and insults passed by a younger generation. Parghat Singh has no other option, so pours his heart out to his neighbor’s adopted brother. He understands the bitterness of his siblings, even identifies with their shattered dreams. Now he will participate in a change that’s taking place, now he will finally summon the courage to challenge his father and start a movement that will shake the very foundations of Patiala House.

Current superstar cricketers like Symonds, McCullum, Gibbs and Pollard have given a guest appearance, with ex- captain of England Nassir Hussain making an half hearted attempt to speak in his robotic hindi style.

As expected, there are some unimpressive bhangra numbers in this Punjabi background story Patiala House. A somewhat ‘predictable film’, Patiala House is a bit notch better than the mediocre fare that we see every week.

Akshay embraces Gattu’s shattering dreams and makes them his own. A trickle of tears running down his cheeks every time he thinks of his ruined dreams, yet he plays Gattu with a restrain and that makes it one of his best performances in recent times.

Anushka Sharma is too talkative in her bubbly character. Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia are fine enough at the Punjabi parents in Patiala House. There are many characters in this story which makes the narrative lose its way in the second half.

Cast of Patiala House:
Akshay Kumar – Parghat Singh Kahlon a.k.a. Gattu
Anushka Sharma – Simran
Rishi Kapoor – Gurtej Kahlon
Dimple Kapadia – Mrs Kahlon
Armaan Kirmani – Jassi
Prem Chopra – Advocate Virender Singh Saini
Hard Kaur – Komal Chatwal
Soni Razdan – Dolly Maan
Tinu Anand – Mr. Bedi
Jeneva Talwar – Priti Kahlon
Simi Melwani – Arshpreet
Masood Akhtar – Dr. Kanwaljeet
Kumud Mishra
Roly Lee
David Frost

Credits & Crew of Patiala House:
Banner – Credence Motion Pictures, Hari Om Entertainment
Directed by Nikhil Advani
Produced by Bhushan Kumar, Mukesh Talreja, Krishan Kumar, Twinkle Khanna, Zoeb Springwala
Screenplay by Nikhil Advani, Anvita Dutt Guptan
Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Cinematography – Santosh Thundiyil
Editing by Manan Sagar
Distributed by People Tree Films
Patiala House, movie review