Patang (The Kite)

Every year, people flock to Ahmedabad, India, to celebrate Uttarayan, the renowned festival of kite-flying. In filmmaker Prashant Bhargava’s feature debut, it’s the perfect setting for locals and visitors—a returning businessman (Mukkund Shukla), his daughter, the gentleman’s widowed sister-in-law (Seema Biswas), a wanna-be tough guy and a street kid (Hamid Shaikh)—to find their paths intersecting in various contrived manners. A former graffiti artist, Bhargava knows how to use color and crowd shots to great effect; should his ability to juggle several narrative strands ever catch up to his visual sense, he’ll be a director worthy of attention. As it is, this attempt at an Altmanesque ensemble piece feels a little dramatically flat even as it’s dazzling your retinas.

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