Verdict: Heart-melting moments with a generous dose of drama.
There have been very few films lately that have been able to crack us up and make us teary-eyed all at the same time. Shakun Batra has achieved it with his film Kapoor & Sons. The story revolves around an upper-middle class family settled in the stunning hill station of Coonoor. There are the parents whose marriage is in the doldrums, the adorable dadu who cannot stop thinking what he will look like if he dies (yes, he plays his dead face at the drop of a hat), and two sons, Rahul a published writer living in London, and Arjun, a struggling writer in New Jersey.
Dadu's (Rishi Kapoor) health takes a downward turn and both the brothers, Rahul Kapoor (Fawad Khan) and Arjun Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra) are called back. They meet one another after five years and a flood of emotions and drama kicks in. Ten minutes into the movie you know, it'll throw some high-decibel discussions at you. Ratna Pathak Shah as Kapoor Mom and Rajat Kapoor as Kapoor Dad, have their own issues. Dad thinks Arjun isn't good enough, which leads to Arjun's low confidence and passive aggression against him. There's tension between the brothers, too. The only sane person in the family seems to be the 90-year old Dadu, who lightens the mood with his pervy obsession with Mandakini, watching adult videos on iPapad (iPad), smoking a rolled "cigarette" and entertaining us with his recurring potty humor.
There's also the effervescent Tia (Alia Bhatt), who the brothers bump into- the sort of girl anyone can fall for. And one of the brothers does. The cute chemistry between Sidharth and Alia seems natural. From getting her sweet cigarettes (the candy ones that every throwback article mentions) to gushing over her, he does it all with an almost reflexive ease.
The first half of the film is real and relatable and has many moments that make you laugh. After the interval, the tone changes and you know all the struggles and tensions will now be translated into hard-hitting drama. The second half is a little sappy, but the actors manage to justify the scenes and the story. Fawad Khan is brilliant and you'll fall in love with him. Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt do a fabulous job. Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor give us strong performances. The real hero is the director who manages to get it all right. The story is real, relatable and you have to hand it to Shakun Batra for having merged all the different elements of cinema in this movie without an overkill of emotions.
The Kapoors are a dysfunctional family in which each member has his secrets. The locale is perfect, the characters are complex and the plot has enough twists to keep you interested in the movie till the very end. Yes, Kapoor & Sons is about a dysfunctional family, but as you watch the film you realize- isn't every family just a little bit dysfunctional? And isn't that what makes them absolutely special?
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch Kapoor & Sons for Alia Bhatt's naughty, funny moments, for Rishi Kapoor's hilariously perfect acting, for Sidharth Malhotra and Fawad Khan's brilliant performances. But more importantly, watch it to see a drama that is packed with emotions and tiny heart-melting moments that are sure to leave you with a smile and a hazy view. Make sure you go with your family at least once.