Everyone gathered to make a fun movie, but no one had a plan to do it or any interest in figuring out how. That, unfortunately, is what a viewing of Anurag Basu’s ‘Kites’ feels like. It feels like the kind of movie that might have been designed by a marketing software program for MBA studio executives. And it seems more like a product than an attempt to tell a story.
There’s no way around it – ‘Kites’ is repetitive, flat and completely forgettable. Its fitfully unfunny, never exciting or engaging, modestly entertaining, excessively dimwitted, and finally just too darn long – in a nutshell, its relentlessly average. The film leaves a bad taste, not only because of its bad-luck timing, but also the staleness of its achingly inept script.
Rakesh Roshan has doled out one of the most moronic screenplays of the year, full of holes that will be obvious even to those who aren’t looking for them. And despite the presence of the talented modern age Ed Wood Mr Brett Ratner, ‘Kites’ doesn’t even come close to matching the somewhat sketchy Rush Hour films for thrills or laughs. Anurag Basu had a tiff with the Roshans and was not involved with the editing; but this formulaic countdown-to-oblivion Bollywood flick is so sluggish and impersonal, it could very well have been directed from two continents away by a remote-controlled robot.
But of course there’s the stunning, gorgeous, eye popping cinematography by Ayananka Bose, who captures Hrithik at his magazine-cover-best in every frame. Regrettably the DOP’s hard work is shabbily complimented by the set pieces which are painfully predictable right down to the inevitable finale. And it doesn’t help that Hrithik phones in another money-grubbing performance as a nameless ABCD, who never moves any part of his face until the climax, when he smiles with relief that the movie’s over. The surgically enhanced Barbara Mori doesn’t impress either – the Roshans expect the audience to find something intrinsically funny about Mori mouthing ‘Mai ullu ki paththi hu’, but the Wonderbra-flaunting bombshell has little else to offer. The chemistry between the leads is as hot as the harmony shared by Amrita Arora and Isha Koppikar in ‘Girlfriend’. Its a shame, since the ‘fake’ Hrithik-Barbara off-screen romance was used to publicize the flick. There is nothing remotely steamy about the waterfall sequence, unless you’re 12 and are in a boys’ school. And as a result of a plot device gone awry, a blasé Kangana Ranaut comes and goes in the twinkling of the eye.
‘Kites’ really is producer Rakesh Roshan’s film more than Anurag Basu’s, and Roshan reverts to his usual Modus Operandi. Its all terribly uninteresting as it plays like somebody spliced random moments of a rejected Yash Raj idea into a cliche-riddled but self-serious love story. Roshan and Co. would have saved millions and millions of rupees had they just used footage from the films they ripped off to make this film – while one key scene is frustratingly reminiscent of the French comedy ‘Priceless’, the big action sequence gallingly features stunts of Yuen Woo-ping’s classics.
Final verdict? ‘Kites’ fails as a comedy. It fails as an action thriller. It fails as a romantic dramedy. In fact, the only category I would put it into is that of a failure.