• 06 Oct - 12 Oct, 2018
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

Ever watched a film that has entertained you as well as made you wonder about certain things in life? Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pataakha is one such movie that teaches you important lessons besides entertaining, proving the point that you don’t need stars to make a quality film; good content is enough. Like all his previous directorial ventures, he stays close to the ‘Spaghetti Eastern’ version of his, where the plot’s closeness to reality is the key.

Pataakha revolves around the lives of two sisters, Badki (Radhika Madan) and Chhutki (Sanya Malhotra), who are born to fight each other and everyone in their small town in Rajasthan knows that. Be it in school, over boyfriends, or choice of clothes, these girls are like a volcano, ready to erupt at will. Their friend Dipper (Sunil Grover) ensures that they remain at loggerheads because peace would kill them. Things get interesting when they get married and end up as neighbours, and their father (Vijay Raaz) makes them promise that their fighting days are behind them. Interesting, isn’t it?

Bhardwaj uses the two warring sisters to say a lot of things between the lines, especially about two countries that used to be one for a long time. The writer/director has been a champion of peace between India and Pakistan, and this film is just another offering from him. Although it has no major stars, the film keeps you engrossed because of the situations, the plot twists and the perfect execution that doesn’t let you take a peek at your watch for the film’s entire duration.

Pataakha takes sibling rivalry to an all-time high and people with siblings (elder or younger) would love the way Bhardwaj has tackled the subject. The Rajasthani language and the local music doesn’t look alien to the audience mainly because they are spoken effortlessly, and the makers of Batti Gul Meter Chalu must take note from the experienced director here. Inspired from Do Behnein, an original short story by writer Charan Singh Pathik, the movie has shot in culturally-rich rural India and makes you want to visit a village for its simple lifestyle.

As for the performances, the sisters played by Madan and Malhotra are as good as they get, considering one is debuting in the film and the other is making a comeback of sorts after just one movie. They not only look like sisters but also their hatred seems genuine; the scenes in which they go through life-changing mess are excellent and show how much potential they have as actors. Raaz is a one-man army who hardly disappoints and as the father of two bloodthirsty sisters, he is excellent here. So are the other important characters like the always-wicked Dipper, Abhishek Dhuwan’s English-loving Vishnu and the pervert Anand played by Saanand Verma. And don’t feel as if you are the only one to feel the Indo-Pak connection; the director has smartly inserted that in the movie to deliver a message, successfully I would say, too. •