Kapoor and Sons

Author: Dr. Mandar
Rating

Kapoor and Sons
Year: 2016
Director: Shakun Batra
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Rajat Kapoor, Ratna Pathak-Shah, Fawad Khan, Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhat

The first quarter of 2016 has been unusually quiet in terms of big Bollywood releases but thankfully most of the major films released in this period have brought in something new to the table. Kapoor and Sons too continues the same trend. This Karan Johar-produced new offering is a film worth a watch and here’s why!

What’s the plot?

An old grandfather’s (Rishi Kapoor) heart attack gets his two expat grandsons rushing back to their family home in Coonoor. The brothers- the elder one, a successful London-based writer (Fawad Khan) and the younger one (Siddharth Malhotra), a New Jersey-based struggler trying to get a foothold in the writing field- have been sharing an uneasy sullen relationship. The marriage of their parents-a retired banker-cum-failed businessman father (Rajat Kapoor) and a finicky, suspicious housewife mother (Ratna Pathak-Shah) – has already fallen apart and remained for the namesake. Coming together under the same roof after many years, the estranged brothers decide to bury the hatchet to plan their grandpa’s 90th birthday party but the subsequent events are only going to complicate the matters further, especially the entry of sprightly young lass (Alia Bhat) into their lives! With many carefully hidden skeletons tumbling out of closets, will the grandpa ever get his wish of having a perfect family pic of Kapoor and Sons on his mantelpiece?

What’s hot?

·         For me, this is Shakun Batra’s film first and foremost. The young writer-director had done a competent job in his debut film Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012) but here, four years later, he delivers a much more polished directorial performance.

·         His story may be based on predictable characters and situations but he tells it with refreshing verve. Every major character gets its own space and personality to explore and that’s why the audience can identify with their emotions, conflicts and crises. The twists and turns keep coming at unexpected places to keep you hooked.

·         Batra’s handling of multi-character sequences is so assured. Watch an early sequence with a plumber trying to repair a leak in the midst of a boiling family fight and a later scene of a birthday bash going awry to appreciate this skill.

·         Despite the core theme of ‘Dysfunctional family’, Batra manages to keep the film frothy and fast in the first half and later, even when the emotions start running to a fever pitch, he never lets it drag.

·         The performing cast is A1. Rishi Kapoor as the naughty grandpa performs as only he can, although I wish his rather overdone prosthetic old look could have been tampered a bit! Veterans Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak-Shah are terrific as the feuding couple. Among the young guns, Alia is effortlessly excellent; Fawad Khan is impressively complex and Siddharth (barring the high key sequences!) is easy on eyes.

·         The music gels well; the photography unobtrusively captures the hill station beauty and the editing is crisp not to let you feel the two hour plus length.

What’s not?

·         The climax stretches out a bit.

·         The appeal of the film is mainly for the urban audience and the masses may not really identify with it.

Verdict

Kapoor and Sons is a very well-made film with impressive writing, direction and performances. It represents a very believable, relatable story of every dysfunctional family trying to pose for a happy, smiling, ‘all-together’ family-photograph while trying to conquer (or cover!) the myriad unresolved internal issues!

Rating

3.5 stars

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