R Balki has often proved to be deft hands when it comes to artistically dovetailing well-crafted concepts with unusual plots. This is why we were trapped into hailing this pressing gender-equality movie to a height a bit too high. That this enterprise of gender-role switching will render us to just break out of R Balki reverie is the saddest outcome of the movie.
The storyline is simple: Guy meets girl. Oops, Ka (Kabir portrayed by Arjun Kapoor) meets Ki (Kia essayed by Kareena Kapoor Khan) in a flight – and an overwhelming, assertive, ambitious (add all similar adjectives) Kia glances up at a teary-eyed Kabir inside the flight and asks him what is his problem. A momma's boy that Kabir is, then replies that he is missing his mother who would always hold his hand during a take off. What follows is a quickly etched narration of hitting off, before Kabir finally proposes to Kia – who believes in marriage, but doesn't want to be a housewife. Kabir, on the other hand, wants to lead a simple 'house-husband' life (He is son of a rich man though, mind you).
At first, 'Ki & Ka' appears to be movie you want to go home smiling about. But then as it turns out, what worse could come of an A-starrer movie when people (mostly youngsters) are talking about a previous night's two no-ball wickets of T20 World Cup inside the hall and a few sitting right next to you are planning their exit at the briefest breaks?
Well, that's just how uncomfortable 'Ki & Ka' gets at times. Not uncomfortable in its subject, which is profoundly genuine – only harangued by a predictive pitching of its lead cast, entwined in a script which smoothly follows from being okayish, to gently flummoxing before turning into a domestic farce with a noble message.
The movie's sole theme that promised to heave the entire movie to a great plane, failed amid its overtly dramatised scenes and awkward dialogues to the tee. And this makes it rather disappointing for those who advocate feminism.
Because although a couple of scenes do seem eager in its intent, the movie only reinstates a few more stereotypes attached to gender roles. For instance, when Kia's mom (Swaroop Sampat) meets Kabir for the first time and quips, “Free main khana khaoge?” And there is another one. In the first part, Kabir tells Kia that he wants to be like his mom – and be an artiste because 'homemaking' is an art. Well, not too much of feminism could be drawn from that, right? Kabir's father (Rajit Kapur), on the other hand, wants his son to do a 'chaddi check' if he needs any more assurance on his gender when he volunteers about swapping role with wifey Kia.
Gender roles are only reinstated the more you harp on it – at least in this one it seems so. Last year's 'Piku' might not be drawing too much on gender roles but it did give plenty of message on that.
'High Heels' gives you good kicks for a dance number, while 'Ji Huzuri' as a romantic song seems good. Oh yes, 'Most Wanted Munda' is good too – but the rest of the music and background score is just plain average.
The only saving grace in the film is a cameo by Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan in the second half of the film. It looks natural and fresh – something that makes up for all the forced guffaws of the first half.
Cinematography is abrupt at times, there are a couple of shots which zooms in so far that you would want to pluck out those grey facial hairs!
'Ki & Ka' is a seemingly funny enterprise with a feminist theme gone awry. It's not the theme that is at trouble here but a laid-back script coupled with an ostensibly manufactured chemistry between its promising leads. Watch it or not, 'Ki & Ka' prefix will enjoy its dominance over the youth – but cinematic wise – not a good picture here.