Prashant Bhargava is clearly a talented director and writer to be able to bring together both actors and non-actors in this mockumentary style movie which very cleverly blends old Indian outlooks with a fresh non Bollywood storyline
Like its namesake, the movie is light at heart and mostly about the thrill and joy of flying kites during India’s largest kite festival where every year a million kites fill the skies above Ahmedabad-dueling, soaring, tumbling and flying high. Look a little further however and it makes you realize that this is not only a brilliant narrative about general attitudes in India but also about families, relationships and what we hold important in our lives. My heart soared during the highs and beat with anxiety during the lows when much tension is created through great direction, good storytelling and a moving and powerful score
PATANG weaves together the stories of six people transformed by the energy of the festival but centers mainly around a successful Delhi businessman (Jayesh) who takes his daughter (Priya) on a surprise trip back to his childhood home for the festival. Despite the fact that he is an expert kite flyer, he does not count on his visit causing the entire family to confront its own fractured past and fragile dreams. Jayesh and Priya are definitely “city mice” who discover the pleasures and difficulties faced by their “country mice” family. Indeed Priya quickly learns that a mild flirtation can quickly lead to something undesirable when she spots an expert kite flyer in a young local hero called Bobby
Clearly one of the stars of this film is the amazing child star who is as adorable and captivating to watch as the children in “Slumdog Millionaire”. It is hard to believe then that this and the other children in the film are untrained actors who are improvising. It is very easy to watch the beautiful relationship between a young boy Hamid and his older man- friend Chakku a loser who seems to be unable to relate to anyone else especially his adorable and god fearing mother Sudha who only sees the good in every situation
It is difficult to think that a film about kites can really be this exciting and enthralling to watch. Stick with the sometimes difficult to watch patchwork quilt of the storyline and I promise you will not be disappointed.
PATANG (THE KITE) will open Los Angeles exclusively at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills on July 20, 2012
In New York, PATANG THE KITE garnered a NY Times Critic Pick and is still playing in New York and Chicago – held over for another week.
The film will continue opening in approximately 18 cities across the US and Canada this summer.