Prashant Bhargava sets the family reunion, which is at the heart of his debut feature Patang (The Kite), in the old city of Ahmedabad in western India, during its annual kite flying festival. The entire city goes into a kite-flying frenzy, in every terrace and street—and kite makers, manja (kite string) makers and kite sellers are kept busy. When a successful Delhi businessman takes his pretty daughter on a trip to his childhood home for the festival, the extended family must grapple with some thorny issues. Whether the businessman–who scorns Chakku his nephew for playing music in a wedding band–has given back enough to his family. Their discomfort when he wants his mother to sign away their ancestral home and move to a swank apartment they don’t need. Meanwhile, the teenage daughter flirts with a shopkeeper. When they return, nothing is resolved, yet the kite festivities bound them warmly for a while. As his relative says, “We hold on to our happiness. Little little happiness.”
The cinematography by Shanker Raman is a great asset, capturing the kaleidoscopic colours of the kite festival, and bringing a wonderful family intimacy. There are also good performances, especially Seema Biswas (Sudha) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Chakku).