Pati, Patni Aur Woh movie review: Love triangle from 1978 is painted in fresh colours but remains unchanged in spirit
In 2019, the men as seen in Pati, Patni Aur Woh, are still taking women for granted, and the women are still responsible for forgiving and forgetting.
castBhumi Pednekar, Kartik Aaryan, Ananya Panday, Aparshakti Khurana, Manu Rishi
Infidelity, and the web of lies around it, spun with the help of a trusted buddy, has the same flavour in 1978 as it does when remade in 2019. Notably, the differences in writer-director Mudassar Aziz’s modernised version of BR Chopra’s original give the women some agency, and don’t paint the Pati (husband) in an entirely heroic light.
I feel like we have met Kartik Aaryan’s Chintu Tyagi and Bhumi Pednekar’s Vedika Tripathi several times on celluloid. It is easy for both actors to tap into their Kanpur-Lucknow lilt, and turn on the unassuming charm. In a montage with the opening credits, the duo go from an arranged marriage meeting, where Vedika openly reveals her sexual history, adding, “Rebellion didn’t suit me so I thought I would try restriction, and do both sincerely.” They wed, and over the next three years, settle into routine domesticity.
Abhinav ‘Chintu’ Tyagi is an officer in the Public Works Department, entirely content with his life in Kanpur. Vedika is a physics tutor at a coaching class. Every time her student Rakesh Yadav sees her, the opening bars of ‘Tumse Milke Dil Ka Hai Jo Haal’ play in the background, a hat-tip to Farah Khan’s from Main Hoon Na (2004). Unlike Chintu, Vedika has aspirations of moving to Delhi, and up-scaling their lives. This seems to be the only point of dissonance between the couple, though Chintu often whines about being ditched by a teenage love called Neha, the proverbial issue of greener grass elsewhere.
He is cute, in a simple small-town way, but his actions are wholly questionable. Even the best friend Fahim’s (Aparshakti Khurana) unflappable loyalty leaves room for judgement. All these character flaws surface with the arrival of Delhi businesswoman Tapasya (Ananya Panday), who sashays into Tyagi’s office looking for a plot of land in order to set up a manufacturing unit in Kanpur. Tyagi is instantly infatuated.
In order to win Tapasya’s sympathy and attention, Chintu concocts a story about his wife’s infidelity. This sets off a chain of deceit, chaos around mistaken identity, and the eventual hatching of a plot to bring Chintu back on track.
The story takes more than an hour to hit its stride. Although Aaryan delivers his lines as if all around him are hearing impaired, he absolutely commits himself to the part of the duplicitous husband. Pednekar’s modern woman act is one of the stronger points, until Vedika willingly – and maybe unwisely – gives her man a second chance. There is no range or change in Pandey’s Tapasya. In the triangle, her stand is hazy, unlike Fahim, Chintu’s 3 am friend, superbly interpreted by Aparshakti Khurrana.
Mudassar, who both directs and has written new dialogue, definitely plays for laughs, although not all the jokes are in good taste. Aaryan is also given a showcase speech – a hangover from his hit Pyaar Ka Punchnama monologue – during which he grumbles about the plight of the Indian middle class male. Pati, patni or woe? One has to ask – what do these women see in Chintu?
In 2019, the men as seen in this movie, are still taking women for granted, and the women, who maybe independent-spirited, are still responsible for forgiving and forgetting.
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