Pataakha Movie Review

Pataakha Movie Review 2018: Fizzles Without A Spark

Movie Name
Vishal Bhardwaj
Action , Comedy , Drama
02 hours 14 minutes

Pataakha Review

Seriously, Vishal Bhardwaj should avoid attempting comedy because that's just not his forte. Remember his chaotic Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola? Expect a similar inexplicable mess when two sisters, Badki and Chutki tear each other's hair, roll in the mud and swear at each other for no reason whatsoever.

The two snarling, sniping sisters provide the local amusement in their village and are the bane of their father's life. With distinctly different dreams, Badki or Champa wants to have her own dairy farm one day while Chutkiwhose name is Gendalongs to study, learn English and have her own school.

Considering how ill-tempered and ungroomed they are, both sisters easily find a devoted boyfriend each, nice decent boys too. There's also Patel, a rich villager who's eyeing them, ready to marry either. Why anybody would to marry a foul-mouthed virago who's scruffy to boot beats me. Father who needs money to bribe someone for a job, promises either daughter to Patel. Patel duly turns up all excited with the baraat.

But happy to escape from Patel and from each other, Badki and Chutkihave eloped with their moonstruck boyfriends.

Based on Charan Singh Pathik's short story Do Behnein, I'm not sure why Vishal Bhardwaj was so fascinated by it that he saw a whole feature film in it.

The one and only twist is when the sisters find they haven't really escaped from each other. While the hatred for each other climaxes with one losing her sight and the other her speech, at no stage is the audience any the wiser about what the problem between the two really is. There's also convenient lapse in logic when the sisters tear each other's eyes out to spark off a war at home though there are references to how they have to avoid fighting because that's what they've promised their father.

Vishal Bhardwaj gets it wrong right away when he sets his film in the desert state and has more Rajasthani than Hindi spoken by all his characters which takes a long time to get used to. ‘Modiyo' is what they keep saying for daughters. But it's not just a word here and a word there. There are full sentences where you feel like asking for sub-titles, please.

The second flaw is in having two sisters fight like rebels without a cause. One therefore neither comprehends what's happening nor connects with any of it.

The third is that while the two husbands are neat, clean and dignified, the two women are consistently unpleasant, unreasonable and unkempt. It makes the husbands' loyalty to them look curiously unreal.

Bhardwaj keeps drawing parallels between the warring sisters and India-Pakistan. By hammering it so many times, the subtlety of a metaphor is lost. Also, does Bhardwaj really think sponsored terrorism which has taken so many lives is as frivolous as the bickering between these two bedraggled behenas?

As for the music, ‘Naina banjare' is a lovely melody but I didn't really notice it in the film. Malaika Arora is thanked in the credits, her staff is named at the end but she's nowhere in the film. Her song was edited out, one learns.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

For a noisy film that doesn’t have anything amusing or enlightening to say, Pataakha gets a 1.5* rating.


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