Kapoor & Sons: Review

Kapoor & Sons remixes Bollywood’s family drama in a bold new-age avatar. Forever bickering Harsh (Rajat) and Sunita (Ratna) have two sons, successful Rahul (Fawad) and confused Arjun (Sidharth).
Kapoor & Sons reminds us that no matter the ups and the downs, there will always and only be family to fall back on, regardless of the disagreements within. In brotherhood and fraternity is true love and the essence of life and that’s something we can’t wait to experience.

Kapoor & Sons is an honest effort at portraying relationships and family dysfunctions. Family flaws are sort of a neglected topic in India, just like depression. Nobody talks about it. So when you see two brothers and their parents go through a series of bad decisions and their emotional repercussions you can only draw parallels to real-life experiences. It’s like Kapoor & Sons recreates a reality and it does so with deftness and authenticity.

The story deals with a Kapoor family based in Coonoor, a hill station in Tamil Nadu. You’ve got two brothers Rahul (Fawad Khan) and Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra), their parents Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) and Sunita (Ratna Pathak Shah) and their spirited grandfather (Rishi Kapoor). The Kapoors are colourful people but as a family unit they’ve got a lot of skeletons in the closet. The drama, the conflicts and the love of this family makes Kapoor & Sons a compelling watch. Alia Bhatt plays the role of a young girl dealing with her past.

The credit goes to performances that aren’t just great, they’re phenomenal. The leads, Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan and Alia Bhatt are spectacular. Sidharth and Fawad showcase great chemistry as brothers. Their scenes together are casual and effortless, just like the rapport between siblings. Sidharth delivers a strong and rightly nuanced performance. He plays the underappreciated sibling with shades of persecution complex to great effect. Fawad on the other hand plays the apple-of-everyone’s-eye character with verve. And just when you think he’s great, he opens the Pandora’s box and unleashes a tsunami of talent. His control and finesse at acting is jaw dropping. Same goes for Alia Bhatt. Even though her character isn’t as prominent as the Kapoor brothers, in just a few scenes she does enough to bowl you over.

The supporting cast hits a few home runs as well. Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah are both in top form. But the show stealer is Rishi Kapoor, acting under prosthetics and heavy makeup, he lets his eyes do the talking and his senile but colourful act makes you laugh and cry. The acting in Kapoor & Sons is truly its strength.

This is an entirely real family, full of uncomfortable secrets, awkward jealousies and sharp pain, where brothers steal, parents cheat, siblings suspect and ‘perfect bachchas’ don’t have perfect love-lives. This is a family with its make-up off, screaming through hilarious situations.

Director / writer Shakun Batra and his co-writer Ayesha Devitre Dhillon are the true heroes of this film. Their story, their dialogue and some of the situations they’ve created add depth to the movie. Some moments in the movie are so brilliant they’ll choke you out
On the downside, the music’s forgettable and Alia plays yet another boho-chick, with chic but predictable charm. However, the direction, frequently evoking Monsoon Wedding, keeps things family-focused, with a moving camera and characters in meltdown. Wicked, witty and wise, Kapoor & Sons does Karan Johar proud.

All said and done, there’s no way on earth you should miss this movie. It will be a tough order for any film this year to be as good as Kapoor & Sons. This film about families and relationships will make you want to give your loved ones a big hug. Such films are rare. They give you a piece of your own life, wrapped in meaning and clarity.

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Arva Aslam

Arva Aslam

Arva Aslam is a fashion designer, fashion blogger and a student of MPhil.