Movie Review: Kapoor And Sons
Read City 1016's Lokesh Dharmani's verdict on the film
DIRECTOR: Shakun Batra
STARRING: Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor and Sidharth Malhotra
RATING: 4 stars
Inhale. Hold. Bawwwwwwwwl. That’s how I have spent my last three hours watching Kapoor And Sons. Though I would any day prefer K.Jo’s K3G. I mean where else would you find a desi family that lives in a Hogwarts house, where the younger sibling magically transforms from an extra cheese burger to a protein shake jar and the mother has a special talent of sniffing her son’s presence second only to owning a collection of hideous wigs.
Kapoor And Sons is devoid of such magic. The Kapoors make a dysfunctional family with real problems: leaking taps, depleting finances, ailing grandfather, a love triangle and Bollywood’s favourite trope, an extra marital affair, all of which converge and nearly resolve in a superlative emotional climax that will cause a tsunami in your eyes.
Director Shakun Batra has a knack of creating sheer magic with conversations in his films. Be it the dining table confrontation scene in his first movie Ek Main Aur Ek Tu or the plumber scene in Kapoor And Sons, he simply nails it. And there is such subtle symbolism in all his films. In Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Boman Irani helps his son Imran Khan in tying the knot of his tie, symbolic of the trap, the marriage deal he wants his son to get into. Imran, after the confrontation, takes the same tie off indicating his new freedom from his domineering parents. Similarly, the plumber scene in Kapoor and Sons, besides being funny, creates the required tension between the family members, whose strained relationships are like a leaking tap that require serious fixing.
There are some beautiful heart-to-hearts in the movie. The scene when Alia Bhatt’s Tia shares her past, the scene between Fawad Khan and Ratna Pathak Shah or the brief bedtime conversation between Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah are not only written with simplicity but enacted with such honesty that it breaks your heart. Full points to Shakun Batra and his co writer, Ayesha Devitre Dhillon.
Kapoor and Sons pack some powerful performances too.
Fawad Khan gets the nuances and the pain of Rahul so well, giving brilliant insights into his struggle. The scene where he insists his mom to come and stay with him shows there is much more than what meets the eye to his perfect life. Fawad, with just a slight frown and tense brows, reveals so much. Bra-frigging-vo!! I am a fan for life.
Ratna Pathak Shah lends such depth to her beautifully written character. Sunita has her flaws and her favourites. Yet her favouritism doesn’t change her character. When she learns about the rather astonishing truths of her kids, she is not empathetic or understanding unlike a lot of Hindi film moms. There is no out-of-character behaviour. She remains confused, angry and mostly heartbroken.
And then there is Rishi Kapoor, who doesn’t try too hard as he plays the loudmouth grandfather. He doesn’t need to. Amarjeet Kapoor seems like an easy breezy extension of Rishi Kapoor’s Twitter life. He cracks the same fat/figure/gender jokes in the movie, this time not directed at Huma Qureshi or Parineeti Chopra but at other characters in the film.
Alia Bhatt plays the happy flirt with much ease alas with not much variation. Her Humpty Sharma ki Dulhaniya’s Kavya, 2 State’s Ananya and Kapoor and Sons’ Tia are so similar that it will make for the lousiest ‘spot the difference’ game. Her 'I-miss-my-family' is heart-wrenching but she pulls a Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo’s Salman Khan on us when she says, "At least tumhari family toh hain.''
Amid such brilliant performances we have Sidharth Malhotra. Paapaa, I feel so bad for him. First, you are Sidharth Malhotra. Second, you are called Arjun Kapoor in the movie. Ha! There is hardly any scope for a good performance. In his defence, he tries his best but fails to portray the complexity of Arjun dealing with second child syndrome. It all becomes about ‘I-have-memorized-my-lines-so-well’ rather than feeling them.
The film has a couple of flaws too. The Punjabi family sounds too South Bombay in a place like Coonoor. Also, it gets a bit sluggish in the first half.
But Kapoor and Sons beautifully delves deep into human emotions and easily makes it as one of the finest films of the year so far.
THE RATINGS MEAN:
5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!)
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once.
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?