Patna Shuklla‘s dull drama struggles to leave any impact, sighs Sukanya Verma.

Underappreciated housewives standing up for their rights or rediscovering herself in the simple pleasures of life — Bollywood has explored these themes in various ways.

Patna Shuklla is not that movie.

Although it does start out looking like a little bit of both.

Somewhere in a middle-class Patna household, Tanvi’s mornings start off juggling between kitchen duties, husband’s missing shirt, son’s omelette and neighbour’s row before zooming off on her scooter to fight crummy cases at a lower court.

Aapka hunar bhindi, tinda, tori, dalon mein hai, daleelon main nahi,’ scoffs the diabetic judge (Satish Kaushik) whom she tries to butter up by offering sugar-free ladoos.

Watching her daft defence of a client over half a metre underwear fabric, which is Patna Shuklla‘s idea of amusing, it’s no wonder he has no faith in her abilities.


Written by Director Vivek Budakoti along with Sammeer Arora and Farid Khan, Patna Shuklla is utterly confused about where to focus.

For a while, it dilly-dallies about sympathising with Tanvi’s taken-for-granted syndrome — a la English Vinglish only to back track and paint the callous husband (Manav Vij) into a supportive spouse.

Next, it proceeds to become an underdog story about Tanvi triumphing against all odds when approached by a rickshaw driver’s daughter to take up her case of the curious marksheet.

Certain that some slip-up has led to erroneous assessment of her final year BSc results, Rinki Kumari (Anushka Kaushik) seeks justice against the university keen on sweeping it under the carpet.

An on-and-off courtroom tussle between an ineffectual Tanvi and her cocksure rival (a bored looking Chandan Roy Sanyal playing devil’s advocate) is dragged out until the political mischief at work comes to light wherein privileged brats swap scores with disadvantaged kids.

Patna Shuklla‘s low stakes are ill-equipped to underscore the David versus Goliath facet of this confrontation.

A single glimpse of an aspiring minister’s (Jatin Goswami) ‘beti padhao desh badhao‘ sloganeering is enough to tell he’s up to no good.

Between his intimidation tactics and juvenile legal arguments, the seriousness of roll number scams is completely lost.

What kind of legal practitioner hasn’t heard of secrecy of vote and resorts to anti-constitutional methods to make their case?

Patna Shuklla‘s dull drama struggles to leave any impact as it goes about randomly introducing skeletons in everyone’s closet as its quick fix solution to anything.

Out of nowhere, somebody’s poor attendance or flunking the finals or molestation charges from the past pop up and form the contrived ‘kahani mein twist’ of its embarrassingly amateur script.

Ultimately, Patna Shuklla‘s flimsy treatment of an important issue barely skims the surface of classism within academics. Even Raveena Tandon’s whistleblower vigour isn’t enough to elevate the slog.

Patna Shuklla streams on Disney+Hotstar.

Patna Shuklla Review Rediff Rating:

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