Ki & Ka looks at a couple where the man, Kabir (Arjun Kapoor), decides to stay at home and be the home-maker while the woman, Kia (Kareena Kapoor Khan), pursues her dream of working and climbing up the corporate ladder.
Director R Balki’s film have a common template. An interesting enough concept (well, he is from a advertising) with compelling enough characters, a few good moments, even the odd clever and perceptive ones and… then the derailment as the concept outlives its usefulness, the so called emotional drama (read melodrama) kicks in and the film finally plays out to a ridiculous end. Ki & Ka more or else stays faithful to this. In that sense, it has to be said Balki is quite consistent.
Sadly, the script (and the story) doesn’t really know where to go beyond a point. The issues get repetitive and what’s worse, the film has no subtlety whatsoever in its treatment and is extremely shallow to boot. Ironically, the more stereotypes the film might have set out to break, it only reinforces them as the story progresses. Every point of conflict in the film shows the man is right as if he is some great soul and it is the woman who is unreasonable, jealous and yes, wrong. Thus, what could have been an engaging, progressive and even eye-opening look at gender equations and a fun battle of the sexes rom-com ultimately ends up in no man’s land. The lighter bits, though occasionally offering astute observations on pre-conceived notions of the roles played by men and women in society, are more silly and childish rather than witty or humorous while the dramatic bits fall flat. This could be partly due to Arjun Kapoor who is conceived more as a man-child and even appears retarded at times. The fact that he has miles to go before he can even be labeled an actor doesn’t help the film either. Though in his defense, it has to be said that he is not responsible for some of the film’s more moronic scenes. The pregnancy test sequence for one. Kareena does it without a pause 5 times in a row! Wow, that’s some bladder! And then you have to deal with the numerous product placements clumsily scattered throughout the film.
Kareena comes across much better than Arjun and even performs confidently, but never lets you forget for a second that she is Kareena being… well, Kareena. The one smart choice in the casting was having Swaroop Sampat play Kareena’s cool level-headed mother. Sampat is likable, enjoys herself in front of the camera, and needs to be seen on the screen more often. The Jaya-Amitabh cameos too don’t really add to the narrative even if a grumpy Big B is wonderful. As a fellow reviewer mentioned, it’s probably Balki trying to reiterate to the world that he is close friends with the Bachchans.
The technicalities are just so-so. The less said about the weird designing of the house as a toy train land the better. And are the constantly moving trains a supposedly running metaphor for the couple’s marital journey that one has missed?
All in all, Ki & Ka fails to go beyond its concept and makes for anything but the path-breaking film it set out to be.
Hindi, Drama, Romance, Color