Movie Review - Pati Patni Aur Woh: A troubling marriage act

Remember the 1978 Sanjeev Kumar, Vidya Sinha, Ranjeeta- starrer of the same name, produced and directed by BR Chopra? It may have been daring (in those days) for presenting a not-so-talked about construct but it wasn't really memorable other than for its pandering to stereotypes and presenting regressive, outmoded models of the wife and other woman - Vidya Sinha as Sharda, the serville, docile, clueless wife , Ranjeeta as Nirmala, the alluring secretary who awakens unbridled lust in Ranjeet, an up and about sales manager/also the hitherto steadfast husband made memorable by Sanjeev Kumar with roving-eye slitheriness.

Movie Review - Pati Patni Aur Woh: A troubling marriage act

A still from Pati Patni Aur Woh

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Johnson Thomas

Remember the 1978 Sanjeev Kumar, Vidya Sinha, Ranjeeta- starrer of the same name, produced and directed by BR Chopra? It may have been daring (in those days) for presenting a not-so-talked about construct but it wasn't really memorable other than for its pandering to stereotypes and presenting regressive, outmoded models of the wife and other woman - Vidya Sinha as Sharda, the serville, docile, clueless wife , Ranjeeta as Nirmala, the alluring secretary who awakens unbridled lust in Ranjeet, an up and about sales manager/also the hitherto steadfast husband made memorable by Sanjeev Kumar with roving-eye slitheriness. Their charismatic presence and some beautiful music were the high-points of that hit film. 

This current film under review, starring Gen-Next's heart-throb Kartik Aaryan as the husband Abhinav Chintu Tyagi- an officer in a government department, talented and versatile actress Bhumi Pednekar as Vedhika Tripathi -the betrayed wife and SOTY2 hottie Ananya Pandey as Tapasya Singh, a fashion entrepreneur - as the other woman, directed by Mudassar Aziz, is an official remake of the same. Fortunately or unfortunately though, the writers prefer to mix up the storyline with that of Rang Birangi, adding a fourth character, that of the unwilling, cautioning accomplice/friend, Faheem Rizvi (played with resounding effect by Aparshakti Kurranna) - in the hope of generating laughs and in turn forgoing the dramatic, emotional connect.

Aziz's film puts much more emphasis on rhetorical dialogue-baazi than its focal point- the primary construct of a wife suddenly discovering that her husband is a philanderer in disguise. That does happen... but the narrative is not so much about the emotional trauma experienced by the wife or the girlfriend/mistress in that position and is centred around derisive venality. There are a few laughter-inducing moments here, but for most of the run time, it’s an interminable drag on the senses. 

While the dialogues pay lip service to issues like betrayal of trust and falsification of facts with a baser recourse in mind, the plotting prefers to play to the gallery by allowing Kartik Aaryan free rein with unnecessary long-worded dialogues (Pyar ka Punchnaama-style) and dual personality behaviour traits. As a consequence the characters don't ring true. Even the other woman, played with confidence and savoir faire by Ananya Pandey, seems like a figment of someone's weird imagination. Who else would imagine a svelte, sexy entrepreneur falling for a rather insipid looking government babu? Instead of developing realistic characterisations (or is it just a case of facetious casting?) Aziz prefers to play around star images. So, even if the character demands that Chintu Tyagi remains small-town (Kanpur) and small-minded the film has him venture out of his comfort zone and make a play for something that seems totally unattainable. Aziz's film also tries to assuage female sentiments by getting the wife embroiled in an elaborate con. While this film might seem entertaining to some, it's really a sort of conspired posturing that fails to arouse emotions or bring on a barrel full of laughs.

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