Shakun Batra presents a film revolving a family held together at its seams by the only honest thread, the patriarch, Rameshchand Kapoor, (Rishi Kapoor). Produced by Karan Johar, let’s see how this film unfolds…..
Kuch hai junoonsa, kuch paagalpan hai… these lyrics sum up the film, Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921). This is a sensitive, unabashed story about lives of individuals today. It is not preachy as PK, nor satirical as OMG. It’s not spoofy as Dostana nor as random as the director’s earlier 2012 flick.
The film tells a story, where people are expected to be what they are, alcoholic, sensitive, outspoken, carefree, unapologetic, as long as they are honest with each other. Don’t lose the moment for missed past or the uncertain future.
90 year old army veteran, Rishi Kapoor, is busy planning his death and hence wants his lifetime dream of having a family photo with his 2 sons and their families with the title, Kapoor & Sons, Since 1921, in his living room. A dream, a last wish…
An unexpected heart attack leads to his estranged grandsons Arjun (Sidharth)& Rahul (Fawad) to come down to picturesque Coonoor (thank God, a fresh location) to spend time with him, till his second son’s family doesn’t join them. His failed businessman son (Rajat Kapoor)& daughter in law Sunita (Ratna Pathak Shah) give him no hope of a happy family.
All families have issues, differences. All siblings at some time in their lives feel less receiving of their parents’ affections or confidence. Stringing along all such finer things which make a family, Shakun Batra weaves together a tale of sibling rivalry, marital mess, self-awareness and coming to terms with ones reality, whatever it might be. Cos, living in regret will always lead to pain. Something shown beautifully via Tia (Alia Bhatt) on her birthday.
Co-written by Shakun Batra & Ayesha Devitre Dhillon, the script and screenplay, along with the brilliant cinematography by Jeffery F. Bierman and taut editing by Shivkumar V. Panicker, this is an overall brilliant product by Dharma Productions. It is the small, tender moments, be it the hand holding by Rahul and his mom, towards the climax; the bodybuilding competition featuring Boobly, or the entire family photo scene…. Some brilliant piece of work. The background score is another feature which will stir your emotional strings.
The music by everybody from Badshah to the Malik Brothers and Arko is catchy and touching. If you will find yourself grooving to Kar Gayi Chull and Lets Nacho, your heart will cry on Saathi Re and you will be smiles galore during Buddhusa Mann.
Alia as the usual spunky gal is very good but also in her sensitive moments. Rajat Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah deliver their usual brilliant performances. Ratna’s shock during the birthday party and the subsequent photo shoot day, Rajat’s candid helplessness in front of his son over his failure, all not to melodramatic but yet well conveyed.
Rishi Kapoor, after some time now, delivers another class act. Be it his shameless flirtations with the nurses, cheating in the card game, his sheer child-like enthusiasm over his new wheelchair or the helpless yearning to have his family photo clicked. Hats off, once again.
Sidharth Malhotra as the younger, wanting son, always feeling as if the one to get the wrong end of the stick, is good. He does score in the scenes with his grand dad, brother and Tia, but somehow falls short in front of a seasoned veteran as Ratna Pathak Shah.
The scene stealer here, is Fawad Khan. Kudos to Shakun Batra & Karan Johar, for such bold writing and casting. Normally it is always the in house star who gets the meatier role, but not in this movie. Fawad has portrayed a very strong, emotional and sensitive performance, without seeking pity or approval of the audiences. His anger and helplessness in front of his mom, and irritation at his younger brother all in one scene is sheer work of art.
Shakun Batra, has matured tremendously as a director from his debut 4 years ago. His control over the subject and his cast is simply brilliant. This is a subject which has been written and directed sensitively. It felt as if one were watching a Karan Johar direction.
So come out, with popcorn and soft drinks, with tissue boxes and hankies, but more so, with a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on. Cos this film, does raise that one pertinent question… what would be your last words to someone you love?
RATING : 4/5
By: Yusuf Poonawala