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Kapoor & Sons full of good performances, but will World T20 mar its box office?

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MUMBAI: Kapoor& Sons is a family drama. One can slot it as a contemporary family drama extending to three generations. The title of the film does not quite convey the theme as it unfolds on the screen. It is about a dysfunctional family where just about everybody is at crossroads and has a reason to grudge the other, except the fun-loving patriarch, Rishi Kapoor. 

Rishi Kapoor, an ex-army man, has settled in the picturesque hill station of Coonoor in the South with his elder son, Rajat Kapoor, and daughter in law, Ratna Pathak. On the verge of his 90th birthday, Rishi Kapoor wishes that his two grandsons, Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra join him. While, Fawad is a successful writer based in London, Sidharth tends a bar in New Jersey while also aspiring to be a writer. This also sort of establishes that the two brothers are poles apart. 

Fawad is Mr Proper and organized, Sidharth is a drifter who can’t stick to one task. He lives an uncharted life. Both plan to land in India at about the same time and head to Coonoor. Rishi Kapoor has this habit of faking his death. But, when the brothers reach, Rishi Kapoor is actually admitted into a hospital having suffered a heart attack. He is heavily made-up to look 90, and that takes some time accepting for a viewer. 

As you go along, you see the difference in the way the brothers are treated, especially by Ratna and Rajat; Fawad gets most of the attention and priority in everything. Sidharth catches up with an old friend and, through him, meets Alia Bhatt. Alia is an orphan having lost both her parents in a plane crash. She is in Coonoor to deal with her family property. Fawad visits her property and meets Alia. Out on a dinner date with Fawad, Alia ends up kissing him. However, she spends most of her time with Sidharth and finds his company more comforting.

Sidharth and Alia exchange notes and he tells her about how the manuscript of his book resembled Fawad’s bestseller. He is not ready to believe this was a coincidence. The gap widens between brothers when Alia confesses to kissing Fawad.

In this family, the brothers are not the only ones at war. Rajat and Ratna are always at loggerheads too. Rajat’s business is in doldrums and he has added to the problems by getting involved with another woman. Everything comes together to spoil the 90th birthday celebrations of the patriarch. Kapoor may be 90 but his interest in women is intact and his pinup girl is Mandakini under a waterfall in film Ram Teri Ganga Maili. He relishes sweets, which he is barred from, porn films and an occasional puff of pot.

When the skeletons start coming out of the closet, it creates rifts between brothers, mother and ends up costing the life of one. 

Kapoor& Sons breezes through its first half, but the attempt to cram too much into the second half makes it heavy as well as jerky, as attention shifts from one character to another. There is a sort of happy ending as the family comes together once again on Kapoor’s request but it is not all that happy a moment as Kapoor has not only lost a family member, but also his verve and humour.

The film gives the feeling of being stretched. Except for Kapoor’s earlier exploits, there is little to entertain. Besides, music too does not help. The romance is kind of there and not there. ShakunBatra’s direction is generally good as he tries to keep this a real life kind of narration. The dialogue is effective. Shot on lush Coonoor locations, visually the film is pleasing.

Actually, this film is all about performances. While all the actors playing the main characters excel, Fawad gets the best part to play, which adds to his fan following. Rishi Kapoor, being the only one providing light moments, is very good. Sidharth, Alia, Rajat and Ratna too do well.

Kapoor & Sons is a slow starter. Its appeal will be limited to a certain section of audience with single screen patrons ruled out. World T20 is bound to affect its prospects, especially during India Pakistan tie on 19th.

Producers: HirooYashJohar, Karan Johar.

Director: ShakunBatra

Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Fawad Khan, Ratna Pathak, Rajat Kapoor.

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