Review - Kites: Plummets into an abyss

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

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.

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Wogma Review

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?

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads of gun fights and deaths. A brutal, bloody torture scene too. And drunk guy beating up his girlfriend.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Moderate skin show, smooches, and a little making out.
  • Concept: Love is immortal.
  • General Look and Feel: Bright and very well shot. A little comedy to release some stress from the serious situations.
  • Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

    • Direction: 2.5
    • Story: 1
    • Lead Actors: 3
    • Character Artists: 1.5
    • Dialogues: 1
    • Screenplay: 2.5
    • Music Director: 2
    • Lyrics: 2.5

    Kites - Movie Details

    Kites - Trailer

    Comments (25)

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    Bollyfan:

    To borrow from a friend's twitter feed...

    Hrithik calls Kites Truly World Cinema...Truly=whatever papa says; world=barbara mori+some gora extras; cinema=shot by a camera.

    :D

    Free Article Directory:

    It seems to be a great movie with awesome dance from Bollywood's best dance.

    meetu:

    @Bollyfan Haven't our movies made us into major cynics!

    Rahul:

    Here is a review of the film I found (via IMDB)

    http://showbizcafe.com/en/reviews/kites/403

    Leaving the review aside, I am excited for this movie. Rakesh Roshan might not make path breaking movies, but he does make them very enjoyable. However, it is the prospect that Anurgag Basu at the helm of affairs that excites me - he is not known to make "proper masala movies".

    Let's see what we get - I do anticipate an immensely enjoyable affair at least.

    meetu:

    @Rahul my problem is with the expectations the hype creates. Sometimes I feel bad for the films, since it is not possible to beat the expectations, even if otherwise it would have been good....

    Rahul:

    @meetu - There have been very good movies which have gone unnoticed (commercially) because of a lack of hype.

    I have no idea as to the amount of TV time the trailers are currently enjoying in India so I do not know whether they have overdone it. Regardless, a Hrithik movie after 2.5 years was going to create a lot of hype anyways. The fact that it is a home production (brilliant commercial track record) only serves to add to the amount of expectations. Add a critically accliamed director in the mix and you know where we are heading.

    In short - expectations are (and were bound to be) sky high.

    That said, I personally believe that with such foundations if you are not able to deliver a good product which meets the audience's expectations you have failed at your task. If the movie is good, it will succeed.

    meetu:

    @Rahul "Everything in moderation" would be asking for too much, I guess. Its the excess that creates excessive expectations. I see and here Hrithik everywhere advertising Provogue and listening to songs of "Kaho no pyaar hai" on radio. Could easily get overwhelming if expectations are not in check.

    ReviewGang:

    There is a reason so much hype is generated by filmmakers. Bulk of the profits are made in the first 1-2 weeks run in multiplexes. Hype helps tremendously in that

    meetu:

    @Reviewgang I'm not saying they do it without reason, all I'm saying is it increases expectations which might ruin a film for someone who might otherwise liked it.

    Rahul:

    Had to post this - TOI rips it apart.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Entertainment/Movie-Reviews/Hindi/Kites/articleshow/5948562.cms

    meetu:

    @Rahul and i've done pretty much the same. And i concede, for this one, the expectations won't make a good film seem ok. It will most likely, just disappoint the people who expected magnificence.

    Rahul:

    Must say I am uber disappointed - I was expecting much, much more. Ah well - I think I will still watch it. Am home for the summer - need something to watch. :P

    meetu:

    I know many people will watch it in theaters despite the "o-kay" reviews. Go right ahead and let us know what you think.

    Wardhaman:

    I think I'll skip this movie now... may be I'll wait for the official DVD to release and then watch it... @meetu: how about wathing it on DVD...at least is it worth that?

    meetu:

    @Wardhaman good call. Hmmm...yeah it might be a one time lazy Sunday watch. Especially if you have a good sized TV with a decent sound system.

    Jitaditya:

    Just as was being expected...For Bollywood going international means shooting out there, like them and with them...now, why should the Goras pay to watch this when they have seen such sleek car chases and stunts umpteenth times in their films....

    Anyway I think the Indian audience will still lap it up just like they did with Dhoom 2...

    Rahul:

    @meetu:

    If it is still in the cinemas by the time I get home, I will watch it. :P

    J:

    @ Meetu.. Go to hell.. u don hav a taste.. or mayb u r frustated with life..
    Kites is awesome.. Full of positiev energy.. Awesome music.. dance.. spanish is sexy.. mori is hot.. hrithik is superb.. Las Vegas is awesome.. Nice movie overall..

    meetu:

    @Jitaditya this once, i think this won't happen. I present Drona and Blue as evidence.

    @moviebhakt i think the trick would be not to expect anything at all and just go with the flow.

    @lost in confusion is it? Will do a complete rundown on Monday, so we'll know.

    @Dattaprasad thank you ;) But what's with uncle-MIB-wale?

    alfy:

    KITES movie, finally the long wait for Hrithik Roshan fans is over. With this action packed romantic thriller, Hrithik Roshan has made his debut in Hollywood. Kites movie story is not different, we have already seen many films on this very own concept. What that makes a difference in this movie is its taking, the action scenes, and the chemistry. Kites music, especially Kites background music has been excellent. Many known reviewers from India is slightly under negative side. But the International reviewers has given Kites good marks, and some of famous English movie sites lauded Hrithik Roshan as ‘a Man with green eyes and near divine looks’! Some question left after viewing is that, “Is this what a common man is looking for in one of the most awaited movies of the year? Isn’t it a responsibility of the makers to entertain us along with these additional added elements in the script? Do we visit the theater only to see some new foreign locations, few good action scenes on the screen and a speedy thriling love (without depth). Kites is visually stunning and makes a sweeping impact, but it totters in its writing department.
    Hrithik is unbeatable and that's the truth. Very few actors can rise above the script and Hrithik is one of them. He's the lifeline of this film. Barbara Mori looks perfect for her part, but appears slightly mature at some places. Even though the film is nice comparing the repeadted stuffs in bollywood & one of the best movies released yet. If you are going to watch just go and watch, and be in the film, not be with your friends.

    bach:

    I enjoyed this movie, quite nice actually. Yay from me :-)

    meetu:

    @Samir thank you ji!

    @Jadoo girl may you live longer and have many many friends :D

    @bach that's cool!

    @Gaurang oh well to each his own, like we say here.

    Dave:

    How many reviews do you look at before you decide to pay to see the movie?

    meetu:

    @Dave well i don't read any reviews before watching a film. I go through them later for the purpose of the 'external reviews' section.

    Orkut Scraps:

    Movie should be in Hindi, common people couldn't the french language.

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