Kapoor & Sons
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Fawad Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah and Rajat Kapoor.
Director: Shakun Batra
Kapoor & Sons is the big release of the week, coming right from Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. The film stars Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, and Fawad Khan, along with Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah and Rajat Kapoor. The film is directed by Shakun Batra, who made the lovely but underrated Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, that I totally adored. Let’s see if this film is as good as his first….
What’s it about:
The film is a heart-touching tale of a family that could be yours, but here it has a name – The Kapoor’s. Rahul (Fawad Khan) and Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) are siblings and novelists, settled in different parts of the world. Their parents (Rajat Kapoor and Ratha Pathak Shah), as well as an ailing, but young at heart grandpa (Rishi Kapoor) are staying in their family house at Coonoor. Rahul is silent, mature and successful author, and is deemed as the ‘perfect child’ by his parents, while Arjun is brasher, rebellious and is struggling to stick to one job, while trying to break out as a writer. When the grandfather is hospitalised, both rush to their family home to be with him. As the family unites after five long years, we realise that, though, they look normal from outside but has very high tensions within. The mother accuses the father of having an affair, while the father is tired of her incessant nagging. The younger brother is kinda jealous of his elder brother’s success and feels he has stolen his idea for his successful novel, while the elder bro had a secret of his own. With all these issues, the grandfather wanted to bring the entire family together to click one happy family pic. And yes, there is also Tia (Alia Bhatt) who is like a beacon of light, that shines during the dark moments of the Kapoor brothers. Lots of tears…lots of smiles…lots of fights happens, as we and the helpless grandpa wait for that family pic!
Shakun Batra, take a bow! You have to be commended for taking a simple story of a dysfunctional family and making it such an engaging narrative. His Kapoor family feels like ours, all the squabbles and the sweet moments we see in the film feel like a part of our own family moments. If Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was all ‘it’s all about loving your family’, Kapoor & Sons is about ‘loving your family…despite all the fights and faults’. The way he had directed those family tiffs could go as a lesson in brilliant film-making. Check out the scene when the family has their first fight, and also in the second half when their family tries to come for their first family pic, and the skeletons spill out of the closet at the same time! But the film is not all about fights; there are also tender moments between them, like when the entire family comes together and spend time in each other’s company, reminiscing about pleasant memories. Or that scene when the father and mother finally have that heart to heart chat when they lie on the bed, while the brothers have their own touching moments in the next room. The director also needs to be lauded for handling an unconventional thread about sexuality that too in a mainstream film, without making us squirm in our seats.
Now for the performances. While everyone is fantastic, I have to admit this IS a Fawad Khan film! In the past, being a guy, I had no clue why the girls fuss so much about the man. I hadn’t see his serials, though he was great in his debut Pakistani film Khuda Kay Liye. He was okay in Khoobsoorat, but here he is finally given a very strong material to perform, and he bites into it with relish. Be it the emotional outbursts, the lighter moments, or just acting through his eyes, he is FANTASTIC in every scene he is in, and you just can’t take your eyes off him. Sidharth Malhotra is improving with each and every film, and here also, he is first-rate. We also have to commend him for letting his co-star getting the meatier scenes, while he himself supports the narrative pretty well. Rishi Kapoor is totally lost in the skin of his role of a jovial but loving grandpa, obsessing over Mandakini in Ram Teri Ganga Maili (a nice touch, since it was his father, late Raj Kapoor who had directed the film) and gives in one of the best performances of his career. We feel for the man, as he helplessly watches his dear slowly crumble during his happier moments. Alia Bhatt may have the least substantial role in the film, but she is absolutely delightful in whatever scenes she is in. Even Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah are first-rate, and share some of the best scenes among themselves!
The film takes its own time to unravel its plot, so it might feel a bit tedious for people who have a thing for fast-paced films (but trust me, the buildup was absolutely required here). Also the plot, except for a huge revelation in the second half, is very predictable but then the maker’s intention about the film was not to surprise you but to make you feel for the family and their little joys and sorrows. Also for anyone who has got into the theatre to watch an Alia Bhatt – Sidharth Malhotra- Fawad Khan love triangle will be sorely disappointed! The film is not just about that! Kar Gayi Chull was pleasant to hear and comes at the right moment, but maybe they should have done away with the choreographed dance steps! It would have then complemented well with the sense of realism that the most of the film was striving for.
What to do
Kapoor & Sons may not be the typical KJo film drama you may relished in the past, set in foreign locales, huge mansion, love songs etc. yet it is one of the finest films Karan Johar has produced under his banner after a long time. Watch it for those sweet moments, watch it for the tear-jerking moments, watch it for the fantastic performances, especially by Fawad Khan and Rishi Kapoor…just watch the damn thing! And yes, with a box of tissues please…