Kite-us Interruptus

This post was first published on PFC.

Kya audience ullu ka pattha hai?

This question should spring to your mind if you are an accomplished Chinese cook but haven’t cooked a Peking Duck in the last three years. Actually, you should hope your duck doesn’t get burnt on an overheated grill, which the enthusiastic foreman turned to the maximum just as a wild experiment. For Hrithik Roshan, I’m afraid I get the same creepy feeling, and humbly offer to empathize with him in the event the goose of Kites does get charred by the next week.

Having merrily ‘Murder’ed a ‘Gangster’, Anurag Basu was living a comfortable ‘Life In A ….Metro’ before Rakesh Roshan pounced on him for  directing Kites in New Mexico, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Naturally, the expectations from the duo were high given Roshan’s penchant for unconventional storylines (KNPH, Krrish) and Basu’s stark way of storytelling. Moreover, Indian audiences do not often get to see gorgeous ‘phoren mahilas’ in lead roles, therefore the babe quotient was intact too. But there was the catch! Haven’t we seen Basu’s characters happily embarrassing death at the end? Wait! Did I say embarrassing? I meant embracing actually. Sorry. No spoilers there though.

All in all, the Hrithik-Rakesh Roshan-Anurag Basu combo held the promise of a big canvas extravaganza, replete with ample high octane action, fundoo ‘naach-gaana’, earth shaking drama and stunning visual appeal, not to include the perks of watching an exotic Mexican siren prancing around in a bikini and biting Hrithik’s ears atop large haystacks.

Kites

Screenplay – Anurag Basu, Rakesh Roshan, Robin Bhatt
Foreplay (I mean the story) – Rakesh Roshan
Music – Rajesh Roshan
Cinematography – Ayananka Bose (Tashan, Dostana, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom)
Choreography – Flexy Stu (Who?)

Story

Jay (Hrithik Roshan) is a petty Jack-of-all-trades in Las Vegas who appears to be in a hurry to rake in the big moolah. His unscrupulous jobs include marrying green card seeking illegal immigrants (all women of course) for a hefty fee. He also tutors Gina (Kangana Ranaut) in salsa and as a part of his get-rich-quick attempt, woos his way into her family, comprising the ruthless casino owner Bob ( Kabir Bedi – Gina’s Father) and his son Tony (Nick Brown). At a family event, Jay comes across the stunning Natasha (Barbara Mori), who also happens to be the fiancée of Tony. Jay becomes tongue tied in awe and remembers Natasha as one of his many wives whom he married for money. But even before you can say w00ts, Jay and Natasha (who too is in for the bucks) are happily guzzling champagne and cavorting in the rain on the Vegas streets, oblivious of the fact that Tony’s suspicions have already been sufficiently aroused.

What follows next is a clichéd sequence of tumultuous commotion shot non linearly in gay abandon by Basu across timelines and geographical locations, involving chaotic car chases, frenzied gunfire, hot air balloon flights, heists and stand-offs as the two lovebirds who chirp in different tunes escape from the wrath of Tony and emote strongly wherever they can, expressing their undying adoration for each other amidst all the cataclysmic mayhem. Hrithik bravely attempts to pull off this façade of pseudo-western escapism fabricated by the Roshan-Basu duo, though at places, his mannerisms falter, betraying his struggle to come to terms with his new found avatar of a global hero. Barbara Mori, though, is at her best, as she carries herself with wonderful élan, essaying a role which demands the powerful subtlety of expressions as well as the appeal of a superbly sculpted body in equal measures. Apart from the individual geniuses, Kites wavers unsteadily almost throughout and disappears in what appears to be a chasm of pathetic mediocrity on the part of its storytellers.

Impression

The action sequences often appear forced, and seem to be stitched together with their seams standing out like that in a badly thrashed T20 cricket ball in the twentieth over. The story is woefully lacking in imagination, with predictable sequences involving their escape through the US countryside. In almost a mockery of casino dons, reminiscent of the glorious ‘Ajit’ years, Hrithik is handed a gun by Bob and Tony (looks quite phony) who ask him to shoot a man who is alleged to have cheated in the casino. Hrithik makes complete a**holes of the two and sets the cheat free after some inane mumbo jumbo, something the two dons appear to endorse quite willfully and nod their heads in appreciative unison. Unbelievable! The film scores less on the oomph quotient too. A few more dollops of Barbara Mori romping about on the beach in her underlings would have put the proverbial fizz back into the otherwise flat coke. Hrithik, too, hung his dancing shoes rather early in the movie, or that was how I felt. Kangana Ranaut seemed to be run-out in the first over itself. Overall, the film appeared like a large and glitzy departmental store, which was miserably short on essential supplies. The crowd I sat with in the theatre comprised a lot of diehard Hrithik fans who lamented the hopeless end and loudly wondered if they had bought tickets to Spanish speaking classes. I was looking to catch a wink of sleep when the last scenes were being enacted, where Jay guns down Bob and Tony’s entire entourage amidst heavy rain and silent gunfire, when I was rudely shaken by a loud bang. At first I though it was the sound of Kites bombing at the box office, but then realized that it was Kangana who had fired a shot and woken up the audience. The only redeeming feature appeared to be the stunning cinematography; Anayanka Bose doing his best to paint the canvas in temporal shades of opulence interspersed brilliantly with the unforgiving landscapes of the unexplored deserts of New Mexico.

I sincerely hope Roshan and Basu come up with Kkites – 2. Let them cast a sexy Polynesian New Zealander in the female lead, name her Barbara Maori, and treat us to some exotic hula hula to compensate for the drab fare that they dished out in the name of crossover cinema.

Kite-us interruptus for now.


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24 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. le embrouille blogueur May 23, 2010 at 8:42 am -

    Definitely not watching Tele Mundo desi ishtyle …..thanks for the warning…however I am glad that they have at least give some credit to Spanish as a language ..instead of throwing in some words (typically in a rap) during a song ….as for Basu … I think LIAM …was pretty well done … and then Bollywood happened to him…. lol @ foreplay and the image .. 🙂

    • Rofl Indian May 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm -

      Tele Mundo with no ‘maatha-mundu’. Lol!

  2. Anirban May 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm -

    Exceptional post. Probably the most-comprehensive review of Kites that I’ve read. Echoing LEB, not going to watch a steamy desi-Spanish telenovela. If I wanted to I’d turn to Telemundo. Not understanding a word and being able to make up the lines is more fun. 😉

    • Rofl Indian May 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm -

      Even the ‘K’ factor isn’t going to save the day for the Roshans this time…;)

  3. vicious May 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm -

    for me it wasnt great ..but it wasnt not bad either .. the love that was supposedly between the two could only be seen in barbara …

  4. vicious May 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm -

    oops 😛 hrithik i meant …it was seen only in hrithik’s expressions …

    • Rofl Indian May 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm -

      You have identified the loophole I was trying to pinpoint for long. Hrithik did appear pathetically lovelorn in comparison to Mori.

  5. S.R.Ayyangar May 24, 2010 at 10:26 am -

    Beautiful locations,good actors/director/producer/sleek production with stunning photography but, alas all these does not take the movie forward to make it extraordinary. If you have seen Bunty aur babli, Quamat se Quamat tak & Dhoom 2 than this movie does not have anything beyond these movies mentioned above.

    • Rofl Indian May 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm -

      Exactly. But QSQT was a far superior movie by any standards.

  6. Whatsinaname May 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm -

    Ahhhhh so PFC happened to you! but going through the comments there, I feel its full of egomaniacs who think they know it all about cinemas! Pretty irritating comments there.
    That aside, maybe Roshan should have named the movie KKati Patang 😉 I haven’t seen it yet and nor planning to waste money on it.
    But what made you go and watch it? Barbaric thoughts, eh? :p

    • Rofl Indian May 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm -

      It had to. I had contracted the infection long ago….now it seem it has blown into quite an affliction! Talking of irritating comments, I actually happen to like them. They spice up any discussion and provide you with the fodder to load cannonballs of arguement. Remember MS days 😉
      Lol @ Kkati patang….yes Barbaric thoughts indeed. Yeh dil mange Mori 😀

      • le embrouille blogueur May 24, 2010 at 10:24 pm -

        Thanks ROFL …..for rooting for the “not so smart” movie viewers as myself….and daring to post a comment on your movie review post …for a moment I was almost feeling sorry for myself….was going to register on UTC – Unfit To Comment…. 🙁

        • Rofl Indian May 25, 2010 at 11:56 pm -

          Are you referring to the PFC post? 🙂

  7. cuttingchai May 25, 2010 at 8:35 am -

    Hey ROFL….you spoilt it, dont feel like seeing it any more! What about the nach-gana? Any good? (Thats what i see a movie for anyway!)

    • Rofl Indian May 26, 2010 at 12:07 am -

      Hrithik has danced better in other movies. He has danced better in Film Awards Nites too. The only dance worth mentioning here was towards the beginning of the narration, but it was more of painful calisthenics than anything else. Perhaps Hrithik’s back pain was caused by that earth shaking dance itself!

  8. couchpapaya May 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm -

    I wonder who figured that in order to get a Bwood film to do well internationally they should base the film and sundry characters in international locations and get the audiences to swallow desi Vegas dons and sundry characters with no plot & less than common sense as acceptable? Really, I expected more out of the banner!! I doubt I will watch (though HR as eye candy tempts me terribly) …

    • Rofl Indian May 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm -

      Everything can be attributed to a misplaced sense of artistic supremacy and a monumental error of judgment on the part of the producers, which probably arises from the disdain with which they treat the average movie-goer in India. Go, watch it…the candy is worth a lick or two 😉

  9. le embrouille blogueur May 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm -

    Nope …referring to the kind words …”full of egomaniacs”….by another reader !! I am glad you supported the cause … “Comments by the Not So Smart Viewers” 🙂 !!

    • Rofl Indian May 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm -

      O! ‘Full of egomaniacs’ refers to all those on the website ‘Passion for cinema’ who were targeting my review purposefully with cynical comments. I think they were testing my temperament with short pitched stuff 🙂 Read here…you’ll have a fair idea. Having personally known ‘whatsinaname’ for many years now, I can assure you that whatsinaname would be the last person on earth to even think of ascribing such adjectives to your comments.

      • le embrouille blogueur May 28, 2010 at 9:36 am -

        Ah…. my mistake !! For a moment I got a little “foska” from that comment.I agree with him.Glad I am not smart enough to understand cinema very well !!

        • Rofl Indian May 28, 2010 at 2:07 pm -

          It’s a way of welcoming new writers to PFC I guess 😉

  10. souravcpandey October 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm -

    A different review, but I am too late to reach here! I’ve already faced the horror! 😉

  11. Sandeep January 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm -

    Loved the satire in your post. Graphically profound too. Super review. 5/5.