Paath Shaal (Hindi)

The 2010 Hindi remake of the Marathi film by Milind Ukey was supposed to be an interesting film. But it could not make me feel any better about our Bollywood films!

Written by Ahmed Khan, Paathshaala (School) is about a well known Saraswati Vidya Mandir school. All seems to be going on well with SVM, though little is known about it, till Rahul Udyavar (played by Shahid Kapur) arrives on the scene. And then everyone is after this chocolate hero – from young female students to the all-young faculty!

The urbane English teacher starts teaching music to the school kids at the behest of another pretty-looking nutrition faculty (played by Ayesha Takia). The much feared but admired Sahay (Nana Patekar) is the principal. But the moment the management puts its foot down and demands that the school make money and be in the news like the near by Maruthi School (contrived TV reality shows, tv competitions for kids, and all the hype), Sahay seems to fall in line.

The now-united and dedicated Rahul, Anjali and their colleagues will have none of it. They resist the attempts at dehumanising commodification of children through the media publicity. And, what more, they win in!

Though value-wise, the film is not a bad idea, in terms of presentation, it is total wash out.After all, isn’t art all about “packaging” – articulation!?

I wish, I could compare it with To Sir with Love starring Sidney Poitier! Though, the two are like chalk and cheese.


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