Movie Recommendation: Patang soars high on film making and 1980s nostalgia

He sure wasn’t in her ‘league’. They still had a great day on the bike all over streets of Ahmedabad. Now on rooftop, towards end of her two-day vacation, this upmarket Delhite girl bends over and kisses him on the lips. The tiny mobile shop owner’s son, retorts “Do you love me? … If not, then don’t use me”. And rounds off by saying, “When was the last time your friends called you home, and their mother fed you with her hands?”. Patang (meaning: kite) on surface looks an easy viewing ride but stays thought-provoking throughout. It’s style, depth, pace, background and substance constantly remind of the Indie epic Monsoon Wedding.

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Late Prashant Bhargava’s tautly scripted 105 min flick, made with little known cast, was first released in New York City, Mid June, 2012. It was a movie, Netflix Singapore, frequently recommended us to see. But we played it on only when we came to know that Nawazuddin Siddiqui had aced yet another character in Patang. As Chakko, the part-time singer in orchestra band, Nawazuddin’s act of blaming his wastefulness on his successful uncle is strong. You wonder, how a fully grown man, be so shameless enough to not do anything in life and live on his aging mother’s tuitions and grandmother’s care.

His successful uncle, Mukund Shukla, has come over with his daughter (Sugandha Garg and her pretty smile) to spend the kite flying festival at their ancestral home – coming after five years, and the wife couldn’t make it. Too busy ‘wine tasting’ to come. Any relative appearing after five years, has it’s barriers. That he is the one who provides this house with television and other expensive goodies, doesn’t go well with Nawazuddin. It goes worse when he finds that Mukund wants to sell the ancestral property and shift the family to an apartment were the aged ladies can find a ‘swimming pool’. The men are shown with negative shades, but all that impression changes at the end – when Aakash Maherya, refuses to kiss if there is no depth in relationship.

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If the men are good at performances, the ladies are top-notch; led by the versatile, get into your skin actress, Seema Biswas. Her expressions are enough – when she cuddles her mother in law – yes saas bahu are real close buddies here; stares at her late husband’s photograph (missing him at family gathering); comforts her niece (Sugandha) and relentlessly keeps pushing Nawazuddin to join the family event. When the movie ends, you feel the most about her. A wasteful son who screams at her “go wear bikini to the swimming pool for him” or snides “seems you enjoying a lot with uncle” and yet, she seems content with the smaller joys of life. Making choicest of dishes for her brother-in-law, feeding the niece with hands, enjoying the kite festival, dancing with family on rooftops and smiles at most things told to her.

Patang, takes you to the heart and soul of India. The bylanes, the kite festival, the boys dangerously running to catch kites, the shops, colours, culture, food and the essence of life. You watch Patang and will be forced to recall your childhood and wish your present was closer to that, than what it is today. Patang makes you miss your past, your relatives, your soul, your festivals, your smiles. Something which streaming Whatsapp jokes or Facebook updates, despite enslaving us, don’t give.

Our Rating: 4/5 (Must watch)

IMDB Readers Rating: 6.3/10

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