Monday, May 31, 2010


Yes, Kites is indeed Koyla stylised, repackaged, and trimmed, and in fact a much inferior version of the latter. Yes, the Indian critics are right to rip it off for its complete lack of story and the actors' non-acting. But yet, the film I would say is more rather an introductory tutorial into the world of Indian cinema for the Western audiences, and in that it does the job: the warmth of the film stunningly contrasts with the coldness of Hollywood films and has been a major factor besides its very design that has made it the first ever Indian film to make it to the US top ten at the box office, and the chemistry between the lovers - Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori - is a sight to watch in spite of the two different languages they speak in - English and Spanish. Love is a lot like music.

While Koyla brimmed over with anger and focused on the angst of a man, Kites chooses to remain being a simple love story doomed to failure: in some senses, there is more of Ghai's Kisna to it than any other film. But instead of the Himalayas, this time we have the New Mexico's sunflooded arid landscapes. The beauty of Kites lies in the fantasy feel to it: the love between Roshan and Mori seems like too good to be true, and yet it seems to be true. Even though the actors themselves don't know much about acting and have a limited stock of expressions on their faces, the chemistry between them is just alluring, and forgotten is their greed for money which brought their cruel fate onto them in the first place.

What is sad though however is so much non-use of Kangana Ranaut as to force her name as in a guest appearance in the credits roll: one of the finest actors of the world that she is, and reduced to a few minutes' screen time? Her character, too, could have been developed more: her father's one dialogue that he has seen her happy after a long time in itself sets in chain a thousand sequences that could have come off, that could have established another niche in the film, and all we have is just a jilted woman, who is shown to be obsessed so that the audience may not sympathise with her at all. On the other hand, the brother is rather more focused upon, in the old tradition of Hindi films where the villain was equally important as or even more than the hero, and it only makes the film a bit caricaturish. But then, as one US critic said of the film, everything is forgiven. It's a warm, crazy film, and just for the sake of that, it's not all that bad.