While the story is about a sportswoman’s comeback, but Panga will ride more on the emotional journey of Jaya Nigam [Ranaut]
By Mayur Lookhar
Kangana Ranaut and panga (confrontation) go hand in hand. So, the feisty Ranaut is a natural fit to play the lead in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Panga .
“I think this film chose me. My personality resonates with it. My struggle is an open book. I reckon [director] Ashwiny may have seen my tevar (rebel attitude)” a smiling Ranaut said at the trailer launch in Mumbai on Monday, 23 December, Ranaut though felt that the story resonates more with the director.
Given that she started her film career post motherhood, Fox Star Studios couldn’t have chosen a better director than Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari for Panga.
Panga  tells the comeback story of a kabaddi player post her motherhood. Not just a sportsmen, but Jaya Nigam [Ranaut] will resonate with every mother who sacrificed her career for her family. Comebacks are difficult but especially in sports, where once an athlete crosses a certain age, they are no longer deemed fit for selection. Jaya Nigam, who was the Indian team captain in 2010. dares to make a comeback at 32.
Leave aside the physical challenge, but a person first needs to beat his/her insecurities to make a professional comeback. Jaya has to beat the demons in her mind. This is exemplified greatly in the scene where she stops short of interacting with young kabaddi players fearing how the young boys would react. While she is supported by her husband Prashant [Jassie Gill] but she has a doubting Thomas in her mother [played by Neena Gupta].
Acclaimed actress Richa Chadha appears to be playing Nigam’s colleague. Chadha appears to be the one motivating Nigam on the field. Well, he doesn’t like to be called a child artiste, so let’s just say young Yogya Bhasin, who plays Ranaut’s son Adi, looks confident in the trailer.
The trailer spells out its story in a simple way with no unnecessary drama. More than a sports drama, Tiwari want to underline the struggle of a mother whilst making a professional comeback. The trailer doesn’t overwhelm you, but neither is it it dour. Perhaps Panga will be more an emotional story of Jaya and her family.
Gill and Ranaut make for an interesting pairing. The trailer does suggest that Prashant is a gentle, sensitive and a supporting husband. No criticism per se, we don’t get a clean shot of Ranaut playing kabaddi.
Her previous films, Nil Battey Sannata  and Bareilly Ki Barfi  were based around female protagonists. It would be wrong to merely label Tiwary’s stories as feminist, for they speak of self empowerment irrespective of any gender.
Fans will keenly await this Panga. Watch the trailer of Panga below.
The film is set to be released on 24 January where it will compete with Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor’s Street Dancer 3D .