There’s an understated ease in how the characters play out and the screenplay unfolds. Kapoor and Sons isn’t your staple mainstream Bollywood. The characters are unerringly drawn, real and relatable. The director (Shakun Batra) doesn’t start defining them as soon as he introduces them to us. He lets them be. They mold along the way through the circumstances and situations they find themselves in. And the situations don’t seem contrived. Which brings me to the screenplay. Every subsequent bit perfectly spins out of the preceding bit and fluidly ties in to the next. And the whole is a well-knit coming together of these parts. Kapoor and Sons is a flawless film that way.
It may seem easy to execute on the outside but how often does Bollywood manage something like this – a coherent story, well narrated, engaging, with well-written characters. It’s a milestone in itself. And sets a standard for films to come.
But the credit for this goes as much to our director (who I could trust after Ek Main Aur Ek Tu. I know the film didn’t do great and a lot of people didn’t take to it but his understated style lent the film a whole new character. For whatever the film was worth, it was only because of him helming it) as to the perfect ensemble. Alia Bhatt appears effortless playing Tia. She (despite the minimal role) along with Fawad Khan hold this film together.
Sidharth Malhotra is spontaneous (I wish he was given more credit for that!) and equally at ease as the younger, immature sibling but does fall short in the more intense scenes.
The soon-to-be 90 daadu (Rishi Kapoor) is the heart of Kapoor and Sons. When the sons and grandsons are busy squabbling over sometimes petty, sometimes serious matters, he’s the string that binds them together. His style of speech is impeccable for someone that old and so consistent throughout it made me forget he’s younger. Ratna Pathak and Rajat Kapoor seemed married for years.
Some of the conversations are so real you feel like an outsider privy to their space. Like the scene where the two brothers have a sutta conversation with daadu in his room while their parents in the next room, overcome with guilt, are talking about their relationship having hit a cul-de-sac.
There are so many moments like these that explore the bittersweet familial ties making it a poignant and an equally heart-warming film. There are few films I can go back to and watch again. Kapoor and Sons is one such film.
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