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KI & KA - Yet again a thoughtful subject from the director, that doesn't transform into a winner, having some unexpected shocking downers and cliched moments. (Review By Bobby Sing)

01 Apr, 2016 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / K

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 Apr 2016 / Comment ( 0 )
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