Decades ago, Rakesh Roshan, in the movie, Kaamchor did what Arjun Kapoor does in Ki & Ka, the latest offering of R. Balki. The only difference here is Arjun Kapoor isn’t a Kaamchor and strongly believes that homemaker is an artist.
The concept of Ki & Ka is so brilliant that you find yourself glued to the big screen throughout its 126 minutes. The story employs the narrative style of ‘Before Sunset’ and ‘After Sunrise’ film series, where conversations take the story forward rather than scenes building up to the final pact between this odd couple of Kia and Kabir (Hence Ki & Ka) essayed by Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor. The pact here, is of course about him staying at home and taking care of the household chores, and her bringing home the bacon.
Swaroop Sampat makes an interesting comeback and one couldn’t resist hoping to see more of her, especially in times like these when ‘hatke’ films are being made and celebrated with aplomb. Rajit Kapoor is reduced to a mere caricature, which is really sad, given the kind of actor he is.
Arjun Kapoor is convincing as the ‘Ka’ shouldering the responsibilities of ‘Ki’ with a toothy grin. But when it comes to intense scenes, he seems visibly struggling to get it right – case in point: The restaurant scene where he loses his cool at Kareena when she comments on his mother. A pivotal scene like this demands a seasoned actor, perhaps Abhishek Bachchan or Ranbeer Kapoor would have cracked it with much ease.
When it comes to acting, Kareena Kapoor clearly makes it clear who’s the boss, which also works against the film. The actress looks quite older than Arjun. Well, the writer R. Balki justifies this with a line that suggests their age gap of 3 years, but Kareena looks way older for someone in her late twenties. The saving grace here is the director’s skill at handling the miya-biwi ka jhagdaas, which is raw and real to the core.
The film is awkwardly shot, so much so that you often miss the characters’ expressions because PC Shreeram chooses to capture the scene from sideways or defocused close-ups. Why sir? The songs are deterrents to the narrative, especially ‘Foolishq’ (Whoever thought of such pop). Despite few hiccups here and there, Ki & Ka somehow ambles its way towards an endearing conclusion but predictable climax (Inside an airplane, where else can a love story possibly end, if not airports or airplanes?).
As audience one feels richly rewarded by some sincere performances and a wonderful scene of Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan playing themselves, which is indeed the best cameo we’ve ever seen of lately. To cut a long story short, Ki & Ka is a kool film that stays with you, and like its song composed by Illayaraja, ‘Mohabbat ki hai jee huzoori nahin’, grows on you.