A romcom-gone-senti, Director Nikhil Advani’s Katti Batti is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, ranging from love, anger, happiness, jealousy, compassion, and ultimately grief (For its lead characters as well as the audience and am not being sarcastic here).
The film impresses you with its engaging screenplay in the first half. As the film proceeds, you already find yourself pining up hopes (against hopes) on the story that could well become an ‘Eternal sunshine on a spotless mind’ or perhaps ‘The fault in our stars’. Alas, you end up getting a ‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’-turned ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’.
Hadn’t it been for the performances of its lead actors Imran Khan and Kangna Ranaut, Katti Batti would have been as bad as our ‘world-cinema worshipping’ film critics would like you to believe. Yup folks, the film isn’t a disaster, but isn’t a masterpiece either.
Imran Khan owns his character Maddy to the hilt. Right from the earnest guy in love that he can play even in sleep, to the messed up guy, confused guy, hopelessly in love guy, broken guy, angry guy, or caring guy – The actor explores each layer of his character with an effortless charm – a departure from the hero-playing-heroine roles that he has been doing since his debut.
Kangna Ranaut yet again proves that when it comes to performance, she is indeed the Queen impossible to be dethroned. She is known to play quirky roles and doesn’t disappoint here too, but it’s the restrained emotional scenes where she scores brownie points in Katti Batti.
There’s a particular scene where she is leaving at the airport (Yes, how can love stories ever be made without the ‘airport scene’). This scene has been thankfully cut short directly to the hero and heroine communicating behind a glass wall. The scene stays with you, despite the fact that it’s unapologetically manipulative – just like the film’s climax.
Cinematographer Tushar Kapoor shoots the film in style, especially the outdoor scenes that infuse life into Shankar Ehsan Loy’s uninspiring songs that punctuate the film. The stop motion animation in ‘Lip to lip’ is surely worth a mention. The way ‘Sau aansoo roye do ankhiyan’ and ‘Jaago Mohan Pyaare’ have been clearly force-fed into the narrative. Furthermore, the jump-cut editing by Maahir Zaveri seems interesting in the first half, but later becomes as predictable as the slide transition of PowerPoint.
Katti Batti, though replete with caricature character actors, right from hero-ka-dost, hero-ka-boss, hero-ke-maa baap, hero-ke-newfound FOSLA (Frustrated One Sided Lovers Association from Dil Dosti Etc.), to even hero-ka-turtle (Interestingly called ‘Milkha’) – everything apart from the lead characters are caricatures to the core, which spell the doom of Katti Batti.
Having said that, director Nikhil Advani needs to be lauded for the way he depicts selective memory of Imran Khan’s character, where he chooses to remember only his version of his breakup story. Deep inside, we all are like him, though we may not like admitting it. Ironically, it’s ‘selective memory’ that you will need to appreciate a film gleefully trashed by one and all. So that leaves no room for an incurable movie buff like yours truly to recommend you Katti Batti, lest you guys ‘Katti’ me.