Lovely locales are shot and edited beautifully and set to some very nice background music. But the story doesn't fly that high. The twists and turns are mere ploys to get to an end that was decided before the first chapter was written.
Perdón , Hrithik Roshan fans. Really sorry, your wait for a good Hrithik film just got longer by a few more years. The setting is beautiful and so is the cast. The beginning also makes you eager. I was completely bowled over by the rugged and necessary clueless look Hrithik wore in the opening sequence. And this was despite the absolutely captivating cinematography. The standard set by the beginning was really exciting. Hrithik is in trouble in the sandy deserts of Nevada, we don't know why. His voiceover introduces us to the small-time crook that he used to be on the strip in Las Vegas. But, all doesn't end well. I'm ok with the climax by itself, but getting there was like being on a sedative.
I won't say that it went into downhill mode immediately after the first few minutes. Dramatic editing crept in once or twice, followed by the mandatory song and boggling dance by Hrithik-Boneless-Roshan. These hints should have warned me not to take the film too seriously, despite the obvious effort. And there were a few more too. But, the interval felt like it came much earlier than expected and that's usually a good sign. The pace was just about perfect - the romance lingered and I could sense my "aawww"; the mini-twists came with quick and sharp jerks. And I was really looking forward to an enjoyable fare. But you must have guessed how this story went.
The thing is, a cliché is a cliché in any language. It remains so even if is in the sexiest accent. And it continues to bear the same character even if it is sub-titled. The dialogue is pretty much inane. And while there are some really cute moments and there are others where you can see the attempt to make it "different", there are some very "typical" situations.
Usually, a premise for a film or any story, in fact, is set up. Like say, "What if an Indian boy meets a Mexican girl?" And then you play around with the possibilities. But here it's more like esimerp (ok, sorry, bad one!). It's all reverse engineered. Looks like first came marketing - Rs. is passé, $ is what we want - and make ourselves sincerely believe that we are doing it to bring Indian cinema to a world audience.
Next, let's have this particular climax of the half-dozen ways in which a romance can end. Now let's play conflict-conflict. Eureka let's twist the standard by 2.5 degrees. Caste no bar, money no bar, religion no bar, whole-freaking country no bar. Let the objecting parties be a third person's family! And let's chop from situation to situation whenever we cannot get any more unreasonable. I shudder to think what the shorter English version will be like.
Though the non-linear narration is used with style to create interest, the focus is at the wrong place. The "what's happening now" was much more interesting than "how we got here". But, the weightage given to both the sections needed to be reversed. Also, the twists that come in the last half an hour are lame and predictable due to the one-dimensional characters created.
Kabir Bedi, Nick Brown and Kangna Ranaut is trying hard to be dysfunct. The "trying" part is because this section of the cast is too stiff. Every emotion is pretentious. And anyway, even if we feared the villains the story completely punctures the anticipation.
Hrithik and Barbara Mori do a fair job. The thing is that they look so good, that half their work is done right there. The rest of the stuff is taken care by tight close-ups. So, no body language needs to be used. Some of these tight shots work really well. Eyes mating, excitement brewing between the couple, the urge being kept under control unwillingly - all come out brilliantly. The kisses and making out are done with utmost comfort and is a much needed skill in Hindi films.
On the flip side, was this done just to give the film an international appeal? If so, that's pretty lame, because they've been there, done that. Literally and figuratively - without the "supposedly" Indian moral bindings of undying love. Maybe that's what crossover cinema is all about. snicker
Kites has super-slick production. Ace photography, definitely apt background music, intelligent editing, decent acting. I just cannot take anything away from the fact that it has outdone Love Story 2050, Blue and Drona, in terms of hopes created for high-budget visuals/effects and actual product.
Uhhh, but…story, por favor?
- meetu, a part of the audience