Paathshaala Movie Review: Paathshaala: Preachy Notes, Poor Lesson!
'Paathshaala', penned by Ahmed Khan and directed by Milind Ukey comes across as very well intentioned and? yet at the same time, very shallow in content. The vision of the makers is not translated on screen. What comes across is a very preachy story, with every possible clich?d character or idea thrown into the pot, vainly hoping to make a wholesome brew. But the proceedings only tend to get too tedious. This, despite the best acting efforts of Nana Patekar and Shahid Kapur. The film begins with a new English teacher Rahul Prakash Udyavar (Shahid) joining the faculty at the Saraswati Vidya Mandir School. Young and idealistic, he manages to make a connect with the kids. But as days pass, Rahul realises that all is not well at the school. He discovers how the manager of the school, Sharma (Saurabh Shukla) has been extorting money from students on the pretext of extra curricular activities. Rahul, who has already managed to gain popularity among the students and staff alike, now gathers all the teachers, which includes Ayesha Takia, Sushant Singh and Sushmita Mukherjee, to protest against the management's high handedness, but the principal, Aditya Sahay (Nana), gives in to the management. The idea behind 'Paathshala' is great as it explores the state of the Indian education system, its changing face, with good old fashioned education values now being sacrificed at the altar of modernity, with schools getting more plush and gimmicky, and raking in money. The dilemma in front of old fashioned schools like the Saraswati Vidya Mandir, is real and one can identify with it. It is so easy for them to cross the line from being an education institution to becoming a business, which seems to be the prevalent trend. Underlying all of this is the rising cost of a good education in our country, While 'Paathshala' tries to say all of this and more, it fails to implement it at the script level with real conviction. Hence, what comes across on screen is quite a watered down version of the idea, which hardly packs a punch. Also the character of Rahul played by Shahid, who makes his appearance as an English teacher and then ends up only teaching? music and dance! There are clich?s galore in the movie like the strict principal, the popular teacher, the money hungry management, etc. One feels that the same story could have been said with a little more imagination. The film's cast tries to keep things afloat but is handicapped by an uninspiring script. Ayesha goes through the film smiling, while Shahid tries his best to play the crusader teacher with full conviction. Nana is somewhat handicapped by the script and his usual thunder is missing. In fact, he puts in a tame performance in the movie. Saurabh Shukla, on the other hand, plays a clich?d character, but still manages to do a decent job. As for Sushant Singh and Sushmita Mukherjee, they don't really have too much to do, in any case. The film's music is one of its strengths and is quite pleasing on the ears. Hanif Sheikh has done a good job with the music and the lyrics. Where the film's action is concerned, there is no proper conflict created in the movie, between the old school of thought and the new, which would have at least lent the movie some dramatic interest. 'Paathshaala' is let down badly by its script writer, Ahmed Khan and its director Ukey, who fail to inject originality into a terrific concept.
Release Date : 16 April 2010
Banner : Paperdoll Entertainment
Director : Milind Ukey
Cast : Shahid Kapoor, Vicky Ahuja, Sushant Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Sunny Singh, Chetan Motiwala, Anjan Shrivastava, Ayesha Takia Azmi, Nana Patekar, Sanatan Modi, Ali Haji, Preeti Kopikar, Nassar Abdulla, Swini Khara, Dwij Yadav, Shraddha Arya, Avika Gor, Rishabh Jain, SAGAR KALE
Genre : Social