Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Jassie Gill, Richa Chadha, Neena Gupta, Yagya Bhasin
Director: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
In the middle of the night, the wife kicks her husband again and again in her sleep which also happens to be the opening scene of the film. The next morning the husband makes some joke and secretly keep a hot water bottle under his bum at the breakfast table. He understands the fact that though his wife is out of kabaddi, kabaddi will never be out of her system. Panga is a motivational story of a woman who makes a comeback in the sports after she left it for her family. The film is all about the feel-good-factor, charming film narrating the importance of a family and unconditional love and support.
The film which has been directed by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari shows that it is not only the resilience of the women which is to be celebrated but even the support of the husband and the children which give the flight to the wings of the woman once again.
Jaya Nigam, a 32-year-old lady is a national level kabaddi player and is happy with her life revolving around a loving husband and an adorable son and a job as a ticket clerk at Bhopal Railway Station. Jaya portrayed by Kangana is fabulous and there is no flaw in the selfless mother and wife she plays onscreen. She loves her family unconditionally but the fact that she could have achieved much more haunts her daily and she expresses her feelings very easily and directly. Overcoming her hesitance, Jaya challenges herself purposely.
Writing has been done in such a way that it is humorous and positive. The film is endlessly optimistic with the characters which enable Jaya to go ahead and achieve her goal. Prashant, her husband is her greatest cheerleader. He constantly supports her and takes charge of household chores and manages it all with a smile on his face. He is the partner every Indian would want to have.
Jaya’s other cheerleaders are Adi her son, who owns every scene he is in with perfection and ease and has some of the best lines in the film. Richa Chadha is the best friend Jaya has who was also Jaya’s teammate. Neena Gupta who has only limited scenes makes sure to make her presence felt in the film.
The director along with Nikhil Mehrotra and Nitesh Tiwari create a believable world with characters playing the roles easily. The optimism and predictability of Panga is rarely unnatural. The second half is full of typical rivalries and clichés. However, the viewer is completely engrossed in Jaya’s life story.
Kangana portrays Jaya with vulnerability and strong grit over the characters. Jaya is shown going down a guilt trip that every mother feels when she tries to achieve her dreams.
The film is completely successful in sending across the message clearly and it is the small and light moments that make it all the more relatable to the masses. Panga fills one with warmth and hopes one can use in times of desperation.