Say NO to KANK
KANK, listed as the "most controversial film" (for whatever reasons), is a convoluted take at "bad" marriages, leaving me with nothing but a bad after-taste.
Even though KANK didn't evoke any expectations, I was willing to endure the long, tiresome ride (with my partner-in-crime, who applauded me for my patience) just to check out Karan-who-can't-direct-Johar's take on bumpy marriages.
KANK (like most Karan Johar films) is filled with truck loads of beautifully-dressed firangs prancing around in lavish sets. But what it lacks is proper character sketches and a strong storyline. One wonders why two individuals stray out of a perfectly normal relationship, which has tonnes of peace, harmony and affection... but minues the over-rated Bollywood concept of "love".
We enter the lives of -- Dev Saran (Shah Rukh Khan as a footballer who gives up his career following an accident) & Rhea (Preity as his obedient yet successful wife); Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan in a rich man's suit) & his wife Maya (Rani as a cleanliness freak-cum-schoolteacher). They each lead very happy lives until Maya is seemingly cajoled into marrying her childhood buddy Rishi after a strange meeting with Dev. Why the bride was sitting in a park is anyone's guess!
The problem unfolds further when Dev meets with an accident following that meeting and is left with a limping football career. This leaves Dev grumpy, irritable and volatile all through. He barks at all-and-sundry, even traumatises his son and accuses his wife of a career more flourishing than his. Wonder if he would have rather starved than wear rich clothes and live in a palatial house and give his son a good life. Dev is self-obsessed and deserves a good thrashing and why anyone in their right senses would fall in love with him is psychotic. However, it's surprising that he doesn't use his wife's resources to undergo a surgery to correct his limp and re-start playing the ball. It seems, he prefers to sulk and irritate the rest of the world.
Meet Maya, another self-absorbed person. She has what most women dream of -- a loving and caring husband, a beautiful house and a seemingly good career. Yet she prefers to howl her way through the film.
Understood that domestic violence needn't be the only reason for people to look outside their marriages, but Karan forgot to provide any real reason here. Dev and Maya's vacuums are their own selfish creations and aren't reason enough to break something as concrete as a marriage. In fact, such self-centred people shouldn't get married in the first place and definitely not attempt it a second time! What Dev finds in the I'll-cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat Maya and what she finds in the highly-irritable Dev is anyone's guess. It would have been more believable had Rishi and Rhea strayed from their marriages. In fact, they deserve an applause for sticking by their cranky spouses.
It's interesting that Rishi's super-flirtatious dad (Mr Bachchan) is heartbroken to find out about his daughter-in-law's affair even though he has no qualms about sleeping with numerous women, even bring them over to his son's place for a quicke. Is Karan implying that fathers needn't adhere to any moralistic standards? And why should such a fickle-hearted fellow take offence to his bahu's affair?
Looking at performances, Abhishek Bachchan is a rock star. He waltzes through the film with perfection. As for "Pa" Bachchan, he oscillates between the 'over-board' and 'bearable' button. It's a pity to see a talented actress like Kiron Kher being wasted in the film. Preity looks old, unkempt and lacks conviction. Rani should have gone easy on the glycerin. In fact, she's a well-kept puppy, with no ruffled hair, eye-make-up and tear in place. Would have wanted to see more of SRK's screen son , a very likable boy!
The sore point in the film is none other than the King Khan himself. He shrieks, grumbles, whines, makes silly faces and limps through the entire film. It's understandable that life played spoilt-sport with him, but it could have been portrayed in a more subtle way. An angry man need not have to screech all the time, Mr Johar!
In all, KANK is about today's selfish people, their lack of compassion or understanding of each other, their exaggerated concept of happiness and love, and their inability to make an effort to make anything, forget a marriage, work.
The moral, therefore, is - Karan Johar should quit attempting to make "real" cinema and instead drink a lot of coffee!