Pataakha Hindi Movie Review
Vijay Raaz is inimitable. But he is made to say, 'Naaspeeti' (someone who ruins everything) at least fifteen times. He plays dad to two daughters Genda and Champa who are at each other' throats, literally, all the time.
Champa, played by Radhika Madan, is the older sister who does care for school but wants to open a dairy, filled with milch cows and buffaloes.
Genda the younger sister is played by Sanya Malhotra, wants to study and become a teacher.
Dipper is village con, a friend to both girls, he take great pleasure in instigating all their fights. Sunil Grover plays the part with glee, hamming it without a care.
The film is based on a short story 'Do Behnein' (Two Sisters) by Charan Singh Pathik. Vishal Bhardwaj stretches the short story to turn it into a 132 minute long film to share with us his idea of tear-your-hair enmity between sisters. Alas the trailer gives away the entire first half of the film. And your sit wondering what the substance between their teeth is? Why don't they just use charcoal or something to blacken the teeth? So many closeups of their mouths you want to reach out and use a toothpick. No wonder they speak funny. Ugh!
So you see the girls grow up fighting. It's in the trailer. So they get married to brothers. We saw that in the trailer too. Here's what happens in the gaps. The father has to pay money as bribe to a forest official for his illegal stone mine and promises one of his daughters in marriage to Patel (Saanand Verma) who is a widower and will do anything to get married. Of course the girls, who are competing with each other find themselves a boyfriend each and run away from a marriage to Patel. Patel now seethes and wants his money back.
Before the second half you are wondering why everyone is trying so hard to be rustic. Even the 'Darling!' that Genda and her army beau call each other remind you that it's just a copy of the song from Vishal Bhardwaj's film 7 Khoon Maaf. You want something to happen, but it doesn't. The two sisters behave cordially with each other and are bored out of their wits in their ordinary lives because there's no argument. You are so bored you eat the popcorn from the man fast asleep next to your seat in the theatre. Dipper shows up and suggests that they get the men to fight so that they would divide the property and finally each would get what they wanted: an education and a dairy. The plan works out and the brothers are separated. And you are just sitting there feeling untouched by it all, knowing that the gunk between their teeth is changing.
Then you facepalm with the story being stretched beyond belief. Each sister hates the others success so much they are dumbstruck and blinded. And the ploy of getting dad to play dead is so obvious, you just hope it gets over soon. Thankfully it does, but the 'India Pakistan war' analogy feels so exhausted. The wedding song is amusing and so is the idea of Dipper instigating the 'wars'. But it does not prevent from the film from the cardinal sin of being dull.