The long awaited Kapoor & Sons is out, and the reviews are in!
Up-and-coming stars Fawad Khan, Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt join the seasoned Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Patak Shah and Rajat Kapoor in this dramedy about (almost) real family relationships.
Some critics appreciate Karan Johar shaking up his family drama formula, others were inspired by the acting of the good-looking cast.
Here's a round-up of what was said and written:
About the story, Times of India's Srijana Mitra Das writes:
"Kapoor & Sons' star is its story. This is an entirely real family, full of uncomfortable secrets, awkward jealousies and sharp pain, where brothers steal, parents cheat, siblings suspect and 'perfect bachchas' don't have perfect love-lives. This is a family with its make-up off, screaming through hilarious situations — a sequence involving a plumber is side-splittingly good."
This is particularly an achievement, coming from Karan Johar's Dharma Productions:
NDTV Movies' Saibal Chatterjee notes that "Cinematic sagas about dysfunctional families usually tend to fall into the trap of predictability. Kapoor And Sons doesn't. It keeps springing little surprises all the way through, so much so that at times it is hard to believe that this has emerged from the Karan Johar stable."
Anupama Chopra cautions that the story takes its time to grow on the viewer:
"Be warned that Kapoor & Sons is not heavy on plot. It's about characters, moments, textures and emotions. This is a very hard thing to pull off. And the first half is a bit of a slog. It feels like director Shakur Batra, who wrote the script with Ayesha Devitre, is just finding his rhythm. Disconnected scenes follow one another, and even though the acting is uniformly good, the drama just doesn't grip you. The narrative seems random and repetitive but stay with these people. In the second half. as the Kapoor family fault-lines deepen, the drama develops heft and becomes genuinely moving."
The cast gets a thumbs-up from most critics:
According to Srijana Mitra Das, "[the] acting shines. In a wheelchair, Rishi Kapoor runs away with the film, smashing it with hilarious lines - an 'apology' goes, "Sorry, bhains" - and his dirty old man portrayal, lusting after Mandakini's wet sari and using his grandson's 'I-Papad' for porn. Fawad and Sidharth make terrific contrasts, Sidharth vulnerable, yet loving, Fawad, slick, yet asking with pain, "Aap ko mere jhoot bolne ka gham hai - ya meri asliyat ka?"
Good looks works in the cast's favour:
While NDTV Movies' Saibal Chatterjee holds that "[the] three lead actors are natural charmers and Batra loses no opportunity to make capital out of their looks", Anupama Chopra notes that "Siddharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan and Alia Bhatt are all startling attractive. If used too strongly, good looks can make emotions feel almost fake. But Shakun doesn't showcase their visual appeal. There are no concessions to their stardom. Each one steals the scene very quietly."
Hindustan Times' Rohit Vats chips in with examples:
The kissing scene between Fawad Khan and Alia Bhatt has such a good build-up that it doesn’t look dramatic even a bit. Their sexual connotation laden conversation is so apt that you can fit any two young faces there.
Ratna Pathak as a jealous and tired housewife is a treat to watch. The emotions float on her face yet you can see the real person behind it. She, along with Fawad Khan, is the pick of the actors.
Fawad Khan is like a dormant volcano, simmering from the inside. After a while, you expect him to go for controlled eruption, but he surprises you by going all out. His capabilities as an actor are on a full display in Kapoor & Sons.
Not everyone is impressed by Fawad, though:
Indian Express' Shubhra Gupta states, "Sidharth Malhotra brings to the table an attractive loose-limbed vulnerability which he reveals slowly. He makes something of his part. Fawad plays his straight, and he doesn’t lift off the screen, the way he did in ‘Khubsoorat’. Rishi gets some laughs in, but has to struggle against the heavy prosthetics. The two people who kept me watching all the way were Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah : they play long-time partners in a marriage gone sour, and create a relationship which has enough strength and weaknesses that you want to know more about. These two deserve a separate film."