Kapoor & Sons : as real as it gets

The first time I saw the trailer, I was convinced that this wasn’t the regular Dharma Productions deal. There was no fat boy to Greek God transformation (Hrithik in K3G) or playing matchmaker to your Dad at summer camp (KKHH). This was slated to be a good old family drama in a house that did not have a helicopter pad. That is saying a lot because there’s a scene in the movie where Siddharth tells Fawad that real stories don’t always have happy endings. Fawad agrees but reminds his brother that that is the reason why people read stories – to escape the immediate reality. And yet, this Karan Johar movie is not asking us to relate to Uncle Scrooge level rich families. Surprisingly enough, this movie isn’t about Alia either.

Kapoor and Sons opens to Dadu’s heart attack which brings the boys home to face their real demons. Arjun (Sid) suspects that his older brother (Rahul) stole his script and went on to become a famous novelist. Rahul on the other hand is tired of playing the perfect son. Sunita (Ratna Pathak) and Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) are in a stale marriage that doesn’t show any possible signs of recovery. Alia is dealing with her own personal loss when she meets the Kapoor grandsons in separate incidents. While many would call this a contrived and well-used and exhausted story, I would beg to differ. None of the characters or their lines seem forced. I have seen families scream and people throwing things at each other. It is also not inconceivable that in our most intimate moments we say things with little empathy and regard for the other person’s feelings. That’s real family life. It is not drama, it’s not staged. It’s the real everyday thing. I have been the kid who tried multiple things to find that one redeeming success factor, and I have been that child who was just tired of doing everything deemed perfect. What I found most endearing was the unexpected and yet beautifully portrayed struggle of a son who finally came out to his family. This is unprecedented for the banner (which did not show the gay angle in good taste in SOTY). Every bit Sunita’s struggle when it comes to accepting a cheating husband and a gay son is tangible and you relate to it as if it were your own family.

When I read that Kapoor and Sons was directed by Shakun Batra (of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu fame), I knew this was a non-conformist (in terms of Hindi cinema) take on love, family, and life. Fun Fact : Remember Nilesh from ‘Pappu can’t dance saala‘ in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na? Yeah, that’s Shakun Batra who was then an Assistant Director. Also, if you gushed about Genelia’s hair in that movie, and then later Kareena’s – your reason is Ayesha Devitre Dhillon who has been another constant element in all three movies. Also, Alia’s wardrobe is the stuff of the dreams. This movie scores high on Coorg landscapes, Booply’s bodybuilding competition, Siddharth’s portrayal of his character’s vulnerabilities, Fawad Khan’s controlled emoting skills, and the most realistic portrayal of a regular family.

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