Paranthe Wali Gali is foodgasm, personified. The film tells the story of a struggling theater artist, Moulik (Anuj Saxena), trying his best to make a name in the theater circles of Delhi. Parallelly, there is a love-story brewing, albeit, one-sided. Naina Kaur (Neha Pawar), the neighborhood girl, who makes and delivers delicious paranthas, is in love with Moulik and is extremely supportive of him and his theatre group.
Why you must watch Paranthe Wali Gali
If you really need one reason to watch the film, it is Mohinder Gujral. Gujral, who plays the role of Naina’s Biji (grandmother) is more vibrant and energetic than all of the cast put together. She dances, emotes and boy can she act. Another reason to watch this film is the cinematography by Debashish Banerjee. The opening credits deserve a special mention here. Banerjee’s camera takes you into the narrow gullies of the ever charming Delhi, and freezes every time it gives credit to a member of the cast or crew of the film.
However, the film falls short in quite a few aspects, namely, editing, dialogues, music, background music and actors. The opening scenes of PWG left me dumbstruck, and not in a good way, really.
The film is loud, literally. The background music is loud, the songs are loud and so is debutant, Neha Pawar. With the decibel levels running so high, it becomes difficult to concentrate on what actually is happening in the film.
There’s a particular street-play scene in the film where all we see is Moulik, moving in circles, probably shouting loudly, and rotating a dumru. But what’s baffling is the fact that we get to hear nothing about the street play, we can only watch in wonder as to what’s exactly happening, as a loud, deafening background score plays on. This is disappointing as we don’t really get to see a street-play in a film that tells the story of a theater artist. And Anuj Saxena has barely anything to offer as a theater artist. All he does is smile occasionally and emote disappointment or a state of depression.
Sachin Gupta, the director of the film, is a famed theater director and playwright. PWG is his debut film and somehow, unfortunately, he hasn’t hit the nail with this one! From a content point-of-view, the film is strong. But the fact remains that Bollywood has done-to-death, the stories of "strugglers". Yes, the ”struggler" in this case, is a theater artist but nonetheless that doesn’t really change the way the "struggler" in the movie, Moulik, has been showcased. The film, if dealt with maturity, a tighter script and better acting, would have done much better.