Movie Review By Rishi Kapoor
Without the right ingredients no recipe can work and that’s the ground rule. What makes panga a perfect dish is its simplicity and engaging narrative which is garnished with some brilliant performances backed by an able chef which in this case is Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari.
A heartwarming ode to motherhood and sacrifices that a woman makes for her family is very well portrait in this simple slice of life drama. The story of Jaya Nigam (Kangana Ranaut), a middle-class woman working in Northern Railways, is a former kabaddi champion and captain of India’s women kabaddi team.
While she continued playing the sport after her marriage to Prashant (Jassie Gill), she leaves her dream midway after she becomes a mother. Seven years later, when her son Adi (Yagya Bhasin) gets to know ‘all that his mom could do but didn’t’ because she chose her family over her passion, he decides to push her to make a comeback, at the age of 32.
The movie showcases how love, marriage and children need not come in the way of any sportswoman’s success, but what sets it refreshingly apart is a wonderful sense of humour. The problem might be serious, but the telling is light-hearted. The over-arching goodness is balanced out perfectly with a jovial impertinence.
There is a loveable cheekiness to characters, from the mother (Neena Gupta) to even the family doctor and especially when it comes to the son Adi and bestie Meenu (Richa Chadha). Another superlative performance from Kangana. She carries the movie on her shoulders and will go from being a mother to a kabaddi champion in a fraction of second. She cries beautifully and also smiles innocently, very rare for an actor. Kangana is supported amazingly by Jassie Gill, who proved he is not only an amazing singer but fab actor too. 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.
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. 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. 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.
Very well written script by Ashwiny , Nitesh and Nikhil Mehrotra have the right moments which are backed by well written dialogues. Overall a well-made family movie that connects with real issues and gives us the reason to fight back and achieve our dreams.
Go with your family and take some Panga , it’s worth taking.