Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Bhumi Pednekar, Ananya Pandey, Aparshakti Khurana, Manu Rishi Chadha, Rajesh Sharma, K.K. Raina, Navni Parihar, Sunny Singh
Director: Mudassar Aziz
We should all weep in unison and offer our heartfelt condolences to the house of B.R. Chopra which, under the auspices of Baldev Raj Chopra, gave us Naya Daur, Gumrah, Humraaz, Waqt, Ittefaq, The Burning Train, Insaaf Ka Tarazu, Nikaah, Mazdoor and many other exceptional films, but is now reduced to regurgitating its hits from the 1970s, that too without the lecherous, naughty bite of the original.
Pati Patni Aur Woh, written by Kamleshwar and directed by B.R. Chopra, starred Sanjeev Kumar, Vidya Sinha, Ranjeeta and oodles of raunchy, forbidden fun.
The film, which released in 1978, was set in a world where morality was well defined. What’s right and wrong was set out clearly in two separate columns, as was the behaviour of ideal men and sanskari women. There was no overlap. There was no grey. There was no confusion.
So when Sanjeev Kumar’s loving husband seemed bored with his sweet, pati vrata wife and decided to chase some cheap thrills by having an affair with his modern, skirt-wearing secretary, it shocked us, thrilled us and it made sense.
That screenplay was full of raunchy, lewd scenes, and it had nice twists in the affair that initially added a spring and some swag to the husband’s personality.
This Pati Patni Aur Woh, set in Kanpur, 2019, has a mild twist in terms of the characters. The patni, Vedika Tripathi (Bhumi Pednekar), is a straight-talking hottie who doesn’t mince words about her love for sex, while the husband, Chintu Tyagi (Kartik Aaryan), seems dull and silly. Also, Tapasya Singh (Ananya Pandey) as woh, the other woman, is shapely but boring.
So it makes little sense for Chintu Tyagi to have an affair, and the only reason the film can come up with is that his wife nags him about moving to Delhi and that he is sometimes visited by her pakora-chomping, back slapping uncle.
There is nothing lewd about his affair. In fact, it’s hardly an affair. Mostly pati and woh just travel around in his office car looking for a plot suitable for her workshop, and sometimes they stop to eat golgappas or go bowling.
Their meetings are so dreary that even their driver looks thoroughly bored and irritated with them. In fact, I think the two would have had more excitement and fun if they had just hailed separate rickshaws and wasted their time being driven through the bylanes of Kanpur.
Pati Patni Aur Woh does, however, have a lot of small-town Kanpur flavour, something Bollywood films are increasingly getting right.
And if the film has any lascivious behaviour and cheap talk that’s entertaining, it’s provided by Fahim Rizvi (Aparshakti Khurana), Chintu’s langotiya yaar.
Mudassar Aziz is not a great director, but he is truly a fabulous dialogue writer. The banter between Chintu and Fahim, laced with insults and talk of old girlfriend Maya, is a riot and if they had just gone on and on, Fahim would have made a much better woh than the oh-so-shapely Pandey.
Also, it would have made for a much more engaging retelling of a B.R. Chopra naughty classic.