Guest post by Leslie Bailey
Bio: freelance writer | lifestyle blogger | cultural observer | fancy-pants columnist | martini lover | adventuress living a semi charmed life
Some people hold onto their past with a grip so tight, there’s no room for the future. Memories – either happy or painful – and tradition reign over healing and progress. Others move forward so quickly, the past becomes nothing but a blur.
The battle between old and new, past and future, ‘the way things were’ and ‘a better tomorrow’ is a tale that has been told before but never with such a delicate balance of grit and beauty as in Prashant Bhargava’s film, ‘Patang’ (The Kite).
Successful Delhi businessman, Jayesh (Mukkund Shukla), travels with his teenage daughter, Priya (Sugandha Garg), to his childhood home of Ahmedabad for its annual kite festival, hopeful for a trip down memory lane.
While reconnecting with his family, including the wife and son of his now deceased brother, Jayesh is able to relive some of his fondest memories. Unfortunately he is unable to do so without resurrecting some painful ones as well, adding more friction to an already strained relationship with his nephew, Chakku (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who believes that Jayesh is partly to blame for his father’s battle with alcoholism and ultimately his death. Who doesn’t love family gatherings?
Alternatively, Jayesh finds his nephew’s path in life as a part-time singer a shameful waste, partly blaming the family’s decision to continue living in Ahmedabad - a city that in Jayesh’s eyes has fallen behind the times and refuses to accept progress.
If you’ve ever moved from a small town to a big city and then returned, it’s a situation that feels all too familiar. Much of the film follows young and modern Priya’s experience, from seeing the color and the beauty of life in Ahmedabad through the footage she shoots with her video camera, to a few hours spent from out of her father’s watchful eye and smitten with a handsome man named Bobby (Aakash Maheriya).
The traditional family embraces her, despite her modern ways while her modern father enforces tradition with a stern manner.
We see in ‘Patang’ that conflicts and strife exist within every family, no matter where in the world they may be. But it is also this opposition, this dynamic difference in opinions and beliefs that creates perspective in the world. We can arrive at peace with death and see beauty among ruins. We can incorporate the new world into the old. We can connect with rebellious teenagers and we can maintain childlike spirits as adults.
With the right grip, the right balance, and the right speed in life, we can find joy.
Prashant Bhargava 2011
Categories: Featured, World Cinema Features
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