The basic theme might be similar: a middle-class man with a roving eye, fighting boredom in marriage and life in general, falls for a beautiful young girl and lies about his wife to get close to her. However, Mudassar Aziz updates the BR Chopra original of 1978 to the present times, if not entirely successfully, at least with some amount of nattiness for sure.
He takes the story away from the metros to Lucknow-Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh to give a glimpse of the sexual revolution brewing there. Perhaps it has always been so, but not as visible as it is now in the day and age of connectivity, mobiles and social media. The girl Vedika (Bhumi Pednekar, wearing the sari in a deliberate wrong and ungainly way) has had boyfriends aplenty, and by default, sex. The boy Abhinav aka Chintu (Kartik Aaryan), who works as a PWD officer, couldn’t care two hoots about that. They call each other by their surnames — Tripathi and Tyagi — are both working and, despite three years into the marriage, have had no kid (unlike the original, where he is the glue of moral compunctions that eventually holds the couple together). Things turn around when Tapasya Singh (Ananya Pandey) walks in from Delhi looking for a plot to set up her garment factory. In the original film, the pati sidles up to the woh by spreading a lie that his patni has terminal cancer. Here, she is purportedly having an affair.
- Director: Mudassar Aziz
- Starring: Kartik Aaryan, Bhumi Pednekar, Ananya Pandey, Aparshakti Khurana
- Storyline: A middle-class man with a roving eye, fighting boredom in marriage, falls for a beautiful young girl and lies about his wife to get close to her
- Run time: 128 minutes
Pati Patni Aur Woh ’s trailer had landed into trouble for a particular sexist line. While the film itself may not be endorsing it, it does stop short of wholly pushing the boundaries of morality when it comes to the man-woman dynamics. It does take the mickey out of the men who prefer to stay boys, gives them ample warning about how tables could be turned on them, what with smart women having come into their own now. But eventually, all ends well and order is restored. Vedika’s “rebellion”, as she puts it in the film, does get circumscribed by self-imposed “restrictions”. She may joke with her husband about him being more mendak (frog) than sher (tiger), but accepts him for what he is. It is out of fashion to be pativrata (devoted to your husband), the film iterates, adding that these are the times of kulta (wanton woman). Wish it could have let that wantonness bloom a tad bit more!
The film starts off quick and fast, drops pace in the middle to again pick up speed later. The lines are crisp and piercing, and delivered with a razor sharp sense of timing by the tart cast. Aparshakti Khurana, as the hero’s bestie Fahim Rizvi, is in great form in particular and walks away with the most refreshing, throwaway joke that has to do with the minority and paan . Special mention, however, for Shubham Kumar who plays Rakesh Yadav, Vedika’s student and admirer. He is such a hoot; the proverbial cherry on a cake that could have risen better.