New Delhi (Jagran News Network):

Director: Nikhil Advani

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Anushka Sharma rating: ***

The tried and tested formula of Baujis, Bijis and Bhangra with lots of cricket ahead of the World Cup makes Patiala House a surprisingly watchable movie.

The film is about the Kahlon household of Southall - turned into a self-sufficient mini-Punjab for all the Sikhs in pardes. Autocratic patriarch Gurtej Kahlon aka Bauji (Rishi Kapoor) who has been fighting against racism against Indians in England has always been the dominating head of his extended joint family. Consequently, his giant family of 12-14 people is refused to pursue their own dreams.  

His elder son Parghat Singh aka Gattu (Akshay Kumar) has to forsake his dreams of playing cricket for the national England team since Bauji was never in favour of the firangs.

Gattu meets the bubbly Simran (Anushka Sharma), who ran away briefly to try and become a heroine in Bollywood. Now she works in a saloon and lives with her friend's 12-year-old cricket crazy son.  She plays the driving force behind Gattu’s decisions and makes him believe that anything is possible--even wearing tight T-shirts, drinking shots and dancing to Punjabi rap.
Anyway, this story takes another turn when Mr Bedi (Tinu Anand), the (minority) cricket selector who gets Southhall Sikhs represented in the England team, decides to give Gattu another chance. Why? He has seen him bowling in the empty field opposite his house for 17 years.

The first and the best thing that Patiala House does is to redefine the typecast Akshay Kumar from a clown to a splendid actor.

Rishi Kapoor is domineering, but all the singing and dancing at the big fat Punjabi wedding in the house brings out the fun person in Bauji. Kapadia is impeccable as the mother torn between her husband and son. Oh-so-filmy Anushka Sharma proves yet again why she is the brightest spark among the younger actresses. 

There's an army of other minor stars, who all play various chachajis, chachijis, and bachchajis. And there's an even larger army of cricketers, from West Indies' Kieron Pollard to Australian Andrew Symonds and Dirk Nannes. Former players Nasser Hussain, David Gower and Graham Gooch play English selectors. Another unintentional comic element in the movie is Hard Kaur fashioned as a Punjabi aunty which can be equated to Ozzy Osbourne dressed as a Sikh.

The point of the movie is to bring Master Akshay back to the crease to play for England 17 years after he gave up his dream to run a shop in Southhall.

The screenplay by Nikhil Advani and Anvita Dutt Guptan has a systematic approach towards storytelling. The film's music is predictably bhangra with no surprises. The dialogues seem to be written on the spot. Director injects so much drama into Patiala House that it has the power to keep you glued to your seats till the climax.

For a Bollywood- and cricket-crazy country, Patiala House seems like a dream that marries both off with aplomb... patialvi style.