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Mukkund Shukla
as Jayesh

Seema Biswas
as Sudha

Sugandha Garg
as Priya

Nawazuddin Siddiqui
as Chakku

Aakash Maheriya
as Bobby

Written and Directed
Prashant Bhargava

Running Time: 1:31

Rated Not Rated



Patang was a film with great visuals, but it felt more like a short film that got extended into a feature.


In Ahmedabad during India's largest annual kite festival Jayesh and his daughter Priya return to Jayesh's childhood home to try and convince his family to sell their property and move to Delhi. His nephew Chakku is dead set against this, blaming Jayesh for the death of his father years earlier. To Chakku, everytime Jayesh returns from the rich part of the country to the old country, something bad happens. It's a clash of new vs. old and whether the family wants to remain where they've been forever, or move into the future. There is no clear answer.


Patang wasn't a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, it just didn't feel like a complete one. There were way too many times where nothing would happen. Do I need to be beaten over the head with a story in order to enjoy it? No, but this movie was very, very light on the main plot and the rest of the movie felt like filler. In reality, the movie could have been about 20 minutes long, but instead we're treated to lots of scenes of family, dancing and yes, kite flying. It looked great, that's for certain, but after a while I wanted to get to the story. Had this been a documentary on the kite festival, that would have been one thing, but this was a movie that wasn't about the kites, it was about family with the kites as the background, helping to move the story along. Instead the visuals took control of the film and that wasn't enough for me. I never really got to know any of the characters. What really happened in the past to make Chakku hate his uncle so much? What did Jayesh do all those years ago? Why does he never go back and visit his family? Why does Chakku only hang out with street kids? And why does he care about them more than he does his family? The one story that popped up during the film that felt forced yet ended realistically was the romance that occurred between Priya and a shopkeeper's son. They met, flirted a little over the course of a couple of days, he announced his love for her and she looked at him like he was nuts. I was deathly afraid that she would agree to move to Ahmedabad to be with him, adding another layer to the relationship with her father, but thankfully at the end of the trip when the family made their decision as to whether or not to stay in Ahmedabad, she left with her dad.

Visually, the movie held up its end of the bargain. The scenes of the kites, the family eating together outside, the people dancing on rooftops - all of that was great. There was too much of it, but it was nice. There were times where it felt like the filmmaker was trying even harder to make the movie longer by adding in slow motion, and at times the handheld camera shook so much it gave me a headache, but it also allowed me to feel like I was in the middle of the story. As I said earlier, I think this movie would have been a lot better if it had been a short film, maybe 45-50 minutes instead of a 90 minute film. There's only so much extra footage that I need to see.


So overall, I'm so-so on Patang. It looked good, but it also felt like a lot of the movie was thrown in there just to make it longer. Go for the visuals with the understanding that the story is almost secondary.

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Reviewed 06/17/12

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