Kites is to Hrithik Roshan what Murder was for Mallika Sherawat and Julie for Neha Dhupia. There is one word to describe him in this film: overexposed. Just how much can you rely on Hrithik’s looks and dancing skills alone? The movie tries really hard to make you believe that the answer to that question is an entire film. His looks are given more emphasis than his acting. His make up is over the top. His performance is surprisingly mediocre. And the movie is unsurprisingly a mess.
The trailers made Kites look like another big budget extravaganza promising little or no content. Consequently, I went into the theatre with few, if any expectations from the movie. After having seen it, I can say that those non-existent expectations were, by and large, met. Unlike most big budget movies though, Kites as a concept was fresh and had great potential. Also, it had a highly dependable lead in Hrithik Roshan. However, bad scripting, mediocre music and occasionally awful direction pretty much sink it faster than the Titanic.
The story is of J (Hrithik Roshan) who is set to marry Geena (Kangana Ranaut), the daughter of Bob (Kabir Bedi), the owner of a big casino in Las Vegas. He meets Natasha (Barbara Mori), a Mexican who is getting engaged to Geena’s brother Tony (Nicholas Brown). The two share a past. Sparks fly and they elope thereby setting off on a cross country chase and battle cops and criminals alike.
Yes, that pretty much sums up the story. It is on this waferthin plot that this gigantic production has been mounted. The analogy with kites is a weak one and the movie runs out of steam pretty quickly. The biggest weakness of the film is that it is very confused about what it wants to be. It starts of as this serious, sensuous love story with all the danger and thrills to go with it. Then half way through, the background score switches from racy to sassy and suddenly we find ourselves in a comic version of Bonnie & Clyde. Then, suddenly, once again, the movie goes all serious and macabre before descending into half-baked humour once more. The culmination of the film, by far the strongest bit in the film is weakened by long drawn out sequences which made me glance at my watch several times.
The biggest USP of this film was that it featured a love story between an Indian who only spoke English and a Mexican who only spoke Spanish. There is copious use of subtitles in the movie to make us understand what the heroine is saying. However, despite the gutsy move, the story is painfully routine and the writers squander any chance of either emotional resonance or chemistry thanks to laughably bad dialogues and a highly convenient screenplay abound with continuity errors. The chase sequences look ridiculously overblown and require severe suspension of disbelief. The background score is surprisingly ordinary (coming from Salim-Sulaiman) and the soundtrack is just awful (courtesy Rajesh Roshan).The supporting performances (Kangana Ranaut, Kabir Bedi and Nicholas Brown) are uniformly bad thanks to pathetic characterization that verges on parody.
In the midst of this entire mess, there are two things that work in favour of the film. The first is Barbara Mori who looks like she was sent from heaven to be the stuff of dreams for most men. To call her gorgeous or beautiful would be a gross understatement. She makes people like Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra look average. She makes horrible clothes look beautiful and finds the right balance between sensuality and elegance. She also acts reasonably well and her ethereal beauty considerably helps in making the movie tolerable.
The second thing that works for the film is the look. Rarely has a Hindi film looked this beautiful and aesthetically shot. Each frame looks stunning and the camera does full justice to each aspect: the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, the lush fields in Mexico, the calm silence of the sea and the harsh loneliness of the desert. The glossy finish makes each frame worthy of a postcard. The rich texture of the film adds a distinct class to it which makes its flaws as a story and script all the more glaring.
Barbara Mori and the look of the film together make it almost worthy of a recommendation. However, at the end of the day, Kites is beautiful film with no soul. It has the potential for greatness. However, it squanders that for convenience. I wouldn’t say that the movie is as bad as Singh is King or Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. However, it is not much better either. I had great fun poking fun at the movie especially with the company I had. However, that is far from enough for recommending it. Stay clear from the theatres unless you are a whore for great visuals.