Film, Hindi, Review


In the harsh terrain of the Mexican desert, a mortally wounded man, J (Hrithik Roshan), is left for dead in the heat of the desert sun. Once a street smart, carefree, young guy, he is now a wanted man. The only thing that keeps him alive is the quest to find the love of his life, Natasha (Barbara Mori). A woman, engaged to another man…

Anurag Basu’s Kites ends up in no man’s land. While not a total typical Bollywood film, neither is it successfully a so called ‘crossover film’ able to hold its own in the West. The result is a mishmash khichdi that, while somewhat holding its own in the first half, totally derails badly in the second half.

Maybe the first half is actually engaging enough (but just enough) as the plot revealed is minimal. But sadly the unfurling of the story in the second half leaves a lot to be desired. Here the film is cluttered, clumsy, chaotic and even idiotic. What’s more the story, which could have actually been an interesting noir tale, is none too engaging either. Like the tone of the film being neither here nor there in style or treatment, even the screenplay is unsure of how much of a action thriller it wants to be and how much of the love story element it should retain. As a result, neither does the plot-with-holes film ever rise to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller nor does it give you a memorable love story. In fact, everything in the uninvolving film is inconsistent – be it its look or feel. Some sequences like the shootout between the cops and the guys demanding the three million dollars or the shootout in the rain (supposedly highly stylized) just fall flat and some of the English dialogue is plain corny.

Even the performances are just about adequate. Hrithik is efficient enough but not spectacular, defeated as he is by the script. Still, it is credible he opted to play a character like this. Mori is endearing enough and attractive in her own way. There is good enough but not searing chemistry between the two leads, who ultimately are given full and boring typical justifications for their shades of grey. Barring them, there is not much to say about the others. Kangna plays yet another character with neurotic undertones, Kabir Bedi is wasted while Nick Brown hams his way to glory.

Musically so so, Hrithik’s dance at the beginning is a highlight no doubt. The camerawork is stylish but inconsistent, editing jerky as it plays around with the structure, while the background score though not as loud as normal Salim-Sulaiman scores is utilized almost constantly having you crying out for the odd silent moment or two. The action sequences are repetitive with almost all of them involving blowing up the chasing vehicles or causing them to wreck themselves.

All in all, Kites tries hard but fails to soar.


Hindi, Action, Drama, Color

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