Directed by: Anurag Basu
I had avoiding this film because of the Hrithik Roshan overkill I’ve been subjected to for the 6 weeks I’ve been in India; but today I had a day off and was feeling daring enough to go out by myself, so I just did it.
And I really liked it. Bahaut liked it.
I think that like Housefull I was saved by lack of subtitles… but that is not the only reason I feel victim to Kites (“in the skyyy!”, sorry, but I can’t help myself):
1. Copious use of the Spanish language…mixed with Hindi.
Actually, this was one of the really big attractions to me to see the film. I grew up speaking Spanish, and am (or imagine myself to be) beautifully fluent in the language, however; since I have been dawdling in Hindi I can never remember one or the other and have developed a form of Hinpanish… if you thought Hinglish was a nightmare, than you’d be appalled by this combo. Whether I’m speaking Spanish or attempting Hindi the holes are filled in with the other language. So I would say something insane like: Como se dice ap ki naam? And get bewildered looks. This film did nothing to help my condition, BUT the Spanish bits were the only parts of dialouge that I understood verbatim. Que lastima! And, Hrithik speaking Spanish. More of this will come later but, can we say “melt”? Yeah.
2. Mexico and the South Western United States.
I have a love affair with all things pertaining to Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. The food, the colors, the language (Spanglish!) the people… everything! A long-unfulfilled dream of mine is to live in Chihuahua again, rename myself Rosmarita, wear fouffy dresses with roses in my hair and simply get fat on mole, tacos and horchata! So I might have teared up a bit when they were eating tacos and rice (since that’s been my #1 craving since being here) and dressed up in traditional garb dancing salsa and being all around amazing.
3. Simple Hindi Film…. Bollywood-ness.
A car barely hits another car and causes a chain-reaction of 50 cars blowing up BUT the next time 10 cars go flipping into the air they just land sans becoming fireballs. Oh, I love little oddities like that.
Gratuitous showcasing of Hrithik’s body and/or dance moves.
Use of the phrase “love story” to mention another couples relationship.
“Just Add Water” rain and dance moments.
It’s taken me a very long time to get used to kissing in Hindi Films, but now that it’s more common place, and NOT used as a shock factor, I don’t want it to stop. The kissing in this film was superb, and always came right when you wanted it. (This sounds so perverse!) And sometimes it left you wishing they would kiss when all they would go for is the Incredible Filmi Hug. Plus, it would be remiss if you let two of the world’s most perfect noses not snuggle up towards one another. The audience would just be outraged!
Barbara Mori could have smoldered a hole through the screen herself, but matched with Hrithik it was like an all consuming blaze. They looked so so good with one another, and they made their amazingly stressful relationship believable, and enticing to look at. They also have matching eyes, with is one of those little things that always just tickles my fancy.
6. The Music:
Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is the first film I’ve seen with an actual SCORE. Now, being the music geek that I am, I grew up on film scores, so they’re just something I notice… and this one, (besides stealing heavily from some Lord of the Rings* music…) was a full-on-changed-with-the-action-full-feature-score. Not just a loop of the same ambient music repeated over and over again with variations of volume for emotional effect (I’m looking at you, My Name is Khan!) Also, I was a fan of the Filmi music too. Full of Spanish flavor with moments of “Well at least he’s trying and almost succeeding” singing from Hrithik. I’m becoming more comfortable with the music used as background pieces if it suits the film, and for this film, an all out dance sequence would have just been too much. My hats off to the sound designer and music director, for they used the music with good taste, and to display the proper emotions.
7. The story:
I liked it, there were parts I didn’t like (namely, um, violence, since I’m a Quaker and all**) but for the most part it was easy to go along with. Almost like a twisted, bizarre, not as lovable Bunty aur Babli. And I won’t give away the ending (that takes a lot of restraint for me) but while it’s something I find hard to deal with, I thought it was done tastefully and with delicacy. The pacing was spot on and I never felt like it was dragging or becoming too cumbersome. Plus, I really liked the narrative, flipping back and forth from present to past with a seamlessness and a “I’m really not getting lost” clarity. For the most part I was feeling very lovey-dovey and kept sighing with happiness when something especially cute would happen.
Oh the power Indian Cinema has over my hard heart that other RomComs fail to soften!
8. Ok. Hrihik:
I am not, or was not one to fall down adoringly at HR’s feet and worship anything about him. His face was always too defined, his bellybutton too weird, he lacked the proper amount of body hair (a.k.a. any), and he was just too pretty. However, scruffy, bleeding, dirty and at the “Yes, I would find you more attractive now” age of 36, I totally fell for him. Plus, he has long-ish curly hair. Battle won over this ladki’s heart. I was also surprised by his acting, since I never sought out his films before I wasn’t sure if he could do more than smile and melt women’s hearts; but Mr. HR has some commendable chops, played his tortured Romeo well, and I might be more inclined to partake in more of his films.
Ah, Kites (in the skyyyy!) was just what I needed… but you made my desire to hurry home and eat tacos all the more keen. Damn you for that!
Oh! And I must say, that the trailer for “I Hate Luv Stories” makes it look utterly fantastic and hysterical… but I could be really wrong.
Also, why does Raajneeti, or as I call it, Ranbir-eeti, have to come out AFTER I get back home? I shall be having words with my home theater if they don’t order it in!
*I hate Lord of the Rings, and am dealing with my shame for 1) knowing the music and 2) mentioning it here.
**My high school mascot was the Fighting Quakers, and I’m from a predominantly Quaker area, and while I am not a Q myself, you do develop certain values when you are reared in a pacifist community.