When Imran Khan made his debut in 2008 with the runaway hit Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, he was lauded as the next chocolate boy of Bollywood. There were inevitable comparisons with Ranbir Kapoor who had also started his career around the same time, but Imran held his own in all such debates. Since then, Ranbir Kapoor has become a superstar, and while Imran Khan has done a few good films, he hasn’t tasted the same kind of success.
In Katti Batti, he works hard to give a performance that will change that forever. He jokes, he charms, he cries, he turns on the dimples and pulls out every stop to make you fall in love with his character- Madhav Kabra.
Madhav’s story is told in flashback. Boy meets girl, falls in love, proposes, wins her over and moves in with her in Mumbai. Their story and happy life together is played out over a bunch of scenes that Madhav relives in his head after their breakup and his attempted suicide. The director keeps you in the dark as to why they broke up, choosing instead to focus on his heartbreak and immense desire to get her back. Payal (Kangana Ranaut) is shown to be a beautiful, feisty girl who has clearly ‘settled’ for this nerdy guy because he really loves her. In the post-breakup scenes, she’s unequivocally classified as ‘chaalu’ for forgetting him in five seconds after a five-year, live-in relationship.
Why they break up and whether she is indeed ‘chaalu’ is only clarified in the last twenty minutes of the film. Till then, it’s an Imran Khan show all around. He does all the things jilted lovers are accepted to do- ignore his family and friends, have sympathy sex, stalk her on social media, stalk her friends, and hang out with every dude with a sob story. Somehow, instead of choosing to treat his heartbreak seriously, Nikhil Advani treats it as an occasion to garner a few laughs. While he succeeds in getting some, it does take the punch out of Imran’s performance.
Kangana doesn’t have much to do for the most part. She just dresses stylishly and romances the camera- something she can do with ease. It’s only after the climactic twist that she gets a chance to bring her very own brand of magic to the film. Needless to say, she makes every minute count. The actress who emerged in Queen makes her presence felt at last- so Kangana’s fans can go home satisfied!
The music for Katti Batti is the best Shankar Ehsaan Loy have given this year with both Lip to Lip and Oye Jaaniya getting stuck in your head. The set designer deserves some applause for bringing back shabby chic with a bang. The camera work, design and the direction, especially in the first two songs- one of which is shot in stop-motion- are impressive and for lack of a better word ‘cool’.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
With stylishly shot and eminently hummable songs, and its fair share of funny moments, this film is a welcome break from the action thrillers that have released recently. It aims to entertain throughout and never gets too serious or too intense. Go watch Imran and Kangana’s chemistry and grab a few laughs, this weekend.