A talented young Indian cricket player must defy his father's wishes to play for the side of England, a rebellion his siblings quietly cheer.A talented young Indian cricket player must defy his father's wishes to play for the side of England, a rebellion his siblings quietly cheer.A talented young Indian cricket player must defy his father's wishes to play for the side of England, a rebellion his siblings quietly cheer.
Southall is considered a mini India in London and when the astray, unemployed and spoilt English youths are presently on a rampage in London and adjacent towns, the movie appears to be all the more relevant and I feel that by coincidence, it became a movie ahead of its time. The moviemaker has made in the fashion of a masala flick only, intermixing comedy and emotions to the optimum; however, by default, now it has become practically relevant too because the Indians and the other Asians presently being attacked and looted in London must be feeling the same way, the main protagonist of this movie (Rishi Kapoor) feels towards the English.
Gurtej Singh Kahlon (Rishi Kapoor) becomes an anti-English when his family is attacked by the English brats and his uncle (Prem Chopra) is killed in the anti-Indian riots. He unites all the Indians living in Southall and go for a lot of development for them through his sheer hard work and dedication. Due to his efforts, not only the Indians prosper there but also his own family becomes a reputed one, settled in a house known as Patiala House. However, his anti-British sentiments cost his talented Cricketer son - Pargat Singh Kahlon (Akshay Kumar) when he is not able to play for England at the international level. Years pass and due to his anti-British fervour, his young family members start feeling suffocated. Since Pargat is completely dedicated to his father and he has willingly sacrificed his ambitions for his father's sentiments, he is the only man in the family who does not have any grudge against the head of the family, i.e., Gurtej or Baauji. However, his heart weeps at his shattered dream of playing international Cricket. Only his mother (Dimple Kapadia) understands and feels his pain. Else everybody in Patiala House only mocks him.
I don't know how many people in the real world are lucky enough to get a second chance to fulfil their dreams. However, in at least two contemporary movies, I have seen life providing a second opportunity to the protagonists. Firstly, it's Meghana Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) in Fashion (2008) and secondly, it's Pargat Singh Kahlon who being a fast bowler, gets a chance to play for England at an age when usually the sportspersons seek retirement from playing. How Pargat avails this second opportunity provided to him by the destiny to turn his long-cherished, yet unfulfilled dream into reality and how it leads to an emotional confrontation between the anti-British father and his beloved son, forms the bulk of the narrative which is highly appealing.
Patiala House could have become a great movie because it's a movie which contains its heart in the right place. The emotional drama which is the essence of the movie has been presented very well on the screen and it not only moves the audience but also inspires the youths not to lose heart and pursue whatever they are passionate about.
However due to commercial constraints, the director could not convert this good movie into a great movie. The post-interval session has been wrapped in comedy in which the family members are busy in preventing Baauji from watching TV (lest he should see his son - Pargat aka Gattu playing on the screen). The songs and dances block the flow of the narrative.
Music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is admirable because most of the songs are hummable and enjoyable. However there is only one song - Kyun Main Jaagoon which is in sync with the theme of the movie. This sentimental song has been penned by Anvita Dutt Guptan and sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali.
Akshay Kumar and Rishi Kapoor have delivered towering performances in the central roles of father-son duo. It's, by all means, one of Akshay's five best performances. Rishi Kapoor is a legend now and Dimple perfectly compliments him (though she gets proper scope in the final phase of the movie only). Anushka Sharma as the young heroine is lively and energetic and her mere presence infuses life into this serious movie. The complete supporting cast has done well. The presence of many real life Cricketers has added value to the movie. I don't know the names of the actors but I wholeheartedly admire those who have played the roles of young Rishi Kapoor and young Akshay Kumar. Theirs are heart-conquering performances.
I recommend this flop and underrated movie to all those Indians (whether settled in India or abroad) who are proud to be so. However when I contrast this movie with the violence presently taking place in London and nearby towns, I wonder whether the filmmaker is right in conveying his message that now there is no ethnic bias against the Indians (or the Asians) in general. Have the times really changed in England ?
- Aug 12, 2011