Shakun Batra proved his mettle when he directed Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu which was very unconventional and new-age. With Kapoor and sons he climbs the ladder further up. Yes, he has done something unconventional and new-age again. The same production house gave Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham which in away presents a dysfunctional yet idealistic family. This time it portrays a dysfunctional movie as dysfunctional and there is really no solution to it because that’s how it is in real life too.
The movie unfolds in Conoor, a hill station near Ooty where Harsh Kapoor (Rajat Kapoor) and Sunitha (Ratna Patahak) are in middle of their daily dosage of spat while the 90 year old Senior Kapoor is practicing ways to die. The 90 year old is played by Rishi Kapoor who looks extremely comfortable and natural in the prosthetic. The grandpa gets a heart attack, and the grandchildren living abroad rush to visit him. The elder one is Rahul (Fawad Khan) who is a successful novelist and an entrepreneur living in London. On the other hand, the younger one – Arjun (Siddhart Malhotra) is a struggling writer who is yet to make his mark. When the whole family is together, no day passes without at least one spat between any two family members. Among all these the squabble would be more likely, with Arjun as he is considered unsuccessful and unstable right from childhood and less likely with Rahul because he is considered the ‘perfect bacha’. The movie doesn’t have any twists and turns but more about how imperfect everyone in the family is. What can make them fall out and what can bring them together and the acceptance levels.
Brownie points for the writing of the film by Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre. They seem to be crystal clear of what they want to convey with the script. The dialogues are so natural like in a day-to-day conversations and not even remotely close to what Bollywood has in store for family dramas. The characterizations have been written impeccably. For example, in the first scene of Siddhart, he’s shown sending a second draft to the publishers, which indirectly means he isn’t a successful writer yet. There are so many such subtle scenes where the director neatly establishes the characters. Every character has been written with great clarity.
Coming to the performances, this ensemble is a brilliant piece of casting. Everyone gets their equal share of scenes quantity and quality wise and delivered it rightly. The bad part is that there is no single protagonist we can concentrate upon. The movie gives turns to one after the other. But again, concentrating on one person would again contradict the whole point of showing a family where no one is a hero and everyone has his/her drawbacks.
The only letdown in the movie is pre and post interval for around 45 minutes together, the movie just doesn’t go anywhere neither with characterizations nor a progress in the story. The last 45 minutes of the film is topnotch and in fact the core of the film that will touch you.
All in all, Kapoor and Sons is an honest family drama with some impeccable writing.