Panga talks about the real story of a daunting mom and a professional Kabbadi player - Jaya Nigam (Kangana Ranaut) who gave up her dreams of being a national level Kabadi champion because of her family. Now, she plans on making a comeback at the age of 32.
Panga is set in the backdrop of Bhopal and comprehensively talks about the life of a common woman who is struggling with her habit of playing Kabadi which she lost 7 years and 2 months ago. The very first sequence of the film features Jaya’s love for the sport and she is seen kicking her husband’s buttocks. The years of backlog and her responsibilities of a mother has made her lose her touch of Kabadi and she has inculcated some bothersome sleeping style.
Cut to the next scene, and we see Kangana playing the role of a daunting mother and an ideal wife who helps her husband financially; working as a railway employee, whose office work involves issuing tickets at a railway station. The film is a polished piece that enacts the real life of a common man who struggles throughout his life to satisfy himself.
While her alter-ego keeps on hitting and testing her, Jaya is seen battling with herself to create a space that is surrounded by individuals who support her. And unlike other Bollywood films, she already has that space and the individuals who want her to grow.
The film is crafted with planning, and for an impacting tempo, the film’s rising action needs to be spot-on. With Ashwiny backing the film, there’s definitely no room for error.
As the film is about to lose its impact, we are introduced to a scene that features Jaya’s failure to attend her kid’s annual day function due to her work commitments. In fact, the importance of this scene is far more vital as it will help the film move towards the development of the character.
Frankly, the film is quite elegant in its own way as the director has managed to churn out a film from the simple life of a sportswoman. There are several women that do their chores, however, Ashwiny managed to bring the crispness of the story with the right amount of whimsical and thought-provoking approach towards toxic feminism that is in trend.
Kangan has managed to regain her art for parallel cinema and she is at her best throughout the film.
Without anyone holding her back, Jaya manages to make it to the Indian Kabaddi team with her husband handling things back at home. Richa has significantly been herself as she plays a pivotal role in being Kangana’s personal trainer and her best friend. With the initiation of these set pieces on the board, the film never tends to be chaotic as the director knows where to limit her characters.
Without a doubt, Ashwiny holds an upper hand at developing a character although, she could have done a perfect job adding an equally motivational and impacting song during Jaya’s development as the rising action kicks into the film. For instance, Dangal’s Haanikaarak Bapu which had much larger impact and such impact was expected from Panga.
The most notable effect of Ashwiny’s direction is her sense of camera angles and the psychology of society. No matter how developed we might be, the Indian narrow-minded society will always see itself as the self-proclaimed individuals who show-off their sophistication and non-judgemental attitude towards women who want to bring a change in society.
In a moment of spur, while Prashant tries to initiate himself in a conversation with one of Adi's friend’s mother, we have an extreme close up shot of a woman (Shot with a wide-angle lens) who is trying to look down at Prashant who is trying to handle things back at home when Jaya is fighting for India.
The film is worth watching as the Yagya Bhasin, Jassie Gill, Neena Gupta, and Richa Chadda bring the best out of their characters.