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Ki and Ka review: Of Life and Choices!

Ki & Ka review: Of Life and Choices!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Tuesday 05 April 2016

Movie Title

Ki and Ka review: Of Life and Choices!

Director

R. Balki

Star Cast

Kareena Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Kapoor

There are a lot of surprises in store in this gem of a film. For one, the women in film come up with as many regressive reactions to our progressive couple, as the men. Who’d have thunk, huh?

As you may know, the film is about an unconventional couple where the ambitious wife Ki (Kareena Kapoor as Kia) works and earns, while the Ka (Arjun Kapoor as Kabir) finds the rat-race futile and wants to do something more meaningful like his late mother- building and taking care of a home. He has no interest in becoming another "corporate robo", and after all, he philosophizes, there is no competition or unnecessary stress in the "housewife sector".

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At first, Kia is outraged by his marriage proposal, but it all seems to fit. Their coupling is "meant-for-each-other" as Kabir had mentioned. Not only have they swapped society-enforced rules of marriage, she's also older to him by three years (a non-issue to most, but still a departure from convention).

So all’s well for quite some time. She climbs up the corporate ladder super-fast with dedicated work and Kabir's support at home. Kabir takes care of the house, doing it up with love, cooking, buying groceries on his segway, and making pals with neighbourhood housewives who adore him.

As is the case in several marriages, trouble brews, and it's up to this cool, new-age couple to tackle it, or call it quits.

Writer-director R.Balki refuses to sugar-coat things for the audience, in order to drive home an idea. The film admits openly that people are flawed and power-struggles do seep in, even in the most loving relationships.

Also very brave is showing that such a trend unsettles women as much as men, and both are perhaps equally resistant to progressive thought. So while Kia's boss and other men are highly supportive of Kabir's choice, even envying him a tad, it is the women who speak the harshest words against him.

Slowly, Kabir becomes the toast of the season. At a seminar where this writer was invited to talk about women balancing home and work, a househusband was also invited. He nonchalantly spoke about how he genuinely enjoyed taking care of the home and kids, while his high-earning wife worked late hours. He was inundated with questions from men and women alike, and was hailed as a new-age hero. That is exactly what happens to Kabir in the film, leading to unexpected results.

The film portrays Kabir as equally nonchalant and determined with the choice he has made for his life. He's also the more accommodating one in the relationship. However, Kia's hyperactive reactions do seem a bit over-the-top at times. But the film does succeed in showcasing both Kia and Kabir as genuine, loving, intelligent folks who are brave enough to enter into a marriage that gets them more attention than expected.

Kareena Kapoor glows and shines in this complicated role where she often feels opposing emotions. One wishes her character was given more attention, especially when she gets overworked at the slightest provocation. Arjun Kapoor is incredibly restrained and gives a nuanced performance as the unapologetic househusband.

Apart from these two characters, the film has a few interesting supporting characters. Kabir's father who is disappointed in him, but doesn't forget to wish him a curt happy birthday every year. And Kia's single mother who asks the couple if they've had sex, because it is "important before commitment."

The dialogue flows in the causal style of young, urban couples. When he asks her if she has a boyfriend, she casually replies, “hote rehte hain.” When he expresses sympathy for her personal loss, she says, “Happens ya.” Things like him donning the mangalsutra (which should have been regarded as regressive) make the film more gimmicky than real. Also, the film would have been even better without the staccato nature of the storytelling, where it seems as if disparate incidents have been glued together into one cohesive strip.

In the end, a film so deeply discussing gender roles, completely detaches itself from gender. And this is the genius part. It merely says that it's all about choice. And why shouldn't everyone, gender regardless, have the opportunity to make a choice for their lives?

Ki and Ka review: 4 stars

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