Film review: The sheer melodrama of Kapoor & Sons is saved by a cracking cast

Kapoor & Sons Director: Shakun Batra Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor Three stars When you’re told that a family drama is coming from producer Karan Johar, you expect the emotions to come thick and fast. You also expect big, over the top, this-doesn’t-happen-to-normal-people plot-lines. On that […]

Kapoor & Sons

Director: Shakun Batra

Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor

Three stars

When you’re told that a family drama is coming from producer Karan Johar, you expect the emotions to come thick and fast. You also expect big, over the top, this-doesn’t-happen-to-normal-people plot-lines.

On that score, Kapoor & Sons delivers.

The movie starts with the Kapoor family assembling in the family home after five years apart, the reason being grandpa Amarjeet Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) had a heart attack.

From the get-go, we’re made aware of the tension underlying the formerly close relationship between brothers Rahul (Sidharth Malhotra) and Arjun (Fawad Khan).

Their parents, Sunita (Ratna Pathak Shah) and Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) have their own problems: disappointment at unfulfilled ambitions, marital suspicions and a financial instability.

Basically, the Kapoor family are no Brady Bunch and are one argument way from permanent damage. The members are aware of this; each one treads carefully with non confrontation being the family rule.

The catalyst for a grand showdown occurs when Tia (Alia Bhatt), a carefree young woman with a sad backstory, arrives and grabs the attention of both brothers. She. however, has eyes for only one.

By the time the film reaches its climax, you will have guessed most of what’s going to happen. The simmering resentment reaches a boiling point but you wish the theatrics had been dialled down a bit.

For a film trying so hard to stay grounded in reality, what are the odds that everyone’s truths and skeletons come tumbling out of the closet at exactly the same moment?

The lazy script, however, is saved by Kapoor & Sons stellar casting. Each actor unpacks their character’s motivations at a resonating pace.

Malhotra, as the jealous younger brother Arjun makes you want to envelop him in a tight hug. But even while you’re feeling protective for the younger sibling, you can’t get yourself to dislike the older Rahul, played with class by Fawad Khan. Your heart will ache when you see his poise cracking, bit by bit, as he struggles under the weight of being mama’s perfect child.

Ratna Pathak Shah is, expectedly, brilliant as the mother trying to hold it all together and sometimes making a complete mess of it; while Rajat Kapoor is exceptional in his portrayal of a father tired of feeling like a failure.

Rishi Kapoor, who as the 90-year-old grandfather is barely recognisable under all the prosthetics, is also a hoot as he cracks inappropriate jokes without making it sound too contrived.

It is this killer cast that makes Kapoor & Sons standout despite the average script.

artslife@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

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