Patna Shuklla : An effective legal drama that focuses on an educational scam involving roll numbers

On more than one occasion, ‘Patna Shuklla’ feels like a flashback to the ‘Jolly LLB’ movies. But still, it makes for a good watch.
Patna Shuklla (Hindi), 29-03-2024, Crime, drama, 2 hours 5 minutes, U/A, OTT
  • Main Cast: Raveena Tandon, Manav Vij, Chandan Roy Sanyal, and late Satish Kaushik
  • Director: Vivek Budakoti
  • Producer: Arbaaz Khan
  • Music Director: Karan Kulkarni
  • Cinematography: Neha Parti Matiyani
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Published in: Southfirst

Courtroom dramas based on different social topics are one of the most explored genres in India Cinema. The latest in the genre is Vivek Budakoti’s Patna Shuklla.

It doesn’t throw any surprises, and the viewers can easily guess where the proceedings are headed. However, what works for Patna Shuklla is having its heart in the right place.

The director deserves credit for exploring the topic of mark sheet exchange.

This scam is carried out to help rich students pass the exam, despite not being academically brilliant.


Raveena Tandon and Anushka Kaushik in a still from ‘Patna Shuklla’. (Screengrab)

Tanvi Shukla (Raveena Tandon) is a small-time lawyer. She specialises in writing affidavits apart from her cooking skills.

Her life takes a dramatic turn when a third-year BSC student Rinki Kumari (Anuskha Kaushik) approaches her. Rinki fails an exam but firmly believes that some mischief has happened.

Tanvi Shukla decides to fight for the girl but things are not so easy.

A big hurdle comes in the form of Raghubir Singh (Jatin Goswami), who files a nomination in the upcoming elections. He warns Tanvi against proceeding with the case.

Soon, Tanvi finds herself in a huge crossfire that has repercussions in her personal life.

To put it simply, Patna Shuklla is about how Tanvi delivers justice for Rinki by overcoming various hurdles.

In the past too, several movies have shed light on the flaws in the education system. But director Vivek Budakoti is successful in engaging the viewers.

The process of exchanging exam papers and how it affects the careers of underprivileged students has been depicted well.

The scenes between Rinki and Tanvi have some solid emotional moments. The viewers can feel the desperation of Rinki and root for her to succeed.


What also works majorly for Patna Shuklla is the characterisation and Raveena Tandon’s performance in the title role.

The actor does a good job of portraying the grit of Shuklla. Raveena shines in the intense portions and is equally good at showcasing her vulnerability.

A particular mention must be made of her performance after an important revelation where she breaks down.

Manav Vij as Tanvi’s husband is also crucial to the storyline.

Raveena Tandon and Chandan Roy Sanyal in ‘Patna Shuklla’. (Screengrab)

Initially, he doesn’t take a stand for his wife and discourages her from proceeding further. But he is not a monster either who imposes himself.

Manav Vij makes a striking impact as a man, who comes with his inner dilemmas regarding his wife’s stand.

Late Satish Kaushik has a pleasing presence as a lower court judge. For the large part of the movie, there is an easygoing nature but at the same time, he is not a judge who can be taken for granted.

Satish Kaushik portrays the different facets with his usual effervescence.

The rest of the performances are also mostly spot-on, with a particular mention of Anuskha Kaushik.

What does not work for Patna Shuklla though is the huge deja vu of the Jolly LLB films.

For example, Chandan Roy Sanyal plays an opposing lawyer modelled on Annu Kapoor and Boman Irani.

Chandan Roy Sanyal is decent but is unable to bring the required verve. As a result, the courtroom sequences between Raveena and him feel one-sided.

The songs also come across as uninvited guests slowing down the proceedings.


At two hours and 5 minutes, Patna Shuklla makes for a crisp and gripping watch in spite of the Jolly LLB hangover.

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