Ki & Ka helmed by R.Balki is a simple, sweet film that talks about role reversal between a husband and wife in marital life albeit in amusing and thoughtful manner. Trust R.Balki to come up with something unconventional whenever he helms a movie. He is one filmmaker who has not fallen prey to commercialization of Indian Cinema and comes up with new fresh concepts on Indian Celluloid. Right from Cheeni Kum to Shamitabh, Balki has offered something invigorating to Indian cine audience. And, Ki & Ka is a step forward in the same direction. Who else other than Balki could have thought about casting Arjun Kapoor in a role which requires him to play a character of homemaker. Ki & Ka talks about gender disparity and is able to make its point, to a certain extent. The movie throws a gamut of questions at the audience ; how would society react if the husband decides to be homemaker while staying at home while wife goes out to earn. Would there be personal insecurities between the couple if he were to be a stay-at-home spouse and she the bread earner ? Above all, it compliments all the house wives by giving them a new name i.e. artiste. An artiste who has the art of holding and managing the house in most efficient manner. It raises a pertinent question that is it the money which is a major root cause of gender disparity ? As men go out to do a job and earn they are considered superior and since women don't go out to earn, their efforts of running a household is taken for granted. We forget that women also do a job i.e. of managing a home. Women's line of work (we don't call it job as they work at home) is more tough and challenging as apart from doing the household chores, they also take care and bring up the children. They neither ask or are paid any money for this because it is considered as their duty. So, if men go out and work hard to earn money, women also work hard or even harder at home. All these questions that form the starting point of Ki & Ka are very tantalizing. And, they are very relevant too as in our society men are considered to be the bread earners and women are supposed to play the role of a housewife, leaving their ambitions behind. And, to give credence to this notion Balki has roped in Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan to play a cameo as themselves in the movie. In that masterly executed scene, Jaya asks Amitabh if he could have played the role of a homemaker whilst she continued to act in movies. The movie tries to portray that there is nothing inimical if men decide to stay at home doing housework and women go out with their ambitious career plans. If the couple is happy with this arrangement, no outsider has the rights to judge them. All these thoughts are novel and intriguing but somewhere down the line, the movie looses its steam in the second half. It's the same thing which happened with Balki's last flick Shamitabh. He begins the film with a novel concept but falters with the storyline.
The story of the movie has been penned down by R. Balki who has done a swell job at conceptualizing a novel concept. I loved the way that he has sketched the characters and introduces them to the audience. He also needs to be applauded for conveying a powerful message through this film. But, right in the middle story begins to falter and looses its main focus. The movie is quite entertaining in the first half and it is in the second half that things begin to go haywire. The movie begins with a wedding party where Kia (Kareena Kapoor) stuns everyone by talking about the stature of wife in today's society. Cut next, Kia is in a flight where she finds her co-passenger Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) sobbing. When Kia asks Kabir why is he sobbing, he replies that it is his deceased's mother's birthday and he is missing her. A few meeting later, Kia comes to know that Kabir is not only a topper of IIM but also the only son of a construction magnate Mr. Bansal (Rajit Kapur). But, Kabir has no interest in business and he wants to be like his mother. On the other hand, Kia is an aggressive corporate woman who aspires to become a big shot. Soon, they fall in love and decide to get married with an arrangement that Kabir will stay at home and look after household work while Kia will pursue her corporate ambitions. Kia's office colleagues express an desire to meet Kabir and party is arranged at their place. During the party, Kia tells her colleagues that Kabir is a house-husband. Kia's office team decides to rope in Kabir as brand ambassador for their product. After that, Kabir becomes a hot property who gets to deliver lectures, feature in news channels, cookery shows and debates on gender disparity. But little do Ki & Ka know that their decision of gender role reversal will take its toll on their relationship in the form of societal views, jealousy, misunderstandings and ego clashes. Will Ki & Ka be able to overcome these challenges and stay happily married ever after is what forms the rest of the story.
Arjun Kapoor delivers a fairly impressive performance in Ki & Ka. Arjun has ably enacted the character of Kabir in a subtle, balanced manner which is applause worthy. It was quite a challenge to portray this character as Kabir's character is a blend of vulnerability, endearing charm and thoughtfulness which Arjun has portrayed with ease. Arjun's fine performance has lent sheer credibility to the character which the audience will be able to relate to. I am sure that his female fan following is going to increase manifold after they watch him playing the Super Husband in this movie.
Kareena Kapoor Khan is the epitome of confidence in the movie with her superlative act. She looks stylish, poised and perfect as the ambitious corporate woman. But, it is when the jealousy creeps in between the relationship that you get to see the best of Kareena. After a long time, Kareena Kapoor got an author backed role to portray and she has taken to it like fish takes to water. Kareena is at her best in the climax scene where she blasts Kabir for negligence and later repents for her folly and confides about her love for Kabir to her mother.
Rajit Kapur shines and makes his presence felt as Kabir's father. His anger over his son not joining his family business and deciding to become a house-man comes across as very genuinely reflected. Swaroop Sampat who has appeared on screen after a long hiatus does a fine job as Kia's mother.
Amitabh Bachchan & Jaya Bachchan play a special appearance in the film as themselves and are as endearing as always. It's a treat watching make Amitabh indignant face and mouth famous dialogue ' Teri Jaat ka...... ' on Arjun's visit to his place.
The musical soundtrack of the movie that has been composed by Ilaiyaraaja, Meet Bros., Mithoon is delightful with two tracks namely 'High Heels' and 'Mohabbat Hai' standing out amongst others. The cinematographer of the movie is P.C.Sreeram who has done brilliant job behind the lens. His camera has not only ably captured the outdoor locales but also captured the gamut of emotions portrayed by its stars especially Kareena Kapoor through effective close up shots. The movie has been edited by Chandan Arora who has kept the run-time of the movie to 126 minutes. As a writer-director, R.Balki has once again reaffirmed that he is one of the finest talents to come up with newfangled concepts. He wants to try something out of the box and is not keen to hem movies on akin subjects. With Ki & Ka, he has once again tried to offer something different and thoughtful to Indian audience. He had germane of an idea in the concept of Ki & Ka but it couldn't get translated into a gripping story. But, still he deserves all the brownie points for coming up and making a film on such subject when commercialization rules the roost in Bollywood.
Ki & Ka could have been a formidable film because it's woven around an unconventional subject and pertinent issues but its cliched and melodramatic treatment make it loose its steam. Yet, Ki & Ka can be watched once for its noble intentions, breaking stereotypes and earnest performances by its lead pair.
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