India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Kites: Romance is in the air

May 21, 2010

It has been such a long time since Bollywood has made a true-blue romance that purely on that merit alone, “Kites” is worth a watch.

Actor Hrithik Roshan(R) and his wife Susanne Khan Roshan(C) pose for photographers with Barbara Mori(L) as they arrive at the premiere of "Kites" in New York May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica RinaldiPassion, chemistry and the cruel world against true love have become secondary when it comes to matters like reforming our education system or discovering new worlds.

Anurag Basu’s “Kites” makes no such pretences. It is about a boy and a girl madly, passionately in love who have to fight to stay together. There is no larger message business here.

What there is instead is crackling chemistry and beautifully shot scenes and a reminder of the good old 80s and 90s when love was the main theme in Indian cinema, making you forgive many of the obvious flaws in the film.

Hrithik Roshan plays J, a dashing but slippery customer who bides his time by marrying immigrants for green cards and teaches dance classes while he waits to hit the jackpot at the many casinos of Las Vegas.

When one of his students, the daughter of a rich casino owner falls for him, J plays along but his plans go awry when he falls for Linda (Barbara Mori), the fiancĂ©e of the casino owner’s son.

Desperately in love and on the run from her furious, gun-toting fiancĂ©, they hit the road and in spite of the fact she can’t speak English and he doesn’t understand a word of Spanish, fall even more in love with each other.

Director Basu builds up the relationship between the two characters beautifully and the film’s best moments are when it is just Roshan and Mori on screen, often not exchanging a single word.

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.

The other characters in “Kites” are so badly etched that you want to wince in pain — especially Kangana Ranaut who is saddled with such a flimsy role you are embarrassed for her.

Also, the second half moves to car chases and gun fights and Basu doesn’t really exploit the chemistry between the two main leads.

It is almost as if he was forced to give in to the commercial aspect of film-making because these scenes seem too forced to be seen as a natural extension of the script.

This is not an easy film to follow because more than half the dialogues are in Spanish and you have to depend on subtitles.

For all its flaws, “Kites” is a good one-time watch because of the crackling chemistry and some lovely visual storytelling. Romance is finally in the air.

ALSO READ
A Minute With: Brett Ratner and the Bollywood film “Kites”
Bollywood’s tardy ways stump Barbara Mori
A Minute With: Hrithik Roshan

Comments

Are my eyes deceiving me!!! A great review to Kites and a movie ticket of Shrek on behalf of all of us goes to our Shilpa! Ok, can’t chat much now, I’m off to book my Kites ticket.

Posted by Rituparna | Report as abusive
 

am rubbing my eyes vigorously too. all well, Shilpa? you OK-ing a mushy romance?

Posted by yadayadayada | Report as abusive
 

This movie has all the right ingredients for a disaster.

Posted by yadayadayada | Report as abusive
 

‘Kites’ should have been named YIKES! A script that meanders along only to totally lose itself in the sand of Las Vegas, Characters that defy imagination (Indians owning/ controlling whole of Las Vegas??!!! A guy falling for the same woman whom he’d seen, met & married before? What stopped him from falling for her before? Her Clothes??)An immensely stupid movie saved by nothing at all. One cannot wait for the movie to finish. I still have a headache three days later. Wish the main lead had committed suicide in the beginning only- no main lead, no movie. If wishes were horses………. If you hear they’re refunding money for used tickets, please let me know. They should be paying the audience to watch the movie..

Posted by manav.sarmal | Report as abusive
 

Not much of a story line but Hrithik was beautiful to look at. His dance scene at the start of the film was embarrassing – he can do so much better. The romance was contrived. And the Spanish actress looked like Stacey in Eastenders (for those who watch soaps in the UK).

Posted by LondonWaliAsha | Report as abusive
 

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