The year is 2019, and yet even today, the presumably modern and independent- spirited women are taken for granted by the men. Despite it all, our Bhartiya naari is ready to accept him with open arms at the end, with a smile this time as seen in Mudassar Aziz’s “inspired” version of 1973’s “Pati Patni Aur Woh”. He said this movie would be a fresh spin on the whole infidelity concept Bollywood is obsessed with- yet all we get is an old concept repackaged with some LOL moments and women who are still responsible for two things- forgiving and forgetting.
“Pati Patni Aur Woh” starts with a montage of small scenes as Chintu Tyagi (Kartik Aaryan) meets Vedika (Bhumi Pednekar) who has tested being rebellious and decided that it doesn’t suit her, so, “I thought I would try restriction, and do both sincerely.” She marries Mr Tyagi and settles in the routine of married life. Tyagi ji, as Vedika lovingly calls him, is an officer in the Public Works Department. And while he is rather content with his low profile life in Kanpur (apart from occasionally whining for a past girlfriend Neha), Vedika, who is a physics tutor at a coaching class, isn’t. She wants to upscale their lifestyle and move to Delhi but for Tyagi ji it’s just a topic to be avoided at all costs.
Apart from this single point of disagreement, the couple is shown to have no other issue. Unlike the “Patni” from 1973’s film of the same name, Bhumi’s character is all funny, has an independent streak, and knows when to turn on her charm. And yet when a Delhi businesswoman, Tapasya (Ananya Panday) sashays into his life it doesn’t take much for him to fall for her modern attire and fluent English.
Chintu cooks up a story about his wife having an extramarital affair and him being an unhappy man in a marriage on the verge of breaking. The drama and often unnecessary chaos leads to an ending you can guess without even wasting 128 minutes of your life watching “Pati Patni Aur Woh”.
Such trouble, but for what?
Talking about Bhumi and Kartik’s characters, there is no freshness as they rattle of dialogues and sink into a character they have played one too many times. So, whether it is giving off a Kanpuria vibe or rattling off a monologue on male victimhood, it is too boring for the audience who feels as if he is watching a continuation of “Luka Chuppi” or “Bala” (sans the horrible sooty-makeup, of course).
We have our lead actor literally screaming lines as if everyone around him is hard of hearing and Ananya Pandey who comes across as a character who is just there for the sake of it, unaware of her significance, if any, in the storyline. Just when her character starts to show some real promise, she is shunned to the sidelines.
The 1973’s “Pati Patni Aur Woh”, which director Mudassar Aziz had sworn his film is not a copy of (yeah, right), followed the (mis)adventures of a similar man who was bored with the monotony of married life and was easily corrupted when he met his beautiful secretary. He lied that his wife has terminal cancer, followed by the wife and the “Woh” catching on to the truth, ganging upon him, and the wife forgiving her cheating husband who manages to perfect his “guilty” face look. The concept is as sexist as it was then, as regressive as it was in 1973, and how on Earth does an intelligent, independent girl still fall for Chintu, our “modern” husband’s sob story?
In the end, it is not just the songs that look uncoordinated with the trio failing to establish rhythm while dancing together, it is the entire film where changing “balatkari” to “bada sanskari” (social media and its wonders) does little to subdue a premise Bollywood should have broken up with aeons ago.