Katti Batti is Nikhil Advani's take on modern day living-in relationships replete with joys, emotions, bickering , heartache but with a hidden caveat attached to it. The movie had a potentially germane of a story seed but it gets convoluted while projecting it on-screen. It seems the makers got confused regarding the genre of the movie that whether the movie is a rom-com, emotionally rich love story making the plot go haywire. It is truly disheartening to see a fairly descent plot getting convoluted because of too many extra frivolous elements added to it. The movie follows a non linear path of storytelling which further complicates things for the audience. The problem is, the movie tries too many things to make it work which instead of helping the flow of narrative further dampen the spirits. Like there is a South Indian boss of an architect firm who calls his assistants fondly as Rama & Lakshmana with South Indian accent which is supposed to be funny but in actual irritates. Similarly, there's an impromptu drama on Devdas that is shown to Imran's parents to save his skin which completely fails to tickle your funny bones. On top of it, there's a scene where our Hero deliberately pees over a toilet seat worth Rs 5 lakhs in a boutique which makes you cringe in your seats. It is these poorly timed comic interludes and Advani's insistence on contrived humor that make this movie a hotch-potch robbing the movie of plausible moments. It's not that the movie doesn't have its moments, the movie truly catapults in its last few reels but it is too late by than. As a director, Nikhil Advani proves his forte when it comes to crafting emotional scenes in the last fifteen minutes of the movie and he does that with aplomb. I could see a lot of moist eyes around me when the movie came to end making me wonder about the fate of the movie if Nikhil had helmed the complete movie with same amount of passion and intensity which he has showcased in the last few reels. Interestingly, in the movie they have shown a rock Band by the name F.O.S.L.A which stands for Frustrated One Sided Lovers Association. They are of the view that in India " Pyaar ka Dard" sells more than anything else. To corroborate their theory they cite an example that while several remakes have been made of Devdas which was a sob story, there has been no remake of D.D.L.J. which was a refreshing love story. Perhaps, the makers of Katti Batti too echoed the same sentiment as the movie is more of a sob story. The lovers in the movie i.e. Maddy (Imran Khan) and Payal (Kangana Ranaut) are not only eye pleasing, stylish but have also played their respective characters with zest but unfortunately the convoluted storyline lets them down.
STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD) :: The movie has been penned down by Nikhil Advani along with Anshul Singhal. The writers have followed a non-linear pattern of storytelling while penning down this flick but they have missed out on developing characters in a well etched out manner. Frankly speaking, the story had lot of potential but the writers have failed to induce it with right blend of emotions, humor, drama, pathos. It's quite unfortunate that a germane of an idea has been wasted while penning down the screenplay. The writers have failed to build up the characters and have concentrated more on stand alone scenes. To add to the woes, when an emotional build up has been made a forceful comical insertion is added which acts as a further deterrent. The film begins with Payal (Kangana Ranaut) shooting an MMS of Madhav nick name Maddy (Imran Khan). Cut next, the scene shifts to a hospital where Maddy is admitted after he has accidentally consumed Phenyl thinking it to be beer. After this, the film takes a non-linear pattern with a series of flashbacks thrown in. Flashback begins and we see Maddy falling in love with Payal at her first sighting in college where they are studying. Maddy proposes Payal citing his true love but Payal says she's looking for casual relationship with no commitment. Maddy is able to convince Payal about his true love and they both land up in a living-in relationship in Mumbai. After some time of living-in together, both of them start quarreling with bickering becoming the order of the day. To make things better, Maddy plans a trip to Goa along with Payal but again they have a fight at the airport. After the fight, Maddy becomes so infuriated that he not only cancels the trip but also leaves Payal at the airport saying her that all between them is over. After regaining his temper, Maddy goes back to the airport but is unable to locate her. He tries getting in touch with her but her mobile is switched off and hereafter begins Maddy's unrelenting efforts to search and get in touch with Payal. He comes to know that Payal is in Delhi and is getting married soon. He flies off to Delhi in hope of finding her and wooing her back into his life. Will Maddy be able to locate Payal, Will he be able to stop her from marrying someone else, What is the reason that Payal is avoiding Maddy and Will Maddy and Payal be able to reunite is what forms the rest of the story.
STARCAST :: Mukesh Chhabra (Casting Director) has further cemented his credentials as an ace casting director with this movie as he has ably cast a fine blend of stars along with motley of some real fine actors who have delivered outstanding performances as per their characterizations. Imran Khan has been cast pitch perfect for this role as his chocolaty next door boy looks makes him perfect for this vulnerable, jilted lover character. Imran Khan has shown growth as an actor with every subsequent film of his and this movie gives him ample scope to showcase his acting prowess. The whole story is woven around his character and Imran has given an earnest performance. His sincerity towards portraying this character can be gauged from his performance in the movie. Imran has ably portrayed the role of a jilted lover who relentlessly keeps on chasing his lady love. Kangana Ranaut who seems to be on a roll after her high decibel performances in Queen, TWMR once again lights up the frames with her radiant presence in the movie. It was not an easy job for an actress to portray this character as firstly the character is not well etched out and secondly the character has been entirely told through the perspective of Imran Khan but still Kangana manages to leave a lasting impression proving her mettle as an actress. You see the real sparks of Kangana in the last fifteen minutes of the movie where she casts her spell and keeps you hooked unto the screen with her acting prowess. Kangana makes a lot of eyes go moist with her act in the last few reels of the movie. Vivan Bhatena who impressed with his antagonist act in the last week's release 'Hero', once again gives an earnest performance as ex boyfriend of Payal. Suneel Sinha who has appeared on-screen after a long hiatus has ably portrayed the character of Maddy's father with utmost conviction.
TECHNICAL FINESSE :: The musical soundtrack of the movie that has been composed by Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa is amalgamation of happy, sad, quirky & romantic numbers making it a chart buster. 2 songs namely 'Lip to Lip' & 'Ove Janiya' stand out amongst others. The background score of the movie has been composed by Gulraj Singh who has done excellent job out of it as the apt BGM provides a further propulsion to the visual commentary of the movie. The cinematographer of the movie is Tushar Kanti Ray who has done an outstanding job of capturing visuals. Tushar has ably captured the varied, pulsating and intriguing emotions of the characters and documented them in well captured frames without distracting from the story or its telling. A special mention of Subrata Chakraborthy, Amit Ray (Production Designers) and Sheetal Sharma (Costume Designer) for their effective contribution in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Maahir Zaveri who has packaged the whole action in run-time of 138 minutes. Though, he has done a good job at the editing table but the non-linear pattern of storytelling with frequent oscillations between past & present, give a further jolt to the already convoluted storyline. As a director, Nikhil Advani is once let down by a weak storyline. Nikhil who was Assistant director with Dharma Productions has a zest in crafting emotional scenes in tandem with his mentor, Karan Johar.. And, Nikhil scores full brownie points for the same in the final fifteen minutes of the movie but audience are already fed up with cinematic cliches till those cherish-able moments flutter on-screen in the last few reels. Nikhil Advani proves his forte as a director in some exceptional scenes ; heart wrenching climax where meaning of true love is defined and reflected on-screen, another scene where frantic Imran keeps on redialing Kangana's phone number despite knowing it's been switched off.
CONCLUSION :: Despite earnest performances by its lead pair, Katti Batti is a let down because of its hackneyed & convoluted plot. Still if you have a penchant for sob stories than you can give it a try, else wait for it to be telecast on satellite channels.
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