Ki & Ka
In Bollywood, defining stereotypes is the easiest thing: always imagine a spirited woman, ultimately destined to be doomed underneath a patriarchal system, for every one of life’s little choices. Traditional (and bizarre, in modern India) as that thought sounds, this is an outdated outlook in a world where feminist theories have a wider appeal than confinement of the weaker sex, fuelled by sexist theories. Playing into a similar story is the film Ki & Ka, by R. Balki, where the protagonist is a female career woman, and she literally is “the one who wears the pants in her household.” Kia (Kareena Kapoor) wishes to see more women actively contribute to the workforce in India, rather than still be all-perfect housewives.
Kia, however, then falls in love with Kabir – a son, destined to inherit his father’s wealth, but pursuing interests in becoming a househusband, like his mother instead, because to Kabir playing up a career sounds zany. After the two get married, Kia happily takes on the role of “the bread-earner” in her family, leaving Kabir to manage the two’s home instead. The film is lukewarm in spots, despite it’s overarching feel-good atmosphere: there is a loose story about suspicions over infidelity brewing in Kia’s mind for Kabir, along with the thought that the male protagonist is a “Goody Two-shoes”, when his wife is instead more zealous. Because of these loose stories, the film does not really elaborate how tough it must be in Indian society to simply switch traditional family roles (for women, in particular), preferring to instead sugarcoat this new forward-manner of Indian thinking.
Kabir, is the kind of man that most don’t expect to meet in India: when it comes to goodness, he is naturally a hyperbole. Kabir is also over-sensitive, and massively popular with neighbourhood women (because of his brewed up plans for females interested in maintaining a better diet and regular exercise), and women en générale (Kabir lives in a co-dependent relationship with his wife, and this attracts the attention of many, inclusive of cookery shows). With his latest film, R. Balki has managed to push the envelope in terms of creativity, and boldness because not very often do you meet a male character, so different from the usual butch male kinds in Indian films. Furthermore, this is a film that does justice somewhat to newer romantic urban cultures propping up all over India, that is less about tradition, and more about reformist.
The adult comedy, Mastizaade, centres around the curing of two sex addicts, Sunny Kele and Aditya Chothia, who have hopelessly fallen into that state because of a fun-loving prankster. Played by Tusshar Kapoor and Vir Das, respectively, the boys try very hard to get rid of their obsession with sex, even when they fall in love with a set of twin sisters (Laila and Lily Lele), but to no avail. The twin sisters, to elaborate, are natural opposites, they have a gay brother (who falls in love with Kele), and one of them is even engaged to a patriotic (and handicapped) army officer; basically, Lily is a simple young girl, with stuttering issues, whilst Laila is wholly-contemporary, in nature, and the film is a fat collection of one-line comedic sentences, and typecast humour doses, with a lot of regularity – funny and familiar.
Rocky Handsome, is an official adaptation of the Hollywood success story, John Wick (2014), starring Keanu Reeves. John Abraham plays Rocky Ahlawat, a pawnbroker, who develops a mutual fondness for his neighbour’s young daughter, even though she likes to nick items, and her mother disapproves of the two’s relationship. The young girl’s mother is addicted to drugs, and is also a dancer at a bar, but she doesn’t seem to be too concerned over how this new friendship between her daughter and her neighbour could actually prove to be a positive experience in the child’s life, for a change. The film soon shifts into a thrilling spin of mystery and secrets, however, with the abduction of the girl, that Rocky must now enlist himself to not only protect, but also save. Peppered with action scenes, very uncommon to Bollywood, Rocky Handsome, is an emotional commitment to John Abraham’s naturalistic portrayal of the electrifying adventures of a sombre and silent young man.