Bollywood Movie Review - Kites

DIRECTOR: Anurag Basu
ACTORS: Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Kangna Ranaut, Nicolas Brown, Kabir Bedi, Yuri
RUN TIME: 140 mins

After being bombarded by endless marketing, the much awaited bollywood movie Kites remains a disappointing film, despite the heavyweights involved. Right from superstar Hrithik to producer Rakesh Roshan, who has himself delivered a series of hit films, to Anurag Basu, a competent next generation director not to forget Barbara Mori, the latest of a seemingly endless series of firangis who demand our attention with their curves and carefree ways. Hey, hang on, what happened to all our beautiful Indian actresses, huh.

The major problem with bollywood film Kites is its mixed parentage, which leaves you feeling cold as a viewer. The film lacks soul, while none of the characters really reach out and connect with you. That’s probably because the film is a mix of Hindi, English and Spanish with subtitles, while it has a story that has been told often before. The only difference in Kites is that the film is totally situated abroad, but the story is the same old Bollywood yarn shot in fancy locations stuffed with cool looking people in designer clothes.

Hrithik plays Jay, a Los Angeles based hustler with a hat, who teaches dance by day, song coming up, while waiting to strike it rich at the casinos. As he looks for the jackpot, he sells DVDs and for a fee, marries immigrants looking for a green card. So far he has done 11 fake marriages. One of his ditzy students, Gina Grover [Kangna Ranaut] falls for him, and proceeds to reveal it in true psychopathic style. One evening Hrithik lands home to find Kangna there. Turns out she stole his key, made a copy, broke in and now wants to clean up his dirty house. Whaaat? A zapped Hrithik thows her out, till he sees her stretch limousine parked outside. Oooh, she is loaded, being rich casino owner Bob Grovers’ [Kabir Bedi] daughter. So he starts wooing Kangna for her money.

Hrithik gets invited for Kangna’s brother’s marriage to their fancy palace by the sea. Brother Tony [Nicolas Brown], who speaks and dresses like a real bad dude, is about to wed the luscious Natasha [Barbara Mori]. Turns out Barbara was earlier Linda, a Mexican immigrant, and one of the 11 women Hrithik had married. Well, now he falls hopelessly in love with her, for reasons unexplained. Since Barbara only speaks Spanish and the couple can’t even have a basic conversation, my guess is it’s pure lust, surely a worthy cause. So they run off, leaving an enraged Tony to chase them all over America. Now, for the rest of the film, there are non-stop action sequences, as Tony and his thugs chase the runaway couple. Kangna disappears, while the couple get involved in a bank hold up, a hot air balloon ride till they finally end up being chased by bounty hunters, cops and brother Tony. In between, the duo romance in a jungle, even get married in her village in Mexico, but their romance doesn’t quite spark off. After lots of repetitive sequences, the film ends with our hero denied his victory.

Kites is shot beautifully, produced lavishly and has some decent action sequences. However, the music remains average, while the background score is a bit too operatic. The major problem however, remains the ordinary story, and the garbled screenplay that follows. Hrithik looks and acts like a bronzed god, Barbara sizzles in the right parts, while Kangna should stop playing psychopathic any more, though she is clearly a natural. In the end Kites suffers from trying to cater to a diverse audience, Indian and international, which is the latest fad amongst the big boys of Bollywood. It’s a bit like eating makke ki roti with salsa, which may be novel, but is definitely not tasty.


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