Sunday, March 20, 2016

#CogentMovies - Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) (2016)


Dharma Productions; a production house/ movie studio, which was once synonymous with movies made by the owner of the firm, Mr. Karan Johar. But today, Dharma Productions is a brand which is respected by Bollywood pundits and loved by the moviegoers. It's a label that every person who works/ aspires to work in Bollywood would want to be associated with; at least once, in their career.

Shakun Batra; who debuted as a director with a rather eccentric rom-com (if you may), called Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012) establishes himself on a much firmer ground in his second movie titled Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) (2016).

Kapoor & Sons; is predominantly a movie that seems about a family. But, as they say; don't judge a book by it's cover. Kapoor & Sons is about a lot more. I'll get to that in a bit, I promise. :)

Sunita (Ratna Pathak Shah) and Harsh Kapoor (Rajat Kapoor), a married couple and parents of Rahul (Fawad Khan) and Arjun Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra). They live with Harsh's dad, Mr. Amarjeet Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor). Fawad & Sidharth, who are settled abroad are called to visit their ailing grandfather who has just suffered a heart attack.

Every family has its problems and Shakun Batra doesn't shy from introducing some of these problems within the first few minutes of the film. At times; it could get unnerving to see how there could be so much stress between family members, and how simplest scenes between characters that start as a simple conversation get converted into an argument, a discussion, and also a brawl. The story makes space for an underdog son who will never be as good as his brother who gets preferential treatment from his parents, a couple who are facing mid life crisis, are living in a disturbed marriage and are in middle of a financial crisis of their own. Every character in the movie has a journey of his/ her own, and it's commendable to see how the script does justice to all the subplots and connects all the pieces of jigsaw into a beautiful canvas.

The prowess of the writers (Shakun Batra & Ayesha Devitre Dhillon) is what keeps the interest of the audience all the way. In hands of a novice/ amateur captain(s), Kapoor & Sons could become an ordeal. On the contrary, the way the movie has been written; some of the most tensed moments become effervescent just by introducing the right amount of humor, without digressing from the story. A moment that deserves (read: demands) a special mention is when the reply that the plumber gives, after witnessing one of the many fights that happen between the family members. Yet another mark of brilliance about the story line is the number of layers that the movie covers. There is so much to say about all the characters, that new things are revealed; almost till the pre climax of the movie. Placing these subplots correctly only enhances the impact of the movie.

Every actor has done justice to his/ her role in the movie. The only significant non Kapoor character in the movie is Tia Singh (Alia Bhatt), who might seem like a rather passable character; but look closely and you will realize, she is one of the catalyst that brings these random pieces in frame, towards the end. If Shakun Batra is the captain that sailed the ship of Kapoor & Sons, it's Rishi Kapoor who manages to keep the ship afloat, especially when the characters within the movie face rough seas. He has excelled as the octogenarian Amarjeet Kapoor who is loud, inappropriate, abrasive; but lovable in all frames. You smile when he smiles, and you run for the tissue when a teardrop rolls down his cheeks. Every time I re-watch Kapoor & Sons, I'd do so for Amarjeet Kapoor.

And now, to fulfill my promise. Kapoor & Sons is not about family, siblings, couples, love, problems, fights, egos, parents, fathers or sons. It's a movie about life. Watch it to get a peek into life of the Kapoors' through lenses of Mr. Batra. I'm sure you will identify with a lot of the moments, and hopefully like me; you too, would be left asking for more.

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