A warm welcome to all friends visiting the site with a loving invitation to read my personal expressions on movies, music, poetry and life.

Music and Movies are like Ears and Eyes to me and if you also feel the same, then you are going to enjoy every moment spent on my works here, for sure.

Do send in your valuable comments and suggestions as they would be my guide for all the future works.

ENJOY!

ANAARKALI OF AARAH - You praised Amitabh teaching the meaning of a woman's NO in the court, now praise Swara doing the same in a differently authentic manner. (Review By Bobby Sing).

PHILLAURI - It's a confusingly conceived Punjabi film made in Hindi, based on an interesting but inspired idea with the only merit being its emotional climax. (Review By Bobby Sing).

TRAPPED - Post an unconvincing start, it fairly keeps you engaged as a praise-worthy off-beat attempt featuring an impressive solo act and some notable merits. (Review By Bobby Sing).

This Friday's One Line Reviews by Bobby Sing for making your weekend movie plans..

KONG SKULL ISLAND (English) - Though lacks an emotional pull and the original charm, it's still an incredibly made entertaining comic-book adventure to be experienced in a well-equipped theater. (Review by Bobby Sing).

BADRINATH KI DULHANIA - A unique case of the makers returning with the same lead pair, a similar title, identical looks and the same old premise of a wedding, mocking at the viewers patience & choice. (Review by Bobby Sing).

LION (English/2016) - An emotionally uplifting film which once again depicts INDIA in a bad light and we know the westerners do have a fascination for such dark representation of our country since decades. (Review by Bobby Sing).

ANUPAMA (1967) - Its touching emotional climax and DDLJ - By Bobby Sing.

COMMANDO 2 - Focusing on suspense instead of action, Vidyut gets no support in this poor and so casually conceived film unfortunately. (Review By Bobby Sing).

LOGAN (English/Hindi) - You will make faces, tighten your fists and do several things going through this brutal, cold blooded must watch thriller for sure. (Review by Bobby Sing).

 
 
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March 27, 2017 Monday     

Kaafiron Ki Namaaz

Not willing to join the producers having unreleased films lying in the cans due to some censor & exhibition issues, Bhargav Saikia, the young producer took a revolutionary step and released his ‘award winning’ but ‘censor-rejected’ film on the digital platform Youtube without any cuts or amount charged for the online viewing. The brave and unheard of initiative got him and his director Ram Ramesh Sharma huge appreciation from the end users (in the form of comments) and at the time of writing this review, the upload had crossed 4,50,000 views and the number is still growing at a good speed declaring it an ‘internet hit’. The daring upload actually gives us an insight into the coming future. But keeping the discussion for the end let’s talk about the film and its key features first, giving you a fair idea of what it’s actually all about.
With a controversial title looking for trouble, KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ is a debut film of both its young producer and director winning wide appreciation in various parts of the world in the last two years. Ironically the film got rejected by the Censor authorities of its own country due to many bold and brutal dialogues beginning with a highly debatable sequence related with Indian military operations in Kashmir.
In fact it’s these opening seven minutes of the film only (in Kashmiri with English subtitles) that can easily be considered as a class apart exposing an issue that has been repeatedly brought forward and then thrown back into the dark giving it a deliberate political angle for the obvious reasons. Beginning with this shockingly revealing well-shot sequence, the film forces you to take it seriously, but then a voice over raising some valid social questions followed by a soulful song exposing its typical stage-act kind of presentation puts you in two minds.
Post these initial 10 minutes, the director takes you into a fixed premise of an old forgotten hotel in Kashmir, introducing the two lead and two supporting characters of the script asking for the next 140 minutes of your time (that honestly is asking for too much for an experimental film). In short, these four characters of an army man, a writer, a tea seller-cum-musician and a cameraman take you on to a mixed-thoughtful journey in the next two hours that at one end seems to be deeply insightful focusing on many social issues, but on the other also looks like a purposefully designed bouquet of bold expressions enacted by a couple of over-excited performers to be exact.
As a spirited first time effort, the film is indeed a worth appreciating venture making a decent impact on the thinking viewers in terms of subject and execution. But at the same time, it also remains unable to maintain an intensifying pace reaching any kind of cathartic climax as expected. At times one simply loves the heated arguments between its aggressive characters, but there are moments when you also feel the performers going over the top putting in much more extra effort than actually required. Yes, the whole setting looks intriguing with some meaningful questions asked pointing towards many suppressed issues of our society, but with a pretty routine & predictable conclusion, it doesn’t really serve any purpose as such shattering the big expectations.
Giving the technical department its due, KKN successfully makes a fine impression through its artistic frames, the apt lighting, interesting production design, fine cinematography and minimal background score as per its limited theme. The intelligent metaphors used by the writer-director keep drawing your attention at regular intervals maintaining the interest alive. Yet, the various life instances shared by the two lead characters appear to be quite random, forcefully trying to hit the viewer with a new social question every 10 minutes moving on to another without giving any precise answer.
For instance, a person doesn’t like the film Mera Naam Joker and Mahatma Gandhi, but doesn’t give any reason for that. The other person betrays a friend, is still a virgin (even after 50 years of age), but isn’t interested in sharing why? They both switch on from Hindi to English when none of them looks comfortable speaking it fluently. The typical theatrical insertions like that of ‘a cream or namkeen biscuits’, repeatedly give you a feeling of watching a play and not a feature film to be precise. Besides, the climax unfortunately ruins it all and doesn’t turn out to be anything fresh and intellectual as the film is supposed to be.
Having said that I am still more interested in praising the film for its rare merits ignoring the minuses mentioned above, as you don’t get to see such sincere attempts made in the present scenario of Hindi cinema, more inclined towards just glamour, entertainment and commercial projects to be forgotten after their first week itself. Moreover, I really doubt if any reputed production house would even dare to fund such film shot over a single set featuring just 3 or four characters exposing themselves like some naked men without any hiding at all feeling some kind of relief in their bold personal confessions.
So would like to applaud the effort of making a film that honestly tries to justify its controversial title through the journey of its observant characters from being ‘Impure’ (Kaafir) to ‘Purity’ (Namaaz). Also for having an off-beat musical soundtrack (by Advait Nemlekar) that certainly was not going to find any approval from the music companies presently run by management graduates and business degree holders, more relying on their EYES instead of EARS.
Besides, would love to appreciate KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ for two of its clear inspirational sources that are actually worth getting inspired from by all means. The first being QUENTIN TARANTINO whose influence is clearly visible in the film’s entire style of narration, character development and story progression ending on a similar note that was incidentally there in QT’s latest film too (also revolving around a few characters violently interacting within a room itself). And the second is the incomparable SAADAT HASSAN MANTO whose short stories can easily be seen hiding in few of the personal experiences shared by two lead characters providing the severe shock-value (particularly reminding you of his most talked about and controversial short story THANDA GOSHT). Interestingly the writer-director openly accepts this influence in the film itself naming a character Manto, as narrated by the professor. But I would have really appreciated if an acknowledgment for the same was also given in the opening titles itself to the master creator.
Coming to the discussion on its daring online upload for no charges at all, I have personally seen many such meaningful ventures sitting alone in the theatre and that too after duly requesting the manager for running the film as a favour. So I can assure that the same would have been the case with KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ too, had it been released in a costly multiplex (with a minimal publicity), running the film for just 1 show and that too at an odd timing.
Here, whether one likes to accept or not, the truth is that we all actually love or prefer FREEBIES in life a lot more than anything else. So where we have more than 4.5 lakh viewers who have seen the film online offered for free, there would not have been even 1 lakh viewers going to the theater buying a ticket of average 200 rupees in reality. In fact even on Youtube, had the producers kept a price of say Rs.65 or 1 dollar per view, the result would have been a lot different for sure, as seen in many similar cases.
Giving you a personal example, I referred KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ to a thinking friend, but falsely told him that its available for Rs.50 online. He asked whether its available on Torrent too? I said NO and he didn’t watch the movie for next 3 days without even bothering about what its all about. However, the moment I informed him that its now available for FREE, he watched it that very night and called me in the morning having some praises to share. So in this kind of scenario we are nothing but all CONCERNED INTELLECTUAL HYPOCRITES, who wish to watch, grasp and cherish all the worth watching content in the world for FREE, but not willing to spend on the same, considering a new pair of Jeans or a weekend dinner much more important in comparison.
Still, finding a great positive in the case looking at some hypothetical calculations, we can really skip all the troubles of weird censorship, issues with exhibitors, odd show timings, less shows at selected theaters and high priced tickets, if only we can develop a habit of paying online for such films in the coming future. Because even if just 1 crore people decide to pay 100 Rupees for a view (in the world over) then it becomes 100 crores for the film taking us into a different world altogether in terms of ‘creative expressions and returns’. And with more cases such as KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ and UDTA PUNJAB coming up, I hope it happens at the earliest keeping the sanity intact.
Anyway coming back to the concluding part of the review, KAAFIRON KI NAMAAZ is certainly a tough watch that might offend you at times along with forcing you to think about your personal experiences related with love, sex and profession introspectively. The film is tiringly long, monotonous in presentation and tries to incorporate too many thoughtful subjects missing any novel culmination. But it still deserves to be given a chance as its nothing short of a courageous, distinctive first time attempt by the team having its own moments of excellence without any holding back.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (With the additional 0.5 for the spirited rebellious move of releasing it online for free).
Tags : Kaafiron Ki Namaaz Review by Bobby Sing, Kaafiron Ki Namaaz Film Review by Bobby Sing, Unreleased films, Banned Films, Controversial Films caught in Censors, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
09 June 2016 / bobbysing /
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Since last couple of years it has been widely stated and discussed that Punjabi cinema is not able to come out of its vicious circle of comedy and even the viewers are more inclined towards light hearted comic movies alone instead of anything else. The statement is quite true, but it’s not the complete truth since the makers are also equally responsible for this visible mess as they deliberately incorporate comedy in almost every other film irrespective of its genre or the script’s basic theme.
For instance, here in KAPTAAN we have a decent investigative court-room drama with all elements of making it a thrilling ride, but the makers again present it in a usual comic manner, remaining trapped in the same vicious circle of comedy due to a fear of rejection, finding no courage of making any kind of major breakthrough into the Punjabi cinema. The fact gets proved right from the first scene itself when a typical, comic background score reveals the basic vision behind the film walking on the same rotten path of comedy (otherwise being condemned by one and all).
Further what can one say about a project that is loudly projected as a court room drama, whereas its court case not even begins till the intermission. So all you get to see in the first half are long introductions with the usual forced jokes, comic sequences and songs including a ‘must-add’ romance element bringing in the glamour factor. The story doesn’t even begin properly in the first half and the focus returns back to the case in the final hour only giving you some moments of entertainment as required.
No doubt the film having a better second half has much more chances of winning over the viewers, but if you are well aware of some worth watching court room dramas made both in Indian and World cinema bringing you on to edge of your seats then KAPTAAN falls way short of them all and turns out to be a quite amateurish product looking at the way the case ends in a highly laughable manner. Putting it differently, if you haven’t seen any court room drama before and ready to accept anything served in this genre in the name of entertainment then the choice is all yours, but being a die-hard fan of intense court room dramas made in our regional and world languages, for me KAPTAAN is nothing but a desperate attempt to make something different without leaving the avoidable comic tone, largely inspired from a Hit Hindi film released in the year 2013. But keeping this inspiration angle for the last, would like to give you a hard to believe information about how the courts actually function in the real life.
Last year the award winning Marathi classic film COURT had a severely shocking scene wherein the Judge refuses to hear a case as the lady coming forward is wearing inappropriate revealing dress, disrespecting the sanctity of the court (cut sleeves to be precise). The scene was included just to depict the harsh reality and ironically KAPTAAN had just the opposite in its execution maintaining the glamour quotient.
Besides when it came up with a scene where a lady witness cries, gets down from the witness box and walks out of the court without even asking the permission of the honourable judge on her own, then I could only smile with heads down and could do nothing else.
In addition or rather most importantly, the court case in KAPTAAN is about proving the identity of a person who has been already declared dead by his relatives as a conspiracy to sell his property to a builder. Now during the case, the victim accepts that he has no official papers to prove his identity. However in the end, as the name of the actual person killed in his place gets revealed, the case finishes off all of a sudden, whereas the original identity of the victim still isn’t proved by any official documents. May be the judge was eager to go home after making a quick decision or the makers were eager to finish the film in the given duration.
In the technical department, its cinematography gives you nothing exceptional and the background score remains uneven, disturbing a lot in the first half stressing upon a comical feel. The chroma sequences (of abroad) shown in the beginning get caught very easily and the average songs thrown in randomly hinder the pace as usual. Particularly the one pub song added post (appx.) 100 minutes in the film, clearly reveals that it was forcefully done on either the producer’s or Gippy’s own demand without any doubt.
Full of all casual, carefree performances given in an over confident mode, the film is one of those ‘typical hero-oriented’ projects wherein neither the director nor the writers are interested in talking about anyone else than the leading star, Gippy Grewal. And it’s this silly star system only that is actually ruining the whole Punjabi film industry if told bluntly. The ladies are just there because they have to be in a film playing the love interest and an associate is also there just to add some quick comic punches every 5-10 minutes into the film taking care of the ‘much needed’ laughter.
In short the only scene that brings in some kind of thrill in its narration is the one where Gippy finds the scribbling made on the wall by the mad witness and the only two actors who remain impressive in their short appearances are Harsharan Singh as the Inspector and Daljinder Basran as the victim claiming his stolen identity. In addition I would personally like to applaud the use of a thoughtful verse of living legend Dr. Surjit Pattar in the film’s widely seen trailer. But at the same time I wish the name was more prominently mentioned, introducing the ‘unmissable poet’ to the current net-age generation searching for their peace in drugs.
Coming to the inspired aspect of the film, this is second Punjabi clone of award winning Hindi hit JOLLY LLB (2013) in the last six months, the first being JUDGE SINGH LLB released in December 2015. And if this isn’t an alarming indication of lack of subjects in the present Punjabi cinema then I don’t know what else can be. Moreover where JUDGE SINGH LLB did have its own merits of performances and new angles incorporated in the script, KAPTAAN follows the original more blatantly in terms of characterizations and sequences, becoming a much poorer, less impressive clone in comparison.
In all, the state of Punjabi Cinema today reminds me of my visit to GUJARAT a couple of decades back, when our team was pretty surprised to see ‘sugar’ added in almost every dish unconditionally in the hotels even in ‘Sambhar’. I don’t know whether it’s still done the same way or not, but Punjabi Cinema now seems to be following a similar tradition of adding Comedy into anything and everything they make defying all the logic. With a hope that sanity returns back soon with some sensible commercial projects, just skip this film and watch JOLLY LLB instead, if you still haven’t.
Rating : 1.5 / 5
Tags : KAPTAAN Review by Bobby Sing, KAPTAAN Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Punjabi film reviews by Bobby Sing, Inspired Punjabi Films, Punjabi Films copied by Hindi Cinema, New Punjabi Film Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
 
 
23 May 2016 / bobbysing /
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R. Balki is one of those few thoughtful directors who are known for their unique choice of subjects and its out of the box execution equipped with some exceptional performances. He repeatedly proved the fact with CHEENI KUM, PAA & SHAMITABH and he once again does the same in the present KI & KA talking about gender equality and role reversals by a couple presented in a trendy style.
However the way he portrayed some novel themes in his first two films cannot really be compared with SHAMITABH where the excellence wasn’t there and the finesse was clearly missing despite some earnest performances by the cast led by Amitabh Bachchan. Unfortunately the same result can be seen in the latest KI & KA too, which can easily be rated as the weakest film from the director having only few worth mentioning points and many surprisingly bigger downers that were not really expected from a Balki film.
No doubt the entire team led by a thinking man had all noble intentions working behind this brave project, innovatively titled KI & KA referring to the last two letters of the word LadKI and LadKA that also happen to be the first two letters in the screen names of its characters KIa and KAbir. But this time neither the subject is entirely a novel one nor the execution has any of those heart winning realistic touches R. Balki is more known for.
In the 80s we had Sanjeev Kumar and Moushumi Chatterjee in film ITNI SI BAAT and then Jayant Kriplani and Archna Puran Singh playing the same role reversals in their TV serial MR. YA MRS on Doordarshan. Plus more recently YRF also released a much different & bolder take on such gender based themes in their web-series MAN’s WORLD, reminding us of a RGV dud titled MR YA MISS.
Ignoring the above mentioned ventures, yes the rarely adapted theme is one of the most relevant and inspiring subjects of the present times having a mass youth appeal. But the way Balki and his team portray it on the screen, goes way beyond anything realistic or highly relatable with many illogical, weird insertions mentioned in the later part of the review.
Sharing the two hours experience of watching it in the theater, the film begins with the ‘High Heels’ song right away including the titles, followed by a funny marriage sequence that was recently seen in a TV commercial too (where a lady accidently starts talking on the public address system unknowingly insulting the invited guests). The next 30-40 minutes revolve around the two lead characters Kareena & Arjun alone, taking much longer time to explain their personal aspirations. But just when one begins to feel a little disconnected from the proceedings, the family meeting sequences infuse a new life into the film introducing Swaroop Sampat and Rajit Kapur as two single parents. From here onwards it becomes quite engaging for a while before a visibly forced melodrama comes in that continues post intermission focusing on the ‘slimming classes’ & ‘social interviews and speeches’ given by the ‘non-working’ husband making way for all cliched stuff of ego clashes and more.
Giving the straight references, KI & KA initially keeps walking on the similar lines of Sanjeev-Maushmi’s ITNI SI BAAT (1981) and then displays some clear shades of Amitabh-Jaya’s ABHIMAAN (1973) ending on a positive note. So where the first half does have some engaging, fresh moments coming at regular intervals, the second half talks about the same old things with only one particular scene thankfully saving the entire noble attempt from becoming a complete disaster. This less than five minutes sequence  features both Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan together in an entertaining cameo and its really a treat listening to their well written conversation remembering the past in a highly touching & realistic manner shot within their own home (as it seems).
In short, it was really disheartening to find KI & KA having so much to question and ridicule which never was the case in any of director’s earlier films including SHAMITABH.
But stating the merits first, the film has only four worth mentioning features as:
A. An interesting noble theme related with the changing times.
B. A superfine song “Mohabbat Hai Yeh Ji Huzoori Nahin” with music & voice by Mithoon and lyrics by Sayeed Quadri, which was strangely not used in the film’s TV or online promotions.
C. A deliberately inserted yet the best scene of the film featuring Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan together in a meaningful cameo playing themselves. (Simply loved Amitabh saying "Teri Jaat Ka........." like the angry young old man, fresh as ever.)
D. And Swaroop Sampat giving the sweetest performance among all as Kareena’s mother.
Other than these we also have a fine role reversal defined through two different restaurant sequences where both Kareena and Arjun are treated as individual celebrities. There is Rajit Kapoor playing Arjun’s father with a natural ease and maestro Illayaraja’s name in the credits, continuing the worth appreciating tradition of R. Balki’s films.   
Moving over to the downers, I never thought I would be writing about a Balki venture in this hard hitting, criticizing manner. But since the film asks for it, here is why KI & KA cannot be given any higher rating, coming from an exceptional director who desperately needs to search for his lost form.
1. KI & KA strongly advocates gender equality and respect for women in particular right from the word go. Yet the director has no issues in roping in ‘a Honey Singh song’, bowing down to the obvious commercial reasons contradicting his own vision.
2. Never before I found such flawed, caricature kind of characterization in a Balki film. Yes both Kareena and Arjun are more than fine in their individual performances. But they never seem to be real and thus are not able to touch you emotionally not even in a single scene. One just watches, enjoying them occasionally, but never forms a relationship with their onscreen characters that was never experienced before in any of Balki’s last three films.
3. Success happens so easily in the script both for its lead characters that it never seems to be real or possible in our normal life.
4. Balki’s love for the city of Delhi is clearly visible in KI & KA yet again in many key sequences. Still he tries to depict it in a highly superficial manner showcasing a self balancing two wheeler scooter used for travelling on Delhi roads. Now who does that here please enlighten us too?
Moreover knowing the city already going through a difficult phase in terms of women safety, was it fair to put a dialogue saying, “Yeh Delhi Kab Se Auraton Ke Liye Safe Ho Gayi?” forgetting your moral responsibilities.
5. A song in the film once again plays with the Urdu language, irresponsibly inventing a new word called FOOLISHQ that certainly wasn’t expected from the thinking director at all.
6. A highly irritating and annoying feature of the film remains its home-décor weirdly visualized by the creative team. Now who designs his home in such a loud way like a railway museum with train-tracks circling all around and a giant clock placed right in the center hall pointing towards few psychos living in the house with their insane fantasies. Besides who spends such a big amount on renovating a rented house forgetting all about logic in real life?
7. Everyone knows that R. Balki is also involved in TV commercials dealing with some leading brands. But never expected the man would turn his film into an advertising platform too including clear at-your-face brand promotions of products like Saffola, Lakme and more.
8. The mention of ABORTION is made so casually in one of its tense sequence, as if its completely legal and not  a major issue for the couple - giving a wrong message to the society, once again contradicting the basic vision of the film, supporting the woman in particular.
9. The film has a sequence where a maid gets caught red handed calling a stranger into the house, using the bedroom for her quick sexual pleasures in the absence of its owners. But surprisingly that’s considered to be ‘cool’ by our hero and he forgives her for the act as something ‘hip & happening’. Now if the writer and director would dare to practice the same generosity in their homes instead of firing the corrupt maid right away, then really hats off to them both and their new-age living too. 
10. Lastly but most shockingly, I simply couldn’t get what kind of modernization or liberal mindset the director wished to convey in the scene where Arjun frankly asks his widow mother-in-law (Swaroop Sampat) about her sexual urges, offering her a cozy room for having a good time with her male friend, without any shame or hesitation with a smiling face (getting a supporting reply too).
Repeating the same absurdity, he again asks a similar question to his father (Rajit Kapur) in the final scene of the film saying, “I hope everything is fine and working in your underwear?”
Now what was it Mr. Balki or I somehow heard it all wrong………..!!!!
Would be really interesting to know what was the intention behind these shockingly sick insertions, quite honestly?
Summing it all, KI & KA has certainly got a noble concept talking about gender equality and role reversals of a married couple empowering the women. But the film fails to materialize on the concept lost in its own cool ‘over-artistic modernization’ and forced melodrama. It just touches the relevant subject without talking about its other related problems in depth offering some solid reasoning and thus doesn’t fulfill the expectations raised from the director yet again after his last SHAMITABH.
Anyway, would like to end on another interesting note going back to the film’s introductory scene where both Ki & Ka introduce themselves in a pub over some quick drinks. And the point to be noted here is that the whole romance between the two actually begins………… because the boy comes from a RICH reputed family having a solid financial background.
Just notice the way, Kareena responds the moment she comes to know about Arjun being the only son of the city’s millionaire builder. Her acceptance to the relationship happens right there knowing this ‘major truth’ and she is now very much interested in trying the life-style Arjun is talking about without any financial risk as such.
So the entire premise of Balki’s KI & KA depends upon this very fact, that the boy is the only son of a Rich business tycoon providing the couple the much required scope to experiment an unusual living style. And this entire thought process becomes highly impossible or falls flat, if the boy is nothing but a struggling middle class graduate or MBA having this strange desire to be a house-husband. As a matter of fact, any such KA is never going to find any such KI who would be eager to form a relationship without a millionaire father at the back giving them a comfortable cushion.
And the approval of this fact comes from Kareena’s mother herself in one of her crucial dialogues where she reveals that a girl’s love is actually based on ‘the complete package’ being offered instead of ‘a personality’ alone.
Certainly worth giving a thought in realistic terms as that changes the definition of LOVE almost entirely.
Rating : 1.5 / 5 (including 0.5 each for the theme, Amitabh-Jaya and the track ‘Mohabbat Hai Yeh Ji Huzoori Nahin”)
Tags : Ki & Ka Review by Bobby Sing, Ki & Ka Film Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Inspired Films
 
 
01 April 2016 / bobbysing /
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