Movie Review: Paathshaala (2010)
Paathshaala- Avoid this boring school
Rating: 2 out of 5*
Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Ayesha Takia, Nana Pateka, Saurabh Shukla, Sushant Singh, Swini Khara, Dwij Yadav, Avika Gor, Anjan Srivastava
Director: Milind Ukey
There are few films, a star does for friendship and some with the lure of working under a big banner, irrespective of their content. An extremely choosy actor Shahid Kapoor after giving big hits like Vivaah, Jab We Met and Kaminey has been giving duds like Dil Bole Hadippa (Yash Raj Films), Chance Pe Dance (UTV) and an equally bad follow up with Paathshaala. Shahid’s friendship with producer of the film, ace choreographer Ahmed Khan is well known. But still we wish, he should have not blindly trusted his buddy when it came to a film!
Shahid plays Rahul Prakash Udyawar the new English teacher joining Saraswati Vidya Mandir, a school established in 1941. Since the school doesn’t have a music teacher, he ends up being one as well. He gets help in this from the school’s nutritionist-cum-admin girl, Anjali Mathur (Ayesha Takia). School principal Aditya Sahay (Nana Patekar). Anjali ends up falling for Rahul during this process. Sahay who has nurtured the school for 32 years, cannot see it going down financially. So, he gives in to the management’s demands of generating more revenue by commercialising the operations of the school. This is met with intense opposition from the teachers, but they eventually have to comply to save their respective jobs. The school management even decides t hired PR experts to change its image. Thus began, film and ad shoots happen on campus wherein students are used as extras. And before they know it, all kids have to now keep aside studies for 10 days and prepare for a reality show audition. The rest of the film is about how the reality show thing tortures the students and how Rahul stands against it.
Director Milind Ukey who gave us the very lovable animated film Hanuman has got a good topical subject on hand but falters big time in the script written by producer Ahmed Khan himself. While it identifies the problems perfectly, a proper solution is not offered in the end. Also what happens to the school finally is also not made clear. Bad dialogues are made only worse by loud acting by most of the cast. Certain emotional scenes leave you either bored or end up making you laugh. Hanif Sheikh’s music barring the Lucky Ali number Aye Khuda is nothing much to praise about.
In an attempt to showcase how education goes for a toss in private schools as the managements aims to earn the extra buck the makers also don’t lose out a chance to make a satire out of the media, shifting focus from his original aim. The pathetic climax is unintentionallyhilarious with no conclusion to what happened to the villains of commercialization and all suddenly become well!
Shahid Kapoor and Nana Patekar are the only saving graces of the film with their well nuanced performances. The rest including Ayesha Takia don’t really make a difference. The child stars are just about okay.
Avoid this Paathshaala if you are in no mood for a badly written gyan giving film.