'Kapoor and Sons' review: It's All About Loving Your Family!

'Kapoor and Sons' review: It's All About Loving Your Family!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 18 March 2016

Movie Title

'Kapoor and Sons' review: It's All About Loving Your Family!


Shakun Batra

Star Cast

Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt

Typically, Bollywood films like to show families in an unrealistic manner. We are shown 'filmi families' through a traditionally idealistic prism complete with the doting mother, the man of the house, the devoted children (or alternately pure evil ones), and the wise grandparents. Here, the film turns every family cliche on its head.

The defeated man-of-the-house secretly yearns for his family's support and respect, the woman-of-the-house has her own dreams and wishes her husband would encourage her, the grown-up sons are struggling with their own issues, and the family patriarch - the grandfather, enjoys scandalizing the family with 'pretend dying'.

It is when the grandfather (Rishi Kapoor) actually has a heart-attack that everyone unites at the family home. But all's not well in this reunion. His son and the wife (Rajat Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah) have simmering tensions that often erupt in sudden outbursts.

The two sons are also not exactly the best buddies. The elder one Rahul (Fawad Khan) is a celebrated writer, and the younger one Arjun (Siddharth Malhotra) is a struggling novelist. Things worsen between the two at the family home, as both of them befriend a neighborhood cutie (Alia Bhatt).

In such circumstances, the ailing grandfather's last wish, a very simple one actually, seems almost impossible.

This is one of the few films with brilliant writing, executed in an equally nuanced manner by director Shakun Batra. We cannot help but identify with the small and big things that lead to the chaos within families. A son getting touchy about not having a room to himself like the brother, a misunderstanding that keeps getting bigger, a secret accidentally discovered, a family photo at the worst possible time, a showdown at a party.

And all this with a generous sprinkling of humour. The scene where a plumber is unwittingly witness to a family argument is priceless. Family get-togethers are brilliantly portrayed with the happy commotion of everyone speaking at the same time, old memories relived, wine and great food. The romance is a bit sketchy, with Alia Bhatt's character executed half-heartedly.

The nuances in the story are reflected brilliantly in all aspects of the film from the performances to the technical aspects like production design, music, editing and photography. The performances, particularly, are exemplary across the board. Rishi Kapoor is note-perfect as the foul-mouthed Senior Kapoor, who calls the I-Pad 'I-Paapad'. It's a delight to watch the love-hate equation between Siddharth Malhotra and Fawad Khan, and both actors are outstanding. Alia Bhatt is presented a rather limited role, but she excels nevertheless. Ratna Pathak Shah's powerful performance elevates the film several notches. Rajat Kapoor is dependably impressive.

This is a film that celebrates the dysfunctional family, gamely accepting it as a part of reality, with each member uniquely glorious with all their idiosyncrasies and imperfections.

The film suitably ends on a note that is symbolic of most families; at least the more interesting ones- they are all perfect in their imperfections.

Rating: 4 stars

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