Directed by R. Balki
Produced by R. Balki, R K Damani, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Sunil Lulla
Written by R. Balki
Starring Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Songs: Ilaiyaraaja, Mithoon, Meet Bros Anjjan
Cinematography P. C. Sreeram
Edited by Chandan Arora
Production Companies Eros International, Hope Productions
Distributed by Eros International
Release dates 1 April 2016
Gender equality is the easiest thing to talk about these days if you really want to make a deliberate statement about how ‘cool’ you are. Can you guess what is more effortless than that? Women liberation, especially if you’re a posing intellectual and a gentleman. I presume you can differentiate the two from the word go; because I don’t think the advertising guru-turned-filmmaker R Balki is very comfortable with that. His role-reversal drama KI & KA is exactly like its title; sounds unique and interesting but is confusing, forced and dramatic most of the time. Balki tries to address the relevance of the issue in his most honest & thoughtful manner but fails to make it relatable and logical. I fear the search for ‘coolness’ in everything he shows gets rammed over by his over-confident storytelling.
KIA [Kareena Kapoor] is one of those rare girls who are a complete misfit in any grand and loud Indian wedding party. Such type exists? Anyway, she sees marriages as a big and bold full-stop to the girl’s individuality, personally and professionally. Next, she meets a crying handsome co-passenger KABIR [Arjun Kapoor] in a flight. Cool? Yeah; keep counting.
KABIR wants to be a house-husband. Aspirations to earn big positions in any multi-national company or to take shit-load of salary home every month don’t excite him really. He fancies being an artist who makes ‘Homes’ rather than houses like his mother was. It’s a perfect setup. The girl is focused on taking control of her promising professional career in the out world and the boy has no shilly-shallying attitude in running the house like a pro. Such a smooth trip until a few fuzzy faceoff incidents take place in the relationship involving one’s unexpected expansion from being a house-husband to a TEDX celebrity-talker and the other’s steaming ego-issues.
Balki treats his concept of role-reversal in marriage as if it is something very alien and novel idea to the society. On the contrary, it is not. But Balki makes it look so dramatic, droll and desired that it starts irritating you after a while. Soon, his role-reversal theory starts bothering you as a futile role-play.
The man becomes a woman and the woman acts like a man. Meanwhile, Balki decides to keep the spotlight on all the ‘cool’ gimmicks rather than exploring the emotional storm within. You see Arjun Kapoor charming married ladies in his neighborhood while giving them a fitness session or inviting them for a kitty party.
His love for riding a Segway or for that matter, making his home a train-toy museum too is more of a ‘cool’ addition to the style than to the substance. In fact, the initiative to put female artists’ name ahead of their male co-artistes in the opening titles loses its steam when it comes to other technical credits. Why is a female assistant director not given the same respect? Because you don’t give a damn!
KI & KA also doesn’t oblige you much if you’re seeking something outstanding in the performances. Kareena Kapoor Khan hams like there is no tomorrow. All she does in the name of acting is to intimidate you with her sparkly wide-eyed expressions and all the increasing now-reducing then redness on her face. Arjun Kapoor, on the other hand, does give you some freshness even if it is exaggerated and overacted.
Rajit Kapoor and Swaroop Sampat are extremely delightful faces you would always love to see on screen. Though the writing again makes them stereotyped parents who either would end up being very friendly to their kids or totally cold towards them! Amitabh Bachchan & Jaya Bachchan play themselves in the most celebrated scene as a cameo. The scene beautifully tickles the idea they tackled together on screen in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ABHIMAAN. It is also supposedly a tour to their drawing room.
Coming from the background of the advertising world, Balki makes sure everything looks perfectly placed, lit and shot but he often misses the relativity of the context and in the content. In one scene, Kareena being a marketing professional throws an idea to sell an edible oil product at 50% off if the husbands would make the buying. Her case is that no Indian husband buys grocery and this will improve the sales.
In other, we are informed that the couple pays 10,000/- salary to their part-time maid in Delhi. What a promising job opportunity is hidden there! Mr. Balki sure belongs to the same rarest wing Kareena targets in the film. Better watch the new ARIEL– share the load commercial, if you want something progressive and feminist in true respect!
Written By- Gaurav Rai
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