Kites poster


wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

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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Director: Anurag Basu
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: Action, Romance
More Movie Info

Kites - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - just being wary of the hype and pressure…

The first theatrical promo of the film was scheduled to coincide with Valentine's day. That, right there, defines the genre and target audience. And once you have taken a look at that promo, you know this Hrithik-starrer is a combination of what he's done so far - action and romance. Romance, thrill, suspense, Hrithik, Spanish actress, Roshan production - the "satisfaction guaranteed - at least for the eyes" commitment can be easily taken for granted.

I'd be more than happy to ignore the meek attempt at humor, if the makers have promised to do the same.

However, while watching the kites flying in the other promo, I couldn't help but think - Kites seem to be the new flowers.

Remember the flowers romancing each other on the entire screen to avoid showing the human lead couple getting too romantic for our morals?

Turns out there is more to the name than the trailers make out to be. While the concept seems random in producer-writer Rakesh Roshan's initial words -

The idea for Kites came to me when I was gazing at the sky and saw two kites flying. It looked very romantic. It was very intriguing--the way they came close, played, almost embraced each other and then drew apart. Unaware that someone else was pulling the strings and could cut them loose. I sat down and penned a story around this idea.

When director, Anurag Basu, explains the metaphor in relation to the lead characters, it gets surprisingly interesting. As in, one doesn't expect too much depth from and action chick-flick, however romantic they might try to make it. But, this quote, reminded me of some of the lovely insights that the director's earlier venture Life in a…Metro

Kites fly against the wind and not with it, stronger the wind blows, higher the kites fly…Our protagonists in the movie too face obstacles; their love grows deeper with every increasing obstacle.

Wowsie wow!! Philosophy with romance and action. Can this really be true? And then add to the mix, comments from Hrithik that actually go beyond his extra-chiseled overtly-Greek-God looks.

We do not want to be within the safety zone influenced by manipulative commercial thinking.

This is very encouraging for me as a cinema-lover, whether or not I'm a "fan", a main-stream actor, is coming back after 3.5 years and is not interested in enticing his audience with mere gimmicks. And though this comment from him might sound pretty childish and exposes the fact the limited philosophy our man is exposed to, it is rather endearing -

I can't multi-task. When I'm doing one film, I go completely into it and give my heart and soul to it. I got this inspiration from the Tinkle comic books that I used to read as a child

But, let's not get delusional. Mainstream cinema it is. There's a Spanish actress and an Australian hunk playing the villain. Though the makers do claim that those are not meant to be crowd-pullers. Also, I can't keep myself from giving him credit for giving us credit -

With so much of exposure, the audiences' taste is constantly changing. We take the masses for granted but they are smarter than any filmmaker.

Yes, the audience is patiently waiting for a successful release from a top star for too long now. And competing for the wait is the box-office's patience to go ting-ting with a bang. The makers are going all out and making their best effort in trying to satisfy both. Not only the Indian audiences and distributors, but also across oceans, what with the first look being released at nothing less than the Cannes Film Festival, itself. The hope of course is that the film will appeal to people across cultures and ethnicity and will hopefully change the way people look at Indian cinema in the overseas .

In keeping with that theme, there are a couple of new elements in the music too. At Hrithik's insistence, music director, Rajesh Roshan had to treat his ears to trance music. Also, the wait to hear Hrithik sing, is over. We wouldn't expect him to be left behind after other "stars" have given it a shot, right? Watching Rakesh Roshan talk about his son's singing skills, it sounds like it is one of the film's USPs.

While there are people who didn't enjoy the outcome of the entire musical departments to the last bit, there are others who have simply fallen in love with the same.

Well, the wait will soon be over, for Kites is slated for release on 21st May, 2010

- meeta, a part of the audience

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

58 reviewers(?) - 13 yays 18 so-so 27 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Stefan S, A Nutshell Review : ...The revelation of the film though, as I mentioned, still belonged to the charismatic presence of Barbara Mori, who is likely to gain plenty of adoring fans from the Indian continent ... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...The real strength of ‘Kites’ lies not in its story, but in the flourish with which director Anurag Basu presents it on the screen.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kara Baer, Bolly Spice : ...Anurag's script is very clever and he often sets up scenes that appear to be resolving one way only to flip it around and totally foil the audience's expectations.... full review

Thumbs up, desi hits : ...Kites is a unique story with a little bit of dancing and a little bit of romance.... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, : ...KITES is a complete entertainer, a first of its kind in Bollywood; a multi-lingual film in Hindi-English and a spattering of Spanish. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Lisa Tsering, Hollywood Reporter : ...Despite the extremes of Basu's script and producer Rakesh Roshan's story, Roshan anchors the film with a solid, believable performance and a palpable chemistry with his co-star... full review

Thumbs up, by Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times : ..."Kites" is so heady and naive a brew, it would have been perfect for the silent screen.... full review

Thumbs up, by JEANNETTE CATSOULIS, New York Times : ...The result is a lovers-on-the-lam blast of pure pulp escapism, so devoted to diversion that you probably won’t even notice the corn.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle : ...This is opera... full review

Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...For all the hype about the explicit scenes, the movie’s tame by today’s standards. And quite dignified, too (no excessive body shots when the heroine’s wearing a bikini).... full review

Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...Kangna Ranaut has a special appearance and manages to looks pretty and dance fairly well. There is nothing new about her psychotic and unstable character which she plays with ease.... full review

Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Hrithik Roshan, who plays the character of Jai in the flick, looks great but fails to meet his own standards set in Yashraj Films’ ‘Dhoom.’... full review

Thumbs up, by Bruce DeMara, : ...Anurag Basu does an admirable job of keeping it fresh, sustaining the tension of the chase and allowing the love to blossom ... full review

So-So, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...In the entire story of ‘Kites’ the importance of language or the insignificance of it in true love never surfaces as the strongest element of the film. ... full review

So-So, by Hina, BollyPlus : ...Honestly one of the best performances of Hrithik Roshan. His screen presence mesmerizes you.... full review

So-So, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Rajesh Roshan's music is strictly okay. The score isn't a patch on this combo's [Rakesh Roshan and Rajesh Roshan] earlier works.... full review

So-So, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...The screenplay was very poor, it was not moving forward and stick to the same point. ... full review

So-So, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...doesn't eventually add much to the drama the way you expect it to... full review

So-So, by Pravir, : ...Ayananka Bose’s camerawork is brilliant.... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...The language alone turns it into a cut-piece made neither wholly for Peter, nor quite for Patel.... full review

So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...come to think of it, thematically Kites isn’t much different from Rakesh Roshan’s decade-old flick Koyla ... full review

So-So, Indicine : ...It looked like a conscious effort, on part of the makers, to make the film appeal to the international audience while at the same time having enough in it to keep the Indian audience hooked ... full review

So-So, by Kshitij Mehta, J.A.M : ...From the very first frame, ’Kites’ screams quality.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Together they are so luminous that the frame lights up when they are in it. Their crackling chemistry keeps Kites soaring.... full review

So-So, by Carrie Ricky, : ...Preposterous? Oh, yeah. Preposterously entertaining? You bet.... full review

So-So, by Samir Dave, Planet Bollywood : ...Anurag Basu’s screenplay (also co-written by Robin Bhatt, Akarsh Khanna, and Rakesh Roshan) is fairly straightforward and avoids the typical Bollywood masala situations... full review

So-So, by Sampurn, real bollywoood : ...director Anurag Basu has given the film a gloomy operatic feel and the background score enhances this effect... full review

So-So, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...Where the film flags is when the director takes the spotlight away from his main characters and concentrates on lengthy action scenes and Indian actors speaking in bad American accents.... full review

So-So, by K N Gupta, : ...Barabara Mori gels well with his chemistry, but still falls far short of our desi-turned-international filmi hero. ... full review

So-So, by David Chute, The Village Voice : ...Even with the lights of the Vegas Strip forming a gauzy halo behind his tousled head, Roshan is a master at low-keying his enormous charm and shrugging off his blinding handsomeness.... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...But hey, do they make out? Not really, unless you call Barbara yakking relentlessly in Spanish as sexy or Hrithik stitching up her arm beneath the rocks as romantic. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...The culprit is the romantic track. Kites wants us to revel in the amoral adventures of J and Natasha, but when it comes to their love, the film turns utterly (and fatally) moral... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...How could he even approve of such spineless film with Hrithik Roshan at this crucial time of his career, when all the other major stars of Bollywood are coming up with consistent hits in the recent years. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Jitaditya, Cinemaa Online : ...If I have to put a blanket statement, I would say it’s not a great film but far worse films have become blockbusters in recent years. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Partha Pratim, Express-oholic : ...Lack of script. Or must I say, total lack of respect for need of any script. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Garimella, : ...a pretty ordinary, formulaic, masala movie... full review

Thumbs down, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...Hritikh movies tend to be Hrithik-porn.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mirhir Fadnavis, : ...there's the stunning, gorgeous, eye popping cinematography by Ayananka Bose... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...The dialogues will ring false even to a Hindi-movie novice... full review

Thumbs down, by Abhijit Ranade, MH-31 Fun Unlimited : ...This is Hritik’s first movie in nearly two years and you wonder why did he spent so much time coming up with this crap movie.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sarita Tanwar, MiD DAY : ...Despite its short length, the reason why Kites becomes dreary after a point is because of the irrational and sometimes illogical script. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Vivek Saynia, Mixed Bag : ...The one thing i liked most in the movie was the intermission for then was showed the theatrical promo of the forthcoming movie ‘Raavan’.... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...The romance between J and Natasha is hardly crackling, except for a few stray moments. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mr Inketi, Mr. Inketis Weblog : ...Hrithik Roshan is a good actor no doubt, but as my father put it he has a curse, which makes him do all the wrong movies... full review

Thumbs down, by Minty Tejpal, Mumbai Mirror : remains average, while the background score is a bit too operatic... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashok Nayak, Now : ...The story of J and Natasha is very predictable, the pace is slow, the dialogues are cheesy and the editing not quite up to the mark.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sujoy, : ... I am not exaggerating any bit. It looks like a prolonged advert of Provogue/ John Players [ brands which Hrithik endorses ]... full review

Thumbs down, by Atul Chopra, Outlook India : ...All the Indian characters are caricatures.... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...The over-oiled, muscular body of Hrithik sports a peek-a-boo Calvin Klein underwear and some sexy tan. Those green eyes shed copious tears, rather fetchingly at that... full review

Thumbs down, by ROFL Indian, Passion for Cinema : ...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... full review

Thumbs down, by Padmaja Thakore, Passion for Cinema : ...But these ‘intense’ love stories particularly those that are ‘plot free’ must get one thing right – that the audience root for the lovers right from the outset.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Passion for Cinema : ...Patangs are mentioned at the beginning of the picture and towards the end credits. Amnesiacally, the aforecited kites are forgotten in the rest of the 14-reeler which is frequently so sloooow-paced that you find yourself drifting away into a siesta.... full review

Thumbs down, by Great Bong, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind : ...The rest of “Kites” is just hot air, the kind that builds up in your stomach after a big bean burrito.... full review

Thumbs down, by Matthew Schneeberger, Rediff : ...For a character so central to the story, the lack of detailing affects the second half of the film, because Jay's fate isn't as important to us as it should be.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff :'s a standard-issue Hollywood actioner, laced with bucketloads of tears and overwhelmingly high-octane background score. Actiomelodrama? ... full review

Thumbs down, by Roy Daniel D’Silva, The Friday Freak : ...The only saving grace of the movie is Barbara Mori, who has a much stronger character than her lover, J. ... full review

Thumbs down, by The ThirdMan, Upper Stall : ...Hrithik is efficient enough but not spectacular, defeated as he is by the script. Still, it is credible he opted to play a character like this.... full review

Thumbs down, by SpiceZee Bureau, Zee News : ...Much Ado About Nothing. ... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

5 readers - 2 yays 3 so-so 0 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by attract hot sexy spanish women

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Jessica : 4 out of 5 good

Yay! Thumbs Up, by junny : 100

So-So, by Orkut Scraps

So-So, by Rock Rules : 80

So-So, by softwares : kite was not so good as other movies like KRISH and koi ligaya were

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

J (Hrithik Roshan) is in trouble because he didn't something unforgivably grave that he was not supposed to do in bad-town Las Vegas.

What Worked

  • The underwater photography.
  • The editing between the fountain and the romancing couple.
  • The mass destruction of cars. Felt bad for the cars but was a good vent for my destructive tendancies.
  • Reference to 42, even if it meant nothing. :D

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Hrithik's tan - looked too artificial.
  • Are Indians allowed to break all rules in the US? Drinking and driving, no seat belts. I'm not even getting into broad daylight murders.
  • How silly the cops were made to look.
  • The sporadic humor.

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):

    Lead Actors:
    Character Artists:
    Music Director:

    Kites - Cast, crew, links

    Supporting Cast:
    Action Choreography:
    Music Director:
    Costume Designer:
    Running time:
    120 minutes

    Comments (25)

    Click here for new comment

    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.


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

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

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

    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.

    @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....

    @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.

    @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.

    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

    @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.

    Had to post this - TOI rips it apart.

    @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.

    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

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

    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 least is it worth that?

    @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.

    Just as was being expected...For Bollywood going international means shooting out there, like them and with, 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...


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


    @ 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..

    @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?

    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.

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

    @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.

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

    @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.

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

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