The title of filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s next release, Pataakha, alludes to its fiery protagonists – two beedi-smoking sisters in a small town in Rajasthan who cannot stand each other. They address each other with colourful insults like ‘kutiya’, ‘chudail’ and ‘bhootni’, and get into physical brawls that end with them dragging each other through mud. A voiceover in the trailer refers to them as Bharat and Pakistan. But their fates are entwined. They run away from home to escape their oppressive father, and yet land up together when they coincidentally end up marrying into the same family. The trailer is peppered with lines that are smart, funny, intriguing and don’t give away too much about the plot.
The two sisters – Genda Kumari and Champa Kumari – are played by Sanya Malhotra (she made her debut in Dangal) and Radhika Madan (has previously worked on television shows), respectively. The film also boasts of a great support cast that includes Vijay Raaz, Sunil Grover and Namit Das. After Bhardwaj’s massively mounted war drama Rangoon in 2017 that was lead by Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, Pataakha seems like a more rooted and intimate story.
The film has been written and directed by Bhardwaj. He’s also given the music and background score. For the lyrics, he once again collaborates with Gulzar.
Pataakha releases on September 28.