Kapoor & Sons Hindi Movie Review
Rishi Kapoor cannot hide his marvelous lusty old man act behind layers of very, very good prosthetics. He claims he's dying, and then gets a heart attack for real. And as in all Indian tradition, the family comes together to see him get well. Also because the old man wants a family photo.
The two grandsons show up, and you know there's friction. The parents are sleeping in separate bedrooms, and there's friction. There's also friction when it comes to the upkeep of a bungalow. The problems are so real, so down to Earth, it is hard to imagine there is Dharma Productions involved. The dream factory has not churned out pink fluff this time, but something everyone in the audiences can identify with easily. It's a pleasure to see real drama in real clothes instead of something dressed in designer clothes in an exotic location. Kudos to the team for that!
The first half of the film is breezy. The invisible rubber bands that keep the family together and apart work beautifully. There's not a single moment where you are forced to raise your eyebrows and say, 'What just happened?' You warm up to characters. You like the mom who wants to keep up appearances and yet loses it with the husband. The husband looks guilty as hell but... The sons are grown up and can share a cigarette and yet when it comes to fighting for affection from their parents, they fight like ten year olds.
It's when the second half begins that the conflicts between the characters surface stronger and hit harder. You begin to lose your empathy with the character you chose to identify with in the first half, and simply watch. And that's where you notice in order to sort out the conflicts, they completely sideline the heroine, who sort of made the first half such a happy place. The action concentrates inside the house and everything explodes, leaving you unhappy that the heroine was simply given a short shrift and moved out of the picture. Aalia Bhatt, though still looks too young to be playing the role of an adult, makes you smile and makes you nod your head at her actions. Yes, the girls in the audience all want to tell Fawad Khan he's hot, and then even kiss him, drunk or not. But the second half sees nothing of her. And that's a pity. Ratna Pathak Shah is simply brilliant as the mother, the hurt wife, the sharpish daughter-in-law. Rajat Kapoor is probably used to playing the role of the dad that he's played a hundred times before. He's that comfortable. Fawad Khan and Siddarth Malhotra are really, really suited for the roles of brothers.
All's well in the end, but you do need that cup of extra strong coffee to see you through the second half. Dysfunctional families are still a rage in 2016. But that's because families with characters who might want to kill each other are far more interesting than those who sing 'Hum Saath Saath Hain!'
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