Akki is one of those stars who used to command a grand initial..however since "Chandni Chowk to China" to the very recent "Tees Maar Khan", things has been going horribly wrong for him. Well the main reason for such a slump in his box office form is undoubtedly his choice of movies which thrives on slap stick comedy. His latest release "Patiala House" promises to break him free of that mold & he would be hoping for some divine help as his movies nowadays hardly creates a whimper even on the initial days. So will this be a comeback of Akki & will some of the box office luck of Anushka Sharma rub off on him???
The film unfolds with Gattu (Akki) bowling his heart out in the nets after having closed his stationary shop for the day. With time, we are introduced to the fact that Gattu was once a promising fast bowler who almost made it to the England squad only to have his dreams torn down by his father. It happened in those days when racism was at an all time high in Southall, London & one of such events eventually led to the death of Bauji's dear ones. This incident changed Bauji so much, that he was adamant his family wont have anything to do with the English, which in turn meant Gattu had to forget playing for England & settle for the shop set up by Bauji. This rule applied to all the members of his family & they all hold Gattu responsible for their predicament as he never raised his voice in retaliation. Seventeen years has passed & the England squad is in a crisis owing to the lack of a menacing fast bowler. As expected, oppurtunity comes knocking on the door of Gattu...but the question is will he able to convince himself to go against his father???
It was a refreshing change to see Akki try something different rather than the usual stupid slap stick stuff. Gattu's character involved portraying a great deal of restrainment while wearing a cheerful smile & Akshay has pulled it off convincingly. Anushka as the bubbly,effervescent Simran was spot on with her characterization & plays an integral role. Rishi Kapoor as Bauji may not have the threatening look of Amrish Puri but he had carried off the role in his own unique style & deserves a word of praise. As for other numerous characters, they were more or else for filling the numbers rather than doing anything significant.
Coming to the script & other technical aspects, Nikhil Advani is responsible for the screenplay & seems to have redeemed himself to a certain extent with this venture. After having won accolades for "Kal Ho Na Ho", he had a hit a trough with "Salaam E Ishq" & "Chandi Chowk to China", this time around he has come with something different but the script is like old wine in new bottle. There are a couple of touching moments in the movie along with some gaping loop holes. The music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is average & doesnt have much to write about while the cinematography by Santhosh Thundiyil was worth mentioning.
Verdict: As opposed to his recent releases, "Patiala House" is definitely one of his best since "Namastey London". The biggest drawback of the movie is that its too melodramatic with a premise which is not at all new for the audience. The cricket sequences has been shot aesthetically but it doesnt impart any sort of thrill since the climax is very predictable. In short, watch it if melodrama is your cup of tea or else forget it!!!