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Panga Movie Review: A light-hearted film showcased with sheer optimism and honesty.

Modified On: 24 January 2020 | Reviewed By:

Kangana Ranaut has given a stunning performance but the real show-stealers are Richa Chadda and Yagya Bhasin. This is director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's third film after Nil Battey Sannata and Bareilly Ki Barfi.


Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari | Music Director:

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Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Neena Gupta, Jassie Gill, Richa Chadha

Directed By: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Kangana Ranaut is the queen of Panga (to mess with). She has taken Panga of delivering strong women-oriented film and films which is completely on her shoulder. But Panga is a film where each and every character shines. 

The film is about Jaya Nigam, the former rising star on the firmament of Indian Kabaddi who gives up a promising career to take care of her baby. It’s all domestic bliss and a government job in the Railways for Jaya, till one fine day she is jolted out of her reverie by her 7- year-old son Adi (Yagya Bhasin). He questions her as to why could she not be there for his race at school like all mothers? After all, she was just selling railway tickets and not doing anything earth-shatteringly important he points out. On being told by his father (Jassie Gill) that she had put aside a great career for bringing him up, the young one is determined to get her back on track and make a comeback. And therein starts Jaya’s journey to find her way back at the age of 32 to her first love, sports. 

This slice-of-life drama is an immersive experience with its simplicity and endearing narrative. And to top it all, you are treated to some great performances right from the word go. 

After Nil Battey Sannata and Bareilly Ki Barfi, Ashwiny has once again made a film that leaves an impact without being too heavy on your heart or mind. It’s the subtlety with which she has narrated Panga that deserves applause. And the local flavor — be it Bhopal, Mumbai, Kolkata or Delhi — that she blends in the script and characters are something you can’t miss. 

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The story is ably backed by some superlative performances. Kangana is in her element and once again proves why she’s a star who doesn’t belong to any league of actors but has a niche of her own. She lets you connect with Jaya in whatever she does — the way she speaks, dresses, cries, laughs, goes to work, takes care of her family and amid all this, wants to be happy for herself. 

Richa Chadha as Meenu, Jaya’s best friend and a kabaddi coach, gives a nuanced performance while staying true to her boisterous and badass character. She brings in moments of laughter too with her Bihari accent. Richa has some of the best dialogues from the movie. Neena Gupta as Jaya’s mother shines in the limited screen time she gets, especially in the scene when she’s telling her daughter to not forget what her mother did for her. 

Jassie Gill is good and grabs your attention whenever he’s there but you don’t miss him in his absence. Although he’s shown to have great comfort and chemistry with Kangana, his expressions don’t say much.  

It is the youngest member of the cast, Kangana’s onscreen son Adi who truly lights up the screen. Mind you, the little boy has been given some clever lines and comic punches too that he delivers confidently. For instance when he tells his father, “Bhagwan ka roop hoon, jooth nahi bolunga. Aapko Ganga nahane ka mauka de raha hoon,” sound innocent yet funny. 

Panga isn't the sort of Bollywood sports film in which the protagonist is a cocky, invincible smooth-talker who bulldozes her way through without a care in the world. Jaya has to reckon with a slew of obstacles. Her son needs constant monitoring owing to his medical condition. Her husband, also a Railways employee, has no clue how to keep the household running when the onus falls on him. Just as important, Jaya is no longer a sprightly 25-year-old. Her reflexes have slowed down. Her body is no longer in shape. Her spirit is willing, but her mind keeps telling that she might be venturing into rough terrain. 

Panga is wholesome entertainment and you will love to take this Panga. 

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