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'Panga' review: Kangana breathes vulnerability, power; movie an ode to motherhood and dreams

The movie is about a kabaddi player who has given up her sporting career in order to raise a family.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2020, 11.16 AM IST
'Panga​' ​oozes small-town flavour​.
'Panga' oozes small-town flavour.
Film: Panga
Genre: Drama
Director: Ashwini Iyer Tiwari
Cast: Kangana Ranaut,Jassi Gill,Neena Gupta,Yagya Bhasin
Jaya Nigam (Ranaut) plays a 32-year-old former kabaddi player — the captain of the national women’s team, no less — who has given up her sporting career in order to raise a family. And it’s a happy married life: Prashant (Gill) is a loving and supportive husband, while seven-year-old son Adi (Bhasin) is the apple of her eye. The itch to get back into the game, however, returns when Adi expresses a desire to watch her play. And so starts off Ashwini Iyer Tiwari’s Panga.

Set in the bylanes of Bhopal, the film oozes small-town flavour, something that has become commonplace in Bollywood of late, but still works when done well. The characters, even the supporting cast, feel real. This is credit to the writing, which is nuanced and inspiring, working well in both a domestic set-up and on the sporting court.

Ranaut is the star of the show. At home, she is the gentle and domestic mother, doting on her son and caring for her husband. But she effortlessly makes the transition to the court. She breathes vulnerability and power in equal measure. The support cast also chip in with credible performances. Gill as the husband is impressive, Neena Gupta as Jaya’s mother is excellent, while Bhasin as the precocious child makes a fine debut.

In conclusion, Panga is an ode to motherhood and to chasing one’s dreams, and works very well on both fronts.

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