41 years after the release of BR Chopra directorial Pati Patni Aur Woh, the film is getting a remake with actors Kartik Aaryan, Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Panday. The original film starred Sanjeev Kumar as Pati (Husband), Vidya Sinha as Patni (Wife) and Ranjeeta as Woh (the mistress).
The concept of extra-marital affairs has probably existed ever since the institution of marriage came into existence, and this is the premise of Pati Patni Aur Woh. Here, we see love blossom between Ranjeet (Sanjeev Kumar) and Sharda (Vidya Sinha) as they get married and live a blissful life with a child. Things change when Ranjeet hires a new secretary Nirmala (Ranjeeta) and starts having an affair with her. He lies to his wife and also to his mistress as he poses that his wife has cancer and will die soon.
But Sharda isn’t as clueless as Ranjeet would have liked. She is on to him and starts gathering evidence against him. She confronts Nirmala who is shocked beyond her wits to learn about Ranjeet’s truth. When she confronts Ranjeet, he does not accept his mistakes at once and continues to make excuses just so he can get out of the mess. Nirmala leaves him and even Sharda makes up her mind about leaving him.
For Sharda, leaving the father of her child is not as easy as she believes that the child would need his father. She gives him another chance at reconciliation but as the end of the film suggests, Ranjeet still has a roving eye and will probably not stop taking chances to have another affair.
Pati Patni Aur Woh released in 1978 and back then, society wasn’t certainly as accepting about divorce as it is today. Though we still don’t see divorces working out in our movies. Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan (2018) also had Rumi get back with Robbie even after they get divorced, though her decision isn’t dictated by social pressures. Our society is a conservative one and in many ways, our movies mirror that.
Sharda makes a decision to stick with her husband. She is shown to be a housewife who financially depends on her husband and believes in giving second chances, even if it is just because of her young child. Quite a few movies in the late 1970s and early 1980s tackled the issue of troubled marriages. Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth (1982) also addressed the issue but had a refreshingly bold take on the subject. The 1982 film Nikaah, also by BR Chopra, showed the perils faced by a Muslim woman and dealt with Triple Talaq. Films like Avishkaar, Aap Ki Kasam and Anubhav among more tackled the issue of difficult marriages.
The new Pati Patni Aur Woh is releasing 41 years after the original one so one can expect that the understanding of the subject will be different from what we saw back then.
Pati Patni Aur Woh, directed by Mudassar Aziz, releases on December 6.