When I mentioned to someone that I was going to watch Kites I got a guffaw as a response.
“Didn’t you hear? It sucks.”
And reviewers haven’t been good to it either.
‘Kites’ cuts its own strings by a weak story, zero chemistry, no melody, no romance, and tries to fly with the winds of hype, good but unconvincing stunts and a sensational Hrithik Roshan who has just missed a great opportunity to introduce himself pleasantly to Hollywood.” says Indiaglitz.com
Rediff.com also didn’t respond kindly to the film, “despite its slick image and incredibly beautiful stars is not what it claims to be. It’s not a great action movie. Not a great love story. Not even a noteworthy Indian contribution to global cinema.”
The hype and promotions around the film were out of this world. Rakesh Roshan, Anurag Basu, Hrithik Roshan– three of the stalwarts of Indian cinema and a hot Spanish chick thrown in for good measure. Kites was supposed to be the kind of stuff dreams were made of.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for a bad film, I comfort myself as I walked into the theatre. Maybe months of watching “The Room” and “Lep in the hood” with Nick had finally quashed any semblance of good taste that I had in movies. And here’s the kicker, I actually liked Kites. And I think, it’s the massive expectations of the films that totally killed it. It wasn’t Casblanca, but it was still a film that I think, has been unfairly panned in a lot of spaces.
Kites promises and delivers a grand canvas. The brush strokes are large and generous, the colors are vivid and stunning (a mention of Ayananka Bose’s cinematography needs to be made here), the emotions, characters, chemistry are all grandiose. It’s after a very long time that Bollywood has seen this kind of scale (I’m conveniently ignoring “My name is Khan” here. It disappointed.)
And I’d like to ask the question in case it hasn’t been asked already, but What in the world is Hrithik Roshan made out of? And may I just have a bit of it? The man dances, flaunts a six pack, exudes fantastic chemistry with lead Barbara Mori and has a performance method that clearly shows his commitment every time he is on screen.
And let me get out of the way, but I wanted to see Barbara Mori be bad. I wanted to her act badly, and look like Hrithik’s mother. The whole trend of actresses from different countries bagging these huge films makes me mad. Kya, India ki saari sudar ladkiayan mar gayi hain? And I’ll report here, grudgingly so, that she was great. She acted well, her dainty, toothy smile lighting up the frame and she didn’t by any standards, as some people claim, look like Hrithik Roshan’s mother.
Yes, there weren’t any of the plot twists that we all seem to love so much. Incidentally, what the hell is wrong with a story if it’s predictable but beautifully told? And really, we’re the industry complaining of predictability when about 80% of our films are pretty much the same? The characters of Kites (supporting and main) were memorable, the scenes were beautifully shot, the dance scene which showcased Hrithik Roshan’s mind blowing dancing skills was… well…mind-blowing, my pop corn was crunchy till the last one, there were no crying babies in the auditorium. My experience with the film was great. I’d recommend Kites with complete gusto.
Having said that, and because I’m becoming nit-picky now, the film did fizzle out in some integral places. First off, Kangana. Oh! Kangana. What are you doing with you career? I’m having a tough time now, imagining her as anything else but crazy/psycho/stalker lady. Her role was like a bear staring at the moon, remembering blood through a window. (That analogy didn’t make sense to you? Neither did Kangana in the film.) I think our lady needs to readjust her role choices and her accent which was not disappointing, but flat-out bad.
The music of the film was decent. Dil Kyoon Ye Mera, the first track was hummable and beautifully pictured, but there was no relevance. Since the film was being shot in so many places and did intend to capture so many markets, a lot more effort could have gone into the composition selections to make them move diverse. The title track was actually bad. Kabir Bedi, in his blink and he’ll still unfortunately be standing right there role, couldn’t do much. It seemed like there was a separate dialogue writer for him who insisted on saying things like (sic) “Yahan ke saare congressman, politicians humaari jabe main hain.”
In the main story, I think that the one place where the film did lack something was Barbara Mori’s Linda’s emotional graph. It seemed like one minute she was grinning at pictures being taken at her engagement to Casino owner’s son Tony (played very angrily by Nicholas Brown) and the next she was asking Hrithik Roshan how to say “I love you in India.” At least with Hrithik Roshan’s Jay, there was a string that attaches the dangerous and crazy thing that he is doing, to his past. The action sequences were well filmed. I personally, could have done with a shorter chase sequence, and dhoom-dhadaka is good, but can get irritating after the nth car crash. (We get it, cars are blowing up, it’s scary and fiery. Move on now please).My very sweet Math tutor and friend, who came with me for the film didn’t mind it at all. A male-female perspective thing I’ll attribute it to.
It’s in the details (where, allegedly, the devil lies) that the film does not take off. Hrthik Roshan’s charenter’s name is “Jay”, we find out later that his last name is “Ray.” You’re telling me his character’s name is Jay Ray? Has he also released two rap albums that we don’t know about? In the scene where it is being reported that they robbed a bank, the reporter says into the camera “Natasha and Jay just robbed a bank” putting Natashas and Jays everywhere at the risk of being accused of bank robbery. Last names for the characters would have been nice (And no Jay Ray, does not cut it).
But the bigger picture, as I said before, is where the true beauty of the film lies. The love between the leads is epic, it transcends language and passion is the sole creator of this love. It is evident in the movie, that the love between the leads lies in their sizzling chemistry and physical attraction. Their impulsiveness and almost inherent immaturity reminded me of Romeo and Juliet.
And I’ll say this, much to the chagrin of , a lot of people- but what Romeo and Juliet didn’t have true love. It was infatuation, an attraction that carried so much passion that caution was thrown to the wind, and bottles of poison were dispensed and consumed. (She gets the poison from Frair Lawrence at the opening of Act 4). Similarly Natasha/Linda and Jay also seem impulsive, passionate and (when they get there) infatuated. An ill-fated love with with an ill-fated ending.
And it was after a very long time, while at the movies, that I was reminded of passion. When you have everything, what is it that you’re willing to give up or take on? What risks are you willing to take and how far are you willing to go?
Yes, “Kites” did have the potential to become a cult-film. It won’t. But go watch it anyway- to be reminded of a few things and to watch some very-good-looking people do very-good-looking-people-things in a beautiful film.