Synopsis – Chintu Tyagi is an ordinary, middle class man who finds himself torn between his wife and another woman.
My Take – At a time when anything and everything is being remade, it didn’t come as a surprise when filmmaker BR Chopra‘s 1978 comedy classic which centered on an extramarital fling of the impeccable Sanjeev Kumar‘s middle-aged man, too was announced. Here, writer-director Mudassar Aziz retains that basic idea in the remake, which as off last weekend has already proved to be a success story at the box office, updates the original’s severely dated sexual politics and questionable morality in ways that, while not quite wholly daring or satisfactory, yet maintaining the core objective to be about delivering on the humor quotient, which it certainly does.
While it is not the most original comedy out there, it certainly does things well for itself, as director Aziz uses the still successful David Dhawan template of garnishing the film with witty one-liners, hip-swinging music and throwing logic to the winds.
Most importantly, despite acquiring a new-age irreverent edge, the film manages to stay funny without losing out on decency, despite moving dangerously close to the domain of political incorrectness.
The story follows Abhinav Tyagi aka Chintu (Kartik Aryan), who has grown up under a strict father and his instructions, due to which as soon as he tops his engineering exam and lands a cushy government job, he is pushed into an arranged marriage with Vedika Tripathi (Bhumi Pednekar). While they immediately hit it off and start their new life in a house in a government residents’ society of Kanpur.
Just like any other marriage, everything is perfect in the initial days. There is love, sex and good food, but the charm of a new wedding fades in some time when Vedika also starts working in a coaching class as a Physics teacher. With three years passing by, the stasis begins to weigh in on Abhinav, who keeps bringing up an old flame to his friend Fahim (Aparshakti Khurana), as she had dumped just 1.5 months into the relationship, without any reason, considering his life to be made purposely dull.
That is until, he is introduced to Tapasya Singh (Ananya Pandey), a fashion designer from Delhi who wants to set up a leather products manufacturing unit in Kanpur. And under instructions from his boss Abhinav is asked to assist Tapasya find a good piece of land to set-up her project. Soon Abinav begins to get immensely attracted to Tapasya’s glamorous and young approach, and starts preferring to spend all his time with her forcing him to lie to his wife, further complicating his situation more and more.
Director Mudassar Aziz‘s take on the film is undoubtedly more contemporary and glamorous, while improving upon the misogynistic tone with which the original was made. While the central theme remaining rooted to an extramarital affair, director Aziz doesn’t try to endorse nor condemn infidelity. He makes a conscious choice of highlighting Vedika’s affair over the original film’s terminally ill wife angle as an excuse for Abhinav’s attempts to woo Tapasya. After all, a dying partner shouldn’t be an excuse for finding new love.
More importantly, director Aziz banks on situational comedy to establish how often emotional infidelity is brushed under the carpet as the lesser evil. However, there’s no denying of the fact that the film could’ve been better. Although the film has its share of funny and entertaining moments, the pace is erratic.
The stage-setting takes far too long, and the 128-minute film gets going only after Abhinav’s balancing act becomes precarious. Despite some clever lines and inspired scenes of scrambling, especially after Vedika walks out on Abhinav, the comedy is stretched to its limits. Director Aziz also cannot resist the odd moment of melodrama. Such sequences slow down the story and also break the rhythm of humor.
Overall, however, this is enjoyable fare. Maintaining a simple, straight narrative that does not delve deep into relationship complexities, director Aziz‘s screenplay lets the cast have a field day.
Kartik Aaryan especially endears to the viewers completely. Aaryan is fast emerging as one of the most bankable comic actors of the current generation. Here in the lead role, he once again plays out the believable and harried Indian male with aplomb. His transition from the bumbler with a goofy laugh to a man stylish enough to be spotted at Tapasya’s side is gradual and effortless.
Bhumi Pednekar once again shines here and there and that is because of the kind of role she was given, while only a single film old, Ananya Pandey manages to infuse a certain freshness with her somewhat vulnerable character, all the while managing to look drop dead gorgeous. However, Aparshakti Khurrana manages to be the biggest show stealer here as he plays the perfect foil to Kartik Aryan. The actor gets the funniest lines and scenes here and pulls them off with gusto.
While K K Raina, Navni Parihar and Rajesh Sharma are wasted in small roles, Manu Rishi Chaddha and Neeraj Sood manage to leave a mark. In special appearances, Sunny Singh and Kriti Sanon are excellent. On the whole, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ is a fun one-time watch comedy which despite being formulaic manages to be an entertaining watch.
Directed – Mudassar Aziz
Rated – PG13
Run Time – 126 minutes