In Roger Ebert’s glowing review of (500) Days of Summer, he asked his readers if like him, they get impatient when a movie is on autopilot. “How long can the characters pretend they don’t know how the story will end?” It’s a fitting question that applies to so many Hindi films, but it’s especially ironic in the case of Katti Batti, directed by Nikhil Advani, which leans so heavily on that American rom-com for inspiration.

Like Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Maddy (Imran Khan) is struggling to come to terms with the fact that his relationship with Payal (Kangana Ranaut) – whom he truly, madly, deeply loves – may be over. She left him without warning one day, after five years of living together. Like Zooey Deschanel in that film, Payal is beautiful but erratic, and it’s often hard to tell what’s going on in her head.
The film opens nicely, as Maddy flashbacks to the past, remembering key moments and happier times between the two. Like that charming bit when he offered to drop her to the campus library but his bike wouldn’t start. Or when he first told her that he loved her, but she offered a “time-pass” relationship instead.
As it turns out, Katti Batti is not content with letting Maddy merely reflect on his time with Payal. Like a true-blue Hindi film hero, he must do something about the situation. That involves a failed suicide attempt, torturing a baby in order to secure Payal’s new number, peeing in a gold-plated toilet (don’t even ask!), and crashing her wedding disguised as a bandwala. Not a lot of this is very funny, unfortunately, and it all gets very tiring very soon.
Some of the film’s most enjoyable bits, not surprisingly, are when Kangana Ranaut is on screen, and particularly the scenes between Imran and her. Oddly there’s not enough of that, especially in the film’s first half, and instead the script wastes precious screen time on way too many insignificant supporting characters that add to the flab. You’ll want to pull your hair out each time Bugs Bhargava shows up, hamming away as Maddy’s buffoonish boss. It’s impossible not to take an instant dislike to Maddy’s dominating younger sister (another (500) Days of Summer nod), and don’t get me started on pet-shop owner Roger and his musical band of “frustrated one-sided losers” who volunteer to help Maddy win Payal back.
But then, in the film’s last thirty minutes, as if aware that your patience is fast wearing out with the infantile humor and the cringing melodrama, director Nikhil Advani turns to his own debut film Kal Ho Naa Ho for a final-act twist – a shrewd plot-turn – that serves multiple purposes. Intended not only to turn you into a weeping, slobbering mess, it also finally gives our heroine some meat to sink her teeth into. While the elaborate mechanism employed to hide the twist is entirely preposterous and unconvincing, you’d have to have a cold, cynical heart not to get at least a little teary-eyed as the deliberately manipulative climax rolls out.
Imran Khan, who is relied upon to do most of the heavy lifting in the film, has an affable charm and is convincing as the hopeless romantic. This is one of his better performances, even if the script does occasionally reduce the character to a pathetic whiner. Kangana Ranaut is mostly underutilized in a role that’s lacking depth. She’s great in scenes that tap into her terrific comic timing, but it’s a shame she didn’t have more to do here.
Katti Batti has some nice tracks (by Shankar Ehsaan Loy), slick production design, and stray moments of wit. But its merits are far outweighed by its numerous contrivances, and by its hollow writing that only appears modern on paper. The film’s inventive 4-minute opening scene shot on a handicam offers promise, but little that follows lives up to it.
I’m going with two out of five for Katti Batti. It doesn’t say much about a romantic comedy if the smartest joke they could come up with is the name of a pet turtle.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Issac, Kelly Marie Tran, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura...

    BMS EditorDecember 15, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Monsoon Shootout

    Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Varma, Neeraj Kabi, Geetanjali Thapa, Sreejita De Director: Amit Kumar Monsoon Shootout poses an eternal question plaguing all of us...

    BMS EditorDecember 15, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Murder On The Orient Express

    Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Odom Jr, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman,...

    BMS EditorNovember 25, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Coco

    Cast: Voices of Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Anthony Gonzalez, Alanna Ubach Director: Lee Unkrichs It’s the holiday season, and the makers of...

    BMS EditorNovember 25, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Ajji

    Cast: Sushama Deshpande, Smita Tambe, Abhishek Banerjee, Sadiya Siddiqui, Sudhir Pandey, Sharvani Suryavanshi Director: Devashish Makhija Bollywood has thrown as many as four...

    BMS EditorNovember 25, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Justice League

    Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciaran Hinds, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons...

    BMS EditorNovember 18, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Tumhari Sulu

    Cast: Vidya Balan, Manav Kaul, Neha Dhupia, Vijay Maurya, Malishka Mendonsa Director: Suresh Triveni Delivering a knockout performance as a middle-class...

    BMS EditorNovember 18, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of A Bad Moms Christmas

    What’s more disturbing than the idea of three young moms behaving irresponsibly? Well, you’re about to find out in A Bad Moms...

    BMS EditorNovember 11, 2017
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Qarib Qarib Singlle

    Qarib Qarib Singlle, starring Irrfan Khan and Parvathy, revisits that familiar premise of a romance kindled over a road trip. To...

    BMS EditorNovember 11, 2017

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2017 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup