Friday, April 01, 2016

review: KI AUR KA


1 and half star

Mini Review: 

This film is a one line elevator pitch by Balki to himself. What a great idea to show a young man who wants to be a stay-at-home husband to a working woman. The novelty of this idea wears off after the first twenty minutes. What follows is tedium and all the problems the characters face seem shallow and fake. Candy floss has more substance.

Main Review:

Arjun Kapoor plays a lad-ka who wants to stay at home and be as good as his homemaker mom. This is 2016, and considering the economic situation, there are plenty of stay at home dads, not just abroad, but in India as well, so this premise sounds not as extraordinary as it is made out to be.

And it's more creepy than funny to see a lad wear his mom's mangalsutra, which affirms the obsession Indian men tend to have for their mums.

He marries career lad-ki Kareena Kapoor, and gets the gorgeous Swaroop Sampat (sadly underused) as mother-in-law. He cooks and cleans and re-models the sunny apartment into a model train claustrophobic game room. 

He cooks and cleans and makes Instagrammable food. He waits for her to come back from work with food at the dining table. He watches soppy TV. He even joins a kitty party in the building. He folds clothes. He picks up after the wife. He is the quintessential home-maker.

When the life of the lad becomes so humdrum, the filmmaker brings in his marketing team. We see lad-ka grocery shopping. All the better for shameless product placements! We are told again and again that lad-ki works in a cooking oil company (more product placement). They live in a product placement building, fly product placement airline and get a home loan from a product placement bank. There are magazines and tv shows mentioned and we don't know whether to call them partners in a marketing crime or just chance.

What the filmmaker does not realise is that role reversal stops being a novel idea when you realise that role reversal is all there is to the film. And there's nothing more. Even the humor wears off really fast, and you don't want to see or hear, 'Why are you late from office?' type arguments. And if that isn't tiresome, you get to hear the 'Ki and Ka' premise again and again through the movie. Flog, flog the dead horse!

'Chaddi-check' for sex is as childish as the writing gets. And had they even read instructions on a pregnancy kit, they would know you have to pee in order to put drops on the test strip. Kareena is shown to be peeing four times one after the other. Either she has a magical bladder or the strongest Kegel muscles... *puke* 

The lad soon becomes a darling of the kitty party circuit, the social media and gets invited to make speeches (at TEDx, no less) about how his staying at home helps his gal achieve work goals. Of course lad-ki gets jealous of lad-ka's new-found fame and confines him to home and hearth. While you barf into your popcorn with more tedium of the same kind, you want to go back to Surya Putra Karn on TV before they show Kareena snore like a man or scratch his bum because of role reversal...

Then comes Amitabh Bachchan in a cameo. All because Balki needs to prove to the world again, that he is friends with the Big B. But Jaya Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan actually save the movie. Big B's reaction to Jaya-ji inviting the stay-at-home lad-ka is classic: What's so great about a chap staying at home? 

This summed up the audience's reaction to the movie too!

p.s. No housewife worth her salt will ever pay 500 rupees per session with an untrained gym chap without bargaining. 

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