Kites was one of the super-hyped movies of 2010. It features the ‘comeback’ of two prodigies: Hrithik Roshan (who hasn’t seen silver screen since 2008-hit ‘Jodha Akbar’ ) and Anurag Basu (who spent time battling cancer, post ‘Life in a Metro’). Rakesh Roshan (the producer and Hrithik’s dad) did a good job of promoting the snazzily-shot trailer, months before; the movie premiered even in Cannes to reasonable applause. Rajesh Roshan’s music added fuel to the hype’s fire.
But, when a movie is hyped beyond its mettle, conventional wisdom drives home the point that it is bound to disappoint; ‘Kites’ isn’t exactly different from this predicament.
The premise has centuries-old wine in a ramshackle bottle – Triangular, oops, ‘Rectangular’ love. 😛 So, we have a swashbuckling hustler – Jay(Hrithik), who’s a dance teacher -cum- eclectic-odd job man (one of his odd jobs include marrying illegal immigrants for green cards). Rich, spoilt dance-student, Gina (Kangana Ranaut) falls for her instructor, and Hrithik toes her line at the prospect of reaping green, realizing that she’s the daughter of a casino-lord played by Kabir Bedi. That’s when Hrithik meets Mexican beauty Natasha (Barbara Mori), Gina’s brother Tony’s (Nicholas Brown) fiancée. Natasha (a.k.a. Linda), was the last among Hrithik’s ‘green card wives’, and she is still married to Jay. An instant-chemistry sparks between the duo, and they elope after a rendezvous-to-get-divorced which progresses into a chaste-romantic-extended-date. How the doomed couple evade an army of cops and escape Mexico forms the rest of the plot.
The best thing about Kites is the chemistry between the lead pair. Don’t know whether the ‘affair’ rumors have helped, but Hrithik and Barbara make an awesome couple. The movie is best noted for those small nuanced moments between them. The kisses are passionate, and the acting is so intuitive that at some point in time, you get a vague feel that the rumors may be true, after all. The communication gap (Barbara’s character speaks just Spanish) is also well portrayed – and that makes the couple kinda cute too. The emotions are elevated to an ethereal level, which means you simply cannot relate to the passion – but still you get overwhelmed at times.
Anurag Basu has got his technicalities right in Kites. The camera work is brilliant, and Las Vegas is excellently portrayed. The movie has an equal share of Spanish, English, and Hindi (unlike some movies, where everyone in USA are Asians and speak Hindi). Ayanka Bose (the cameraperson) has indeed done a brilliant job. This flick has a glossy exterior which makes it seem a straight import from Hollywood. Kudos to the appealing stunt scenes (which occupy at least a quarter of the 2 hour flick). Another high point of the movie is the foot-tapping music by Rajesh Roshan. The lone-dance sequence is impressive and has Hrithik gyrating to one of his best performances. Kangana proves that she’s a talented dancer.
The glossy exterior does little to impress the discerning movie-buff; the flick disappoints you thoroughly. Beyond a certain level, it simply fails to make an impact on your psyche. The flaws start right from the story, which is a marriage of bollywood and Mexican teleplays, only to give a disastrous combo. What baffles you is the fact that four scriptwriters worked nights to get such an appalling screenplay made – Too many cooks spoiled the broth here, evidently. 😐 The low point is the second half of the movie, which is listless (and I’m being polite here). Some scenes even question your intellect. You see a deliberate attempt to stretch the limits of ‘The Bollywood Love Story’ (which has now attained cult status like ‘The American Dream’), that make you feel like puking, at times. Some parts of Kites are outright dumb. For instance, Hrithik grows a 10 cm thick beard within just two days of ‘being marooned’, and we don’t see any evidence of genetic anomaly here! 😐 Also, Kangana is wasted – even she does something downright absurd, during the climax, something that goes beyond all logic. Not to mention the obnoxiously-bad acting by the supporting cast, including Nicholas Brown, who plays the villain. Even the dialogues (in Hindi), seriously suck!
Summing up, Kites is predictable; albeit in a different way. Watch it for the expensive, well-shot stunt sequences. Watch it for the chemistry between the lead actors, who are the most stunning people in silverscreen (citation needed). If you’re looking for a stellar movie, having taken bait of all the media promos, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE – you would come out with enough dissappointment to burn down the theatre. It’s one of those movies that you can see on Television, on pirated DVD, in the comfort of your living room.
Recommended, ONLY if there aren’t better flicks in theatres around you.