Paathshala : A lesson for Institutes

Always, always it annoys me a lot when I see Kids in reality shows or the competitions. How can you make a kid 9 year old, dance to typical Bollywood item numbers? How can you make them 'sing' those songs? Let kids be kids. Don't spoil their invaluable childhood on the silly things which can ruin their lives later on. Because Glamour is a sweet poison, which once tasted will never be forgotten.You can learn more about how these types of things positively and negatively affect children at

Another annoying thing is Institutes these days. How they emphasize on making their kids versatile [or say claims to make them] in every field, no matter that kid is capable to handle such pressure, capable to cope up studies with extra curricular things. And the institutes that are started after calculating profit margins. I mean, c'mon, is this a factory or something? I don't feel only these 5 star schools can make great next generation.

And I praise Director Milind Ukey and Producer Ahmed Khan; for taking these points into account of Paathshala's script. Which is rather flawed, but not in terms of storyline. Paathshala is really an honest effort when you see how it doesn't try to preach anywhere. Has its hearty moments and delights you in many scenes. People compare [obviously] with TZP, but I think this is pretty different thing over here. TZP was all about parental pressure while here that thing is totally missing. Here the main issue is commercialization of education.

Performances are quite good. I wish Nana Patekar could have some more scenes than annoying Saurabh Shukla. Nana had a nice climax scene though. Shahid acts well as a sincere English teacher who loves music and kids. Thank God the romantic track is un-developed with Aayesha Takia. [lovely she is, as always]. Kids Swini, Dwij, Ali Haji, Avika Gor and many moe - were totally fun.

Still I was dissatisfied with how the movie shaped up. Ahmed Khan had nice story which would be great if Ahmed himself had not written screenplay by himself. Movie doesn't engage viewer completely like [couldn't help] TZP does. When you are making movie about children, you must involve audience with them, otherwise it would fail. Also another thing to note is-scenes about torture [not harsh, but. ..] shall not come one by one, its annoying. No one wants to see sad kids in scenes that comes one by one. Though it had nice intention to show whats happening to today's kids, but not pleasant to see on screen.

Still, its the music score by Hanif Sheikh who saved this movie for me. [also, quite nice length of movie helped]. Songs are few, only four, but integrated very well. I kept on thinking how would they put the romantic song in this school movie? but what i saw was cute. Loved the song 'mujhe teri' on screen too. Also 'Khushnuma' and 'Aye Khuda' makes it pleasant to see on screen with all the kids. Fun !

So, final words- you must be confused by this review whether to go for the movie or not?! If you are fan for movies about kids, [I am, always] - you'll like this.

My Rating : 3 / 5


  1. Thanks for this review, Darshit. I'll look for this on DVD as soon as it's out. Kinda sad to hear it's not the best-scripted, but still.

    I'm all for having kids explore extracurricular stuff at an early age, but agree that the fostering of that level of insane competition, especially at that early age, can be very damaging. Some of those competitions on TV shows are ruthless and humiliating with the way they provide negative feedback to the bachchas. Sadly, some Bollywood celebs are culprits in that category. :(

    And the harsh reality of academia today is that the profitability usually factors in. It's all about the economics, as they say. We absolutely agree it shouldn't be that way, but look at the way some of the other fields are going (e.g. medicine, law), it's all eventually boiling down to mass-corporatization and survival of the fittest, and it doesn't look like it'll change anytime soon.

  2. I've read a couple reviews that people were disappointed with Shahid's performance in this... What would you say? I like movies with kids, usually, unless they act too adult, so I'll probably like this.

  3. thebollywoodfan
    agree about economics there. sad but everything is turning up like that, not only institutions.

    I never ever watch those silly shows. No doubt kids perform brilliantly, but its the thing that gives me pain. I wonder how many retakes and how many glasses of Glucose it must have taken to make it perfect?!

    I liked Shahid performance. He is quite 'in control' which I though would be tough for him. Also, the movie has its own ensemble cast, and so many kids, so Shahid has comparatively less screen time than any lead hero can have. But overall, satisfying act.

    Yes, 'unless they act too adult' - say like that kid in 'Bhoothnaath' - the songs had 'Gangsta look'. :(

  4. I might try to watch this on DVD - I like your analysis and maybe one day I will be in the mood for an honest effort with heart. :)

  5. Didn't it take quite a while for this movie to come out? I'm sure I saw stills from it in a Filmfare mag from early last year.

    Anyway, I will definitely look for it on dvd. I am really enjoying Shahid lately, though I'm 50/50 on the issue of kids. Loved the little boy in TZP, not so much in Boothnath. Plus, from the sounds of it, this could be one of Aayesha's last movies?

  6. Filmi Girl
    :) yes, you should try to watch the movie in right mood.

    yes, its been a long time since the movie was ready but couldn't find any takers because of the 'different' story.

    I too din't like Bhootnath much, just cause kids were over smart in that one. Here its a nice balance while having kids and teens too.

    Might not be. Aayesha once tweeted she's gonna work after this too. But no news about her signing anything new though.

  7. I didn't find the movie interesting, and even felt it the way you did...
    I thought I lost my time and money on it :(

  8. I thought it was a complete time waste.. Saw it on DVD after having heard not-so-nice things about it.. Was diff to sit through.. Shahid was good but there s nothing in here to watch out for.. Terribly cliched, predictable.. Nowhere in comparison with tarey zameen par


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