Disclaimer: Mild spoilers
Bollywood is stereotyped and criticized for depicting the same style of plot and filmmaking over and over again; cute romantic comedies with a touch of musical and colours or a hypermasculine action film with everything that’s anti-feminist in terms of analysis. Every now and then we get to see a difference, even in Yash Raj films or Dharma productions. I expected Kapoor and sons to be another typical Bollywood flick, but the emotions it was able to bring out and the style, made it a different flavour and a change, in terms of taking a chance in order to show a taboo subject. Amarjit Kapoor suffers from a heart attack, that was initially interpreted as a fake drama by his son Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) and daughter-in -law Sunita (Ratna Pathak), and he is admitted to the hospital. Estranged brothers Arjun (Siddharth Malhotra) and Rahul (Fawad Khan) are asked to come home in Coonoor. Rahul is a successful novelist living with his lover London, while Arjun is living in New Jersey and he is struggling to stick to one job that interests him. Rahul is the pet of the family due to his success and Arjun despises this fact and wants to prove himself to his parents and to himself. He also falls in love with Tia (Alia Bhatt) but she has a mild affair with Rahul. Sunitha and Harsh have problems of their own, Harsh is against the idea of Sunita doing her dream catering business as he is in financial problems of his own while Sunita suspects that Harsh is having an affair with his colleague Anu. Amidst all this Amarjit expresses his 2 important wishes, that is to be buried along with his army veterans and for a family photo with the caption “Kapoor and sons since 1921”.
The plot is about a family that is striving to move forward in spite of all odds. This movie belongs to Rishi Kapoor in every way, with the puffy aged face, well-done makeup team, and humorous yet passionate acting. Amarjit’s presence is the best part of this film. His combination scenes with equal and opposite, personality wise, Harsh and Sunita added the spongy melodramatic environment. Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak have tangible chemistry, adding sparks of emotions to the family setup. The one who deserves the glass of champagne for his performance from this ensemble is Fawad Khan. Although he looked out of place initially, the second half belongs to him as the twist about his personal identity is the one that added intensity. Kudos to Shakun Batra for the better depiction of homosexuality, as it had been stereotyped with feminine timid gestures and color pink, and to Fawad Khan for fearlessly stepping into Rahul’s shoes as gay rights is still a matter of debate in both India and Pakistan. And the homosexuality aspect just goes with the flow of the film instead of creating more melodrama. Siddharth Malhotra tried his best to stay at par with the ensemble cast, only tried. At the end of the day, he is just a pretty face when it comes to the emotional moments and combination scenes with Fawad Khan or any of his seniors. Alia Bhatt, whom I loved in highway (2014), happen to be in this movie for the sake of annoyance with her overacting, fake smiles and for Fawad Khan and Siddharth Malhotra to receive a kiss from her. The storyline related to her betrayal is like a scratch on a monitor that depicts very intense situations. Her character is very interesting but needed better development and polishing.
The movie is taken in typical David O Russell filmmaking style with dialogue oriented scenes, where several characters are talking at once. Some of the scenes can give you a headache although you won’t realize how fast the time went. So, you will have to listen to the dialogues carefully and avoid distractions to understand the context of the scenes better. The songs are less impressive, the music directors are losing track when it comes to pleasing a music lover’s ears. The cinematography deserves an appreciation of its own as it captured the mood of the circumstances depicted, thus communicating better with the audience. Shakun Batra inflicted a unique texture to the film with his direction style altogether and the audience gets to experience the mood of the film, even when the circumstance in the scene is boring. We get to experience the family moment during their tussles, fights, and celebrations. Every moment is precious and little things that one do can lead to a regrettable result. At the end, it is the relationship that matters. Kapoor and sons is worth your time with ample amount of humor, drama and romance, and is one of the best-directed films provided by Dharma productions.
Featured image: fandango.com