“Patiala House” tries to pick formula elements like cricket, racism, joint family etc. and weave it together effectively. And it doesn’t fair too badly at doing that. As expected from Nikhil Advani, it carries many clichés and of course the drama that comes along. Yet it manages to carry enough appeal as far as family entertainers go. After all, we do love clichés when done tastefully.
Gurtej Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor) is the tyrannical father of the Kahloh family living in Southall. Parghat Singh Kahlon aka Gattu (Askhay Kumar) is the eldest son. The Khalon family had gone through a racist tragedy while Gattu was still a kid due to which at age 17 Gattu was banned from playing cricket for England by his father. He is now 34, a shopkeeper and lives a suppressed and sorry existence. The first half is tediously spent in establishing this. Although Gattu’s submissive character does have its moments (we can thank Shankar, Ehshan and Loy here), it still is overdone. For 17 years, Gattu was banned from following his dream and the very same slowly started happening to the rest of his family too. But when the England cricket team is in peril and Gattu is called on as the secret weapon, the whole family gets a second chance. Now this is the part where you say “this happens only in Bollywood” and you resign your sensibilities to the film. What you’re thrown at thereafter is Gattu’s miraculous selection to the England team and his family managing to sabotage the press, radio and television in order to hide the news from his father.
A warning for cricket fans – the film might seem like an extended version of the ‘Sehwag ki Maa’ TV commercial. The drama that was made out of cricket was unreal despite the presence of real cricketers. Although that kind of melodrama might appeal to the masses.
Verdict: It’s a family entertainer, so send your family for it but you’re better off picking something else this weekend.