Power Of A Patiala Peg!

For Akshay Kumar fans, here is a piece of good news. Akshay ‘Khiladi’ Kumar has finally come of age in Patiala House, has become more smarter and less cheesier; considering the loud duds he gave last year in Khatta Meetha, Action Replayy and Tees Maar Khan. Patiala House has him playing a sincere and seriously intense role, more grounded and less of loud acting.

After the debacle the Director Nikhil Advani gave when he teamed up with Akshay Kumar for Chandni Chowk To China, this is one film that showcases the real talent behind the two men. Patiala House is an intense story about a large second generation Indian family that lives in London and yet rooted to their culture. Gattu (Akshay Kumar) as a 17 year old boy gives up his dream of playing cricket for England when his strict, disciplinarian father Bauji (Rishi Kapoor) forbids him because of his hatred for anything British on account of some racial discrimination he had experienced earlier. Years later, Gattu, now 34 and a part of a large extended family still follows his father’s orders politely and yet secretly nursing an interest for cricket. The young extended family members dislike him for being a cause of their own suppressed dreams.

attu once again gets an opportunity to play for England and believing he can bring about a change in Patiala House, he goes ahead and is selected. The other family members go to all extent to hide this fact from Gattu’s parents specially Bauji hoping that with Gattu’s dream being realized, they too will get an opportunity to see their own dreams and aspirations come true. Gattu’s strength comes from the girl next door Simran (Anushka Sharma) who goads him all the way to pursue his dream. And then things take a wrong turn when Bauji comes to know that Gattu plays cricket for England and their relationship sours. Is Gattu able to continue with his dream of playing cricket and does Bauji mellow down, forms the climax of the story.

Akshay Kumar as Gattu is highly convincing and stands out for his brooding and yet convincing role. Even his cricketing skills look credible. Rishi Kapoor as Bauji is a class apart while Dimple as Gattu’s mother too is good. The rest of the cast members are good and none look out of the way. All said and done, there were however way too many characters floating around in Patiala House.

The direction by Pankaj Advani is up to the mark. He definitely has moved away from CC2C. Music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy as always, delivers. The songs are hummable and especially Laung Da Lashkara is going to stay on the music countdowns for days to come. Somehow, the story and the screenplay wasn’t really up to the mark or else how can one justify a Sikh family living in UK and despising the English people? Or a selector (Tinu Anand) who’s been watching Akshay bowl on an empty ground for 17 years and decides to promote him in front of other selectors even though Akshay has no professional cricket to his name in this 17 years period? Another glitch is showing Nassir Hussain speaking Hindi!

Overall, in spite of the above flaws, this film is worth watching for its basic theme that when life gives you a second chance, don’t hesitate to grab it with both hands. A story about relationships, about dreams and aspirations, of taking that extra step towards your destiny.

Rating: 3/5