Art & Entertainment

'Patna Shuklla' On Disney+ Hotstar Movie Review: Raveena Tandon Is The Backbone In This Well-Directed Eye-Opening Legal Drama

Outlook Rating:
3.5 / 5

Starring Raveena Tandon, 'Patna Shuklla' is now available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar. Is this legal courtroom drama worth watching, or should you choose to skip it? Read the full review to find out.

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Raveena Tandon in 'Patna Shuklla' Photo: YouTube
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Disney+ Hotstar has a stellar line-up for this year’s releases, and one of the most-anticipated movies was ‘Patna Shuklla.’ Through its trailer alone, the movie poised to take viewers on a unique journey, set to be an eye-opener while unveiling the harsh realities behind the scenes of the education system. Starring Raveena Tandon and the late Satish Kaushik, the film has been helmed by Vivek Budakoti and produced by Arbaaz Khan Productions. So, here’s all you need to know about this courtroom drama.

‘Patna Shuklla’: Story

Tanvi Shukla (Raveena Tandon) is a small-time lawyer from a typical middle-class family, handling minor cases that can be easily resolved outside of court. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when she decides to take on a case that challenges the entire education system. Rinki Kumari (Anushka Kaushik) is a third-year BSc student who discovers that her exam results show she has failed, despite believing she had performed well enough to pass. Convinced that her roll number was switched with someone else’s, Rinki takes legal action against the university to have her final paper re-checked. To complicate the matter further, the person who is on the other side of Rinki is Raghubir Singh (Jatin Goswami), a candidate in the upcoming elections. As politics and influential figures become involved, Tanvi Shukla finds herself caught in the crossfire, affecting her personal life.

Will Rinki succeed in getting what she wants, or will she be failed by the justice system? That’s what ‘Patna Shuklla’ highlights – the penetrating issue of education scams involving roll numbers, which can have a negative impact on the futures of countless students, while also shedding light on how corruption and power can take over and snatch what people have worked hard for.

‘Patna Shuklla’: Performances

Raveena Tandon as Tanvi Shukla is the main protagonist of the story. I believe she was the perfect choice for the role. She has breathed life into her character as a determined lawyer while also being a down-to-earth homemaker. The way she has juggled her professional and personal life and maintained an outstanding work-life balance is done beautifully. As for Anushka Kaushik as Rinki Kumari, while her dialogue delivery was outstanding, her body language felt a bit loose. There seemed to be a lack of expressions for someone who’s seen portraying a person who has been wronged.

It’s always a sight for sore eyes to see Satish Kaushik gracing the screens. One of the most captivating factors for anyone to watch ‘Patna Shuklla’ would be him, as it’s one of the last movies he shot for before his unexpected demise. There are absolutely no words to describe how he balances his humour as well as his skills to pay attention-to-detail. His peculiar character as the Judge has brought out some of the chuckling moments in the movie.

But it’s Manav Vij as Tanvi’s husband, Siddharth Shukla, and Raju Kher as Tanvi’s father, JP Sharma, that have caught my attention. The way their characters have expressed their support and love for Tanvi has been nothing short of heart-warming. Their nonchalant expressions have only exuded sincerity, and they are the only two people you can relate to the most as a viewer.

Chandan Roy Sanyal as Neelkanth Mishra was pretty decent. There were no standout moments for him. For someone who is shown as this top-class lawyer fighting a case in a district court, he lacked the overconfidence needed; his way of delivering his lines didn’t seem up to the mark. If anything, he was just a case of a poorly written character. On the other hand, Jatin Goswami as Raghubir Singh was fantastic. He brought with him a certain quality of madness that made his character the dominant factor every time he appeared. His body language and how shrewdly he does ‘illegal things legally’ will make you question if that’s how higher official authorities truly function.

‘Patna Shuklla’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The story of ‘Patna Shuklla’ is deeply rooted in the education system and can be a film that one can relate to very easily. While at certain points some characters seemed weakly written, it’s the final work that overshadows it all. What also caught my eye was how well Raveena Tandon’s character has been written – a middle-class woman who’s not given the respect that’s due as a professional. Overall, Vivek Budakoti, Sameer Arora, and Farid Khan have worked their magic on the film.

The vision Vivek Budakoti had as a director has been brought to life with this film. The way the entire story has been told and executed is bound to keep the viewers glued until the end. There have been many films based on the education system and how it’s flawed. But, what makes this film stand out is its engaging plot and unique storyline. Budakoti, as a director and co-writer, has succeeded in making an impact on the minds of the viewers.

From the first scene itself, viewers are instantly transported to the middle-class setting of the film. Neha Parti Matiyani has adeptly captured the essence of the film through her camera’s lens. The surroundings – be it the courthouse, Tanvi Shukla’s house, or even the streets of the small town – everything has been shown meticulously. Some scenes are colour graded, wherein warm hues have been used to enhance the visual appeal. The way the camera has been panned to showcase each and every character with no foul movements is also commendable, and with the use of this very camera setting, there’s a real feel of being inside the courtroom as well.

This has been enhanced by the editing done by Vini Raj. The movie doesn’t have abrupt cuts; however, there are a few seconds of black screens here and there, but those can be easily ignored. While the idea of making this into a movie and covering the story in a timeframe that will not bore the audience was good, with its chilling plot, it could have easily been turned into a mini-series of, let’s say, four episodes. As far as the music is concerned, Samuel and Akanksha’s compositions haven’t really left an impact, nor have they enhanced the story in any way, in my opinion.

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‘Patna Shuklla’: Cast & Crew

Director: Vivek Budakoti

Cast: Raveena Tandon, Anushka Kaushik, Manav Vij, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Jatin Goswami, Raju Kher, Satish Kaushik

Available On: Disney+ Hotstar

Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

Premiere Date: March 29, 2024

Genre: Legal Drama

Language: Hindi

‘Patna Shuklla’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes.

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Patna Shuklla’ has everything: politics, drama, familial relations, light-hearted humour, a bit of truth, as well as a huge plot twist that I frankly did not see coming. At its core, the movie is really just about two strong-willed women who want to fight for the right cause. It’s a perfect slice of life watch. I’d easily categorize this film as a must-watch, as it does have the potential to spark necessary discussions.

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