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Ki & Ka (2016) : R. Balki's cheesy romantic & comedy movie

Ki & Ka (2016) :

Ki & Ka Movie Poster

Ki & Ka is a romantic comedy film written and directed by Indian filmmaker R. Balki. The movie stars Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, and Swaroop Sampat in the pivotal roles. Ki & Ka features cameo appearances from Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan with both of them playing themselves. The film derives its title by splitting the Hindi words for girl and boy: ‘lad-ki’ and ‘lad-ka’. Ki & Ka tells the tale of a modern couple, Kia and Kabir, both of whom don't mind a gender swap with the wife taking up the role of the breadwinner and the husband opting to be a homemaker.

  • Our Rating: 7.0
  • IMDb Ratings: 5.6
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Swaroop Sampat
  • Country: India
  • Language: Hindi
  • Color: Color
  • Cast: Kareena Kapoor Khan (Kia), Arjun Kapoor (Kabir), Rajit Kapoor (Mr. Bansal), Swaroop Samapth (Kia’s mother), Amitabh Bachchan (Cameo), Jaya Bachchan (Cameo)
  • Directed by: R Balki
  • Written by: R Balki
  • Written by: R Balki, RK Damani, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Sunil Lulla
  • Music by: Illayaraja
  • Cinematography: PC Sreeram
  • Release date: 1st April, 2016
  • Duration: 2 hours 06 minutes
  • Producer: Sunil A Lulla, R.K.Damani, R. Balki, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
  • Supporting Cast: Rajit Kapoor, Swaroop Sampat, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan
  • Story: R. Balki
  • Cinematography: P C Sriram, P.C. Sreeram
  • Editor: Chandan Arora, Chandan Arora
  • Choreography: Bosco Martis, Caesar Gonsalves, Firoz Khan 1, Bosco Martis, Caesar Gonsalves, Firoz Khan 1
  • Music Director: Mithoon, Yo YO Honey Singh, Meet Bros Arjun Amit, Illaiyaraja, Mithoon, Yo YO Honey Singh, Meet Bros Arjun Amit, Illaiyaraja
  • Lyrics: Kumaar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Sayeed Qadri, Kumaar, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Sayeed Qadri
  • Costume Designer: Manish Malhotra , Manish Malhot
  • Reviewer: meeta
  • Genres: Relationships, Romance, Social

R Balki is a well known director not only for his distinct scripts but also for the unique titles that he comes up for his movies starting from "Cheeni Kum" to his latest venture "Ki & Ka". Now coming to the storyline as such, though it is not something which has been observed in Bollywood, the idea of males taking an equal share of the domestic responsibilities is very much vogue in many of our lives. It isn't just about giving sermons about female equality but personally speaking I feel females should also become independent & for that to happen the male gender will have to pitch in equally in all aspects of a marital relationship.

However, Balki falters in executing his ideas effectively & it comes across being like a caricature as the movie turns out to be nothing more than a role reversal where the guy behaves like the girl (including the "mangalsutra" on his wrist for a change). The conflicts between the two in the latter half is believable but overall it wont blow our socks off. All the technical aspects seemed fine though it doesn't deserve special mention.

Karina Kapooor & Arjun kapoor in Movie

Ki & Ka has all the makings of a typical Bollywood-esque masala entertainer but unfortunately it lacks the flair of a quintessential Balki film. As a matter of fact, it also happens to be the cheesiest film of R. Balki's filmmaking career. Perhaps, commercial failure of Shamitabh forced him to come up with a script that’s more viable commercially. Balki nonetheless doesn’t back down from taking swipes at modern urban couples, underscoring their fear for taking responsibilities and making commitments while in a relationship. Balki shows us how these couples desperately want to be on the top of their lives. How they perceive marriage as a means to meet their physical needs rather than companionship. How insecurities, egos, apathy and envy can destroy relationships.

Ki & Ka tries to break the gender-related stereotypes prevalent in our society. The movie makes us realize that both men and women are equally responsible for embracing the stereotypes imposed upon them by the society. The movie transcends the gender divide by acknowledging that the tussle between a breadwinner and a homemaker exists regardless of the gender and is often triggered by a lack of understanding: the former inevitably ends up underestimating the importance of the latter in his/her life. Ki & Ka can also be seen an attempt on the part of R. Balki to redefine the established conventions associated with marriage. Balki explains: “Why can't marriage be as cool as romance? Marriage, the way it is defined, makes it a flawed institution. If it is defined as something else, maybe it will make things better. You can't force two people to be bound just because of a legal bond."

Both Kareena and Arjun are superb in their respective roles. Their chemistry is electrifying and the romance looks so natural. Credit goes to Balki and team for their brilliant casting choices. Surely, the movie will give a fillip to Arjun’s young acting career (it continues to touch new highs post ‘AIB Knockout’ infamy) but it remains to be seen whether it can prove to be a second Jab We Met for Kareena and resuscitate her fading career (strangely, Kareena is looking much order here than what she looked in her previous outing Bajrangi Bhaijaan). A story of a Metrosexual Gym Hunk meets Miss Sweet Smell of Success, Ki & Ka is targeted towards Anglophone urban audience and lack a universal appeal: the issues in focus mostly concern upper/upper middle class couples. 

Kareena Kapoor Khan as Kia has done justice to her role. Arjun Kapoor as Kabir could have done better. Probably his body language did not work in his favour. Rajit Kapoor as Mr. Bansal is not very natural, whereas he is a veteran and such a fine actor. Swaroop Sampath has justified her role. The surprise element is cameo by real couple Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. Let me not reveal, how they fit into this cameo.

The script had indeed so much of potential. I felt, the comedy angle made the film lose its depth. The scenes, which could have directly hit the audience’ hearts, fell flat due to humour making them trivial. Probably Balki wanted to keep the film light-hearted. Certain scenes were not well executed viz. Kabir’s expressing to Kia in regard to his desire to be like his mom, his troubled relationship with his father, his mingling with the housewives’ gang etc. Even the court marriage scene had only one witness as Kia’s mother, whereas generally witness from either side is required. The last scene was indeed not a show-stopper scene. Kia does feel at one point of time that Kabir used her, but Balki’s thought behind this scene was not clear. Also, I did feel that through gender role reversals, Balki wanted to show how people caught in unconventional roles are treated by the society at large, but he did incorporate scenes to showcase both Ki and Ka in their conventional / expected roles, viz. Kia emphasizing that she is emotional (like other girls) and Kabir fighting with people passing comments on them i.e. role of a protector. Were these scenes required?

Overall, Ki & Ka is not a regular rom-com and offers a lot of food for thought to ruminate upon in from of valuable lessons for young, old as well as soon-to-be couples such as emphasizing upon the importance of giving space to one’s partner in a relationship. The movie has its share of flaws, but the execution more or less compensates for it. While the movie’s third act appears to be a bit rushed up, the overall pacing appears to be fine. Balki, for a change, tries to keep things simple and it seems to have worked well for him. The cinematic flair seen in Balki’s earlier films is definitely missing here but there is no dearth of entertainment.Ki and Ka is packaged quite well, as a frothy light entertainer with a twist, and judging by the reactions of the audience, it looks good to go the distance, but as a topical movie, it sadly doesn’t go beyond being a mere ice-breaker and scratching the surface of an issue that deserved to be covered with more care and depth.

Ki & Ka is a decent watch. You would be able to enjoy this film if you could overlook certain flaws of the screenplay. And if you strongly feel in the traditional concept of men being providers and women being careers, you may just not like this film. Females may envy Kia’s professional status, since they secretly desired to be in her shoes, and so, they would like the film.

Ki & Ka starts with gender role reversal, but grows beyond this concept to convey that a marriage partnership evolves only when both Ki & Ka appreciates one another’s contribution. A home becomes happy home with the feeling of ‘We’ predominating than ‘I’. Though the screenplay turned out to be a bit shallow, overall, it is an enjoyable film. Watch the film for its concept.

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