'Pataakha' is an adaptation of a Hindi short story which has been written in modern times: and it does get the atmosphere of the rustic small-town India quiet right. The sequences are well-fleshed-out and absolutely far from flashy. It makes cultural resonance and the language is well-studied.
But the narrative uses dark undertones. This film is hugely entertaining because it is interestingly enough, a contrast palette: you see that this war between the two sisters Badki and Chhutki is a sparkling, colorfully eye-catching affair which has the Diwali sparkle, but it uses meaty, gritty, capturing undertones which make the light of the film a grim one: these people look like real village people and their fights are as interesting.
My problem, however, with the film is that its awfully stretched in the first half. Also, the narrative is very entertaining but it needed more seamless interweaving. In fact, Vishal Bhardwaj uses his time-tested formulas to picture the selfishness inside these sisters.
But the film makes up for these flaws when all of it comes hilariously together in the end. This film, then, turns into a full-bodied, modern folktale. The performance by Vijay Raaz as the frustrated but caring Baapu is wholesome. But it is these sisters: the marvelous Radhika Madaan and the arresting Sanya Malhotra- who truly win you over. The film makes crisp comments about the situation across the India and Pakistan borders through the lives of these sisters, and this helps as hell, thanks to the humorous, harmlessly fun performance delivered by Sunil Grover.
Watch 'Pataakha'. It's entertainment is like never before.