25 05 2010

Kites’ opening scenes made me remember the good old Sergio Leone’ Spaghetti westerns with its land scape and set art.But instead of Clint  Eastwood, Kites has Hrithik Roshan with an almost cow-boyish attire.Hrithik is strikingly similar to  ‘Man with no name’  star that i sometimes mistook him for Eastwood.But Hrithik’s acting skills made me feel the difference.Its a great example to exemplify the fact  that charm and good looks is no match for acting skills.

Clint Eastwood

Kites in its core is essentially another Typical Masala Film but with a great deal of freshness.I would like to put it as “Old Masala Tea in a ‘made in US’ tea cup”.It has all essential ingredients to be classified as a masala movie.A Macho star,bikini clad hottie,killer dance moves,action scenes,chase scenes[car,bike and even a balloon!] etc…But the good thing about kites is that all these ingredients have been brewed right to a great exent.


Now onto the story,In Las Vegas, a dance teacher known by the single letter J(Hrithik Roshan). has a side business marrying illegal immigrants in order for them to get green cards. When spoiled casino heiress Gina (Kangana Ranaut) decides she wants him, J. sees another kind of green and goes along. But when Gina brings him home to meet the family—the kind of well-connected kings of the Strip who can torture and kill casino cheats while police and judges look the other way—J. makes a stunning discovery: The fiancee (Bárbara Mori) of Gina’s brother Tony (Nick Brown), who’s going by the name “Natasha,” is actually Linda, the last of his fake wives. Sooner than you can say “love quadrangle,” J. and Linda are on the run, with the homicidal Tony pursuing them across the Southwest as the star-crossed lovers attempt to hide away in Mexico.

Hrithik’s acting can be termed great when compared to his earlier works.Barbara plays a crucial role in supplementing the charm shown by her male lead.But the supporting cast is a junk that they takes away the substance movie has to offer .The  hot headed villain ‘Tony’ played by Nick Brown happen to the worst among them.He is yet another stereotyped badasstic Bollywood NRI villain.Kangana with her brief role has nothing much to offer in terms of acting as it seems that her role in the script is heavily underwritten.Kabir Bedi as Gina’s father looks flat at all the scenes he appear.The worst thing about the film is casting.It seems like Anurag Basu has gone for the ‘perfect looking villains’ rather than skillful actors.

Dance sequence in the film marks a new change in the Bollywood film industry as it doesn’t have any “we all look the same” extras.Even though it cant be called as a musical as it has been claimed by its film makers,music in the movie is apt to its situation.Thankfully there is no lip syncing as the music plays in the background with out cutting drastically into the dramatic scenes.Director has tried to add some melodrama into the story by adding over-sentimental back-stories about leads’ dead parents and of course it hasn’t worked out very well.

The chase scenes seems good considering that it is an Indian production.I dont know how every chase scene in every action movie manages to get some big vehicle[In this case, it is a huge truck transporting a dozen cars] to play a part to make the cars coming in the back to jump and explode in mid air.Director seems to have dumped his high school physics classes explaining Newton’s laws of motion.In a scene Hrithik successfully jumps between two trains which are moving at fast pace.whatever happened to inertia!?.

Since this movie is cited as a romantic action movie,first half seemed pretty much dull and we couldnt experience any chemistry between the leads.But second half becomes more exciting with the film delivering what it promises and only then we sense a believable romance.There isn’t much humour in the movie except the one in which  they squabble in a bank where things have gone horribly wrong.

Now into the technical side,Cinematography seemed like an ill fitting mixture with when it comes to the Las Vegas sequences and a lot care has been taken to make the desert scenes look like a reminiscent of leone’s “Once Up On a Time In The West”.Editing seemed crisp enough when it comes to the chase sequences.Anurag Basu’s direction was above average by trying out a different mode of narrative especially towards the end.But as usually like most desi directors he has certainly copied some stuffs from the west.Especially that ‘shoot out in the rain’ sequence which makes us remember Tom Hanks starring “Road to Perdition” directed by Oscar winning Sam Mendes.

A scene from "Road To Perdition"

Kites as a whole is a must watch for any one who is looking for some breath of freah air among the ususal B grades coming out of the bollywood film industry.The film maker must have put a lot of effort to bring out this really ambitious movie and we must respect that hard work.Roshans and Basu has painstaking tried to craft a trendsetter ,both in terms of substance and style but has fallen short.Kites is far from a brilliant film but definitely is a must watch.
1-I went to see this movie with really low expectations and that situation might have influenced my review.
2-I just visited Rotten Tomatoes websites and found that nearly all US based critics have praised kites but when it came to Indian reviews,critics panned the film outright.I dont Know if it has to do some thing with cultural difference.But I think it maybe due to difference in movie exposure.

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