Paathshaala is about the rampant commercialization of schools depriving them of the old school values and disregarding the interests of the school students.
Aditya Sahay (Nana Patekar) is a dedicated principal of Saraswati Vidya Mandir, a school devoted to educating the students with value added knowledge. Rahul Prakash Udyavar (Shahid Kapur) joins the school as an English teacher and instantly bonds well with the principal, other members of the faculty and even school children.
The manager of the school Sharma (Saurabh Shukla) is a greedy person who wants to fleece the parents of the students in the name of extra-curricular activities.. He also wants to corporatize the school. He involves media planners and involve the students in a TV reality show.
Rahul opposes this and gets the support of colleagues Anjali (Ayesha Takia) and Vijendra Chauhan (Sushant Singh) and revolts against the school management.
But, unexpectedly principal Sahay sides with the management. The rest of the story deals with how this tussle is resolved.
Nana Patekar gets under the skin of his character and gives a convincing performance. It is Shahid Kapur who steals the show with his vibrant energy. Sushant Singh and Saurabh Shukla act with conviction and credibility. Ayesha Takia is sufficient to give the feminine touch. All others fit their roles well.
The intentions of writer Ahmed Khan and director Milind Ukey are lofty but the intensity of the corrupting corporatization of schools has not made its mark in the screenplay. The only saving grace is the superb performances of Shahid Kapur, Nana Patekar, Sushant Singh, and Saurabh Shukla. Music by Hanif Sheikh is passable and Cinematography by Basha Lal is good.
Paathshaala has good intentions but the screen narration could have been much better. But for the performances by Shahid and Nana, the film would have been a disaster.
The Cast and Crew
Shahid Kapur, Nana Patekar, Ayesha Takia, Swini Khara, Dwij Yadav, Master Ali Haji, Avika Gor, Sushant Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Nassar Abdulla, Shraddha Arya, Sanatan Modi, Anjan Srivastava, Vicky Ahuja, Preeti Kopikar and others
Music: Hanif Sheikh
Cinematography: Basha Lal
Producers: Ahmed Khan, Shaira Khan
Banners: Eros Entertainment, Paperdoll Entertainment
Director: Milind Ukey
2.5 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar
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