Movie Review: PATNA SHUKLLA is a well-made courtroom drama.

Star Cast: Raveena Tandon, Manav Vij, Satish Kaushik, Anushka Kaushik

Director: Vivek Budakoti

Patna Shuklla Movie Synopsis:
PATNA SHUKLLA is the story of a common woman’s uncommon fight. Tanvi Shukla (Raveena Tandon) resides in Patna with her husband Siddharth Shukla (Manav Vij) and son Sonu (Arijeet Kaurav). While Tanvi is a lawyer in the lower court, Siddharth works in the water department. Tanvi is good at her job but she often feels that Siddharth belittles her. One day, she comes across Rinki Kumari (Anushka Kaushik), a third-year BSc student. She has failed in her final exams, securing just 30%. Her grouse is that she had worked hard for the paper and as per her calculations, she should have secured a minimum of 60%. Though she requests a recheck, her marks remain unchanged. Hence, she asks Tanvi to fight her case. Tanvi agrees when she realizes that Rinki comes from a poor family and her failure in the exams can put her father Matadin (Ambrish Kumar Shukla) under great stress. The Vihar University Vice Chancellor, Harsh Sinha (late Rio Kapadia), gets a jolt when he gets the notice for the case. This is because Tanvi’s marks were interchanged with those of Raghubir Singh (Jatin Goswami), a dreaded politician and son of leader Daanveer Singh (Alok Chatterjee). Harsh, hence, appoints successful lawyer Neelkanth Mishra (Chandan Roy Sanyal) to personally fight the case to ensure their victory. The case begins and it’s presided over by Judge Arun Kumar Jha (late Satish Kaushik). What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Patna Shuklla Movie Story Review:
Vivek Budakoti, Sammeer Arora and Farid Khan’s story is intriguing but also gets a bit routine at places. Vivek Budakoti, Sammeer Arora and Farid Khan’s screenplay is effective in most places. The courtroom drama scenes tend to get clichéd in some scenes. But the emotional moments stand out and add a lot to the film. Vivek Budakoti, Sammeer Arora and Farid Khan’s dialogues are sharp.

Vivek Budakoti’s direction is neat. The execution is simple and the focus is firmly kept on the characters and the drama that ensues. The realism is captured well but most importantly, the plot strikes a chord. A subject like this is barely tackled in a courtroom drama setup and hence, it makes for an interesting watch. It also raises an important point that not just the system, but even the common man has encouraged corruption at his convenience and hence, no one is innocent. A few moments that stand out are Rinku’s first meeting with Tanvi, Raghubir Singh’s entry, the mid-point when Rinku decides to fight come what may etc. The emotional moments stand out like Siddharth standing up for Tanvi, Tanvi at Srivastav’s (Balendra Singh) daughter Meghna’s (Palak Jain) wedding and the scenes between Tanvi and Arun Kumar Jha outside the court. The twist in the pre-climax is unexpected and adds a nice touch to the narrative.

On the flipside, the pace drops in between. The comical side of the judge instantly reminds one of the JOLLY LLB series. It also looks forced. Some of the arguments placed by Tanvi seemed weak and it didn’t look convincing. It is also bewildering why Tanvi never thought of filing a Right To Information (RTI) plea; in the past, students have taken this route to get justice. Lastly, Tanvi suddenly starts being hailed as ‘Patna Shukla’. Why it happened is never explained.

Patna Shuklla Movie Performances:
Raveena Tandon delivers a smashing performance and suits the part. She is great in the courtroom scenes but shines in the emotional moments. Manav Vij lends able support. Chandan Roy Sanyal, as expected, rocks the show. Satish Kaushik is quite adorable. Anushka Kaushik puts up a confident act. Jatin Goswami is great in the role of the villain. Arijeet Kaurav is very cute and his scenes will surely put a smile on the faces of the viewers. Dayashankar Pandey (Surendra Mohan) and Alok Chatterjee are wasted. Raju Kher (Tanvi’s father) also doesn’t get much scope. Balendra Singh and Palak Jain do well in small roles. Rio Kapadia is fair. Ambrish Kumar Shukla and Rajshree Thakkar (Mahua; house help) are okay. Sushmita Mukherjee (Lata Jha; the judge’s wife) has a cameo and is entertaining. The actor playing Zaibuddin Ansari leaves a huge mark.

Patna Shuklla Movie music and other technical aspects:
Both the songs of the film are forgettable. Karan Kulkarni’s background score is in sync with the film’s theme.

Neha Parti Matiyani’s cinematography is appropriate. Amrish Patange and Dayanidhi Patturajan’s production design is realistic. Alvira Khan Agnihotri and Ashley Rebello’s costumes are straight out of life. Rinku Bachan Singh’s action is minimal. Vini N Raj’s editing could have been sharper.

Patna Shuklla Movie Conclusion:
On the whole, PATNA SHUKLLA is a well-made courtroom drama that raises important issues.

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