If you have never been to Asia, you should know that kite flying is a big deal in just about every country. We learned that much from Marc Forster's "The Kite Runner" in 2007.


Kites were invented in China around 400 BC and it's popularity moved into India and then throughout Asia before reaching Europe around 1250 AD; compliments of Marco Polo. Kites never really gained sustainable legs in Europe - or North America - it was more a recreational toy.


But in Asian countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Vietnam and Korea kite fighting festivals are huge city wide events with thousands of kites filling the air dancing around each other creating an aerial ballet. Kites darting back and forth trying to destroy the other kite.

Again, we saw that in "The Kite Runner".


In "Patang" (which actually means fighting kite) director Prashant Bhargava stages the film around the Vasanta Panchami of Ahmedabad. It is the largest and oldest of the kite festivals in India in it's oldest city.


The story revolves around a successful businessman named Jayesh (Mukund Shukla) from Delhi who brings his hot daughter Priya (Sugandha Garg) to see the old festival and for himself to repair old relationships.


As he enters the town, he orders a special kite just for the festival with special string from China (for cutting other kite lines) - apparently when he was a kid he was quite good at kite fighting.

He has a simple plan to make good with his estranged family, he will simply move them all to Delhi into a fabulous new condo he bought just for them. But his idea doesn't go over well because although hey are poor as dirt, they are quite content staying put in the old family digs.


That's just as well because on is harboring an old grudge because his own father was left in ruins.


Meanwhile Priya meets Bobby (Aakash Maheriya) and gets him panting after her. In minutes he falls in love and wants her to stay in Ahmedabad.


It is a simple enough story of redemption and discovery, love and lust... all set against the crowded atmosphere of India. Beautifully shot and well acted but lacking one small thing... a payoff.


End the end it is a story that goes nowhere. Prashant Bhargava leads us on a long colorful ride to nowhere. It makes it easy to understand why the businessman decided to leave Ahmedabad in the first place.


"Patang" has one saving grace and that is the sheer beauty of the setting. The excitement of the kite fighting almost saves the film from its lack of a complete story.   -- GEOFF BURTON