There won’t be a single person in this world who will either say that I have a lovely family or my family is bad. Everybody will reach consensus on the fact that families are neither good nor bad. Every family, for the lack of a better word, is weird. Weird, cause they fight on trivial issues, argue over silliest of things and get separated due to egotistical matters but once everything is over, they come back together being a family because nobody will love you like your family does. They might judge you about your actions or probably not be happy about it but in the end, they are the ones who are going to stick around you, when the chips are down. Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921 tells the story about a family which could have been either mine or yours or somebody else’s. In the process it tries to bring a little perspective that it’s all about loving your family. With that tongue-in-cheek Karan Johar reference, my dear readers read on !!
Kapoor family, which’s based out of a picturesque Coonoor, consists of Grandpa Kapoor, Papa Kapoor and Mamma Kapoor. They have two sons, settled across the globe. The elder son is a bestselling author whereas the younger one is a bartender-cum-aspiring novelist. Upon receiving the news of their nonagenarian grandfather’s ill health, the brothers come to town. Soon we get to know that everything’s not okay in the family. Sibling rivalry causes friction between the brothers and the parents constantly bicker over everything in their life. Among these issues, the only thing the grandfather wants to get, is a family photograph with all the members in it, fittingly named Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921.
The director, Shakun Batra chooses to tell a story that brings a lump to the throat. It is not because its emotional or tear inducing but the characters are so real, so well etched that you can see your family members in it. There is a brother who constantly bosses over his younger sibling but loves him more than adequately. There is a man who complains to his wife about their ever-growing electricity bills and the wife counter attacks about his failure to call the plumber to fix a pipe leak. But at the end of the fight, they still care about each other. Even the supporting characters are unbelievably real. You see a dumb bodybuilder who’s only bothered about winning the local championship and keeps on twitching his pectoral muscle to impress women only to falter due to his peculiar diction. There is a plumber who dares to ask for his fees in between the family argument by saying “Iss bure waqt main jo chaho, de do !!!” The dialogues are funnier and bound to bring the house down. The credit goes to the director as well as the co-script writer Ayesha Devitre Dhillon. A runtime of 2 hours 15 minutes is a result of effective editing. A special mention goes to the background music by Sameer Uddin which enriches the scenes to many a level. Apart from the party song “Chul” which is already a rage in the discotheques, “Bolna” by debutant Tanishk Bagchi is pure soul inducing and speaks volumes about the talent he possesses.
Performance wise, the director could not have asked for a more brilliant cast. Rajat Kapoor as the father is dynamic. His astute portrayal of a man having a constant tiff with his wife is spot on. Ratna Pathak Shah as his wife is amazing. Sometime back, I had the opportunity to witness her solo act in a play inspired from Ismat Chugtai’s writings and the performer in her never ceases to amaze. Rishi Kapoor as the grandfather is funny and brings the house down with his antics as a lovable grandpa. But people, the anchor of this ship is the handsome gentleman with brooding looks from across the border, Mr. Fawad Khan. He gives a powerhouse performance as the perfect son of their parents and a responsible brother, who constantly remains under the weight of expectations. The way he emotes towards the end of the movie, puts him in a different league of actors. Siddharth Malhotra as the younger brother is good but among this brilliant cast, he becomes average as the others outweigh him. Alia Bhatt does well in a spunkier act though she does go overboard at times.
The movie is a little too urban and makes sense that way. So you either end up loving the movie or come to hate it due to its oh-so-chic treatment. The way the movie unravels itself at the right junctures, says that we have made our lives a little complicated, a little too serious. We all make mistakes and pay for them. We all have our own issues and while tackling those non-existant problems, we forget that at the core of everything its our family which keeps backing us. Sometimes the family needs our backing too. Go ahead, make that call which you always wanted to but couldn’t. Reach out to your loved ones. Talk to your dad, mom, siblings, relatives. Let them know that come what may, you’ll always be there for them.
After all, family is family. Isn’t it ??