I saw Ki & Ka! It was not as good as it could be. In many many ways. Many many many ways. But the soundtrack was good, and Kareena looks fabulous, so it wasn’t a total loss!
(moviemavengal reviews it here. She liked it a little better than me.)
Back when the trailer came out, I was a little worried because it seemed to have a misconception about the difference between “gender” and “sex”. “Gender”, of course, just means societal roles, it has nothing to do with what sex you are. All this movie did was take the usual gender roles and switch the sex of the people fulfilling them. Hardly ground-breaking. And definitely not questioning of gender roles, really just reinforcing the binary. When the whole idea is that there shouldn’t be a binary at all. Homemaker-wage-earner is an concept that really only existed for a few decades and hasn’t been around for a while now, except in the very highest of classes and most developed countries. Everybody providing what they can towards the success of the household as a whole however they can is kind of the reality for most people. Which isn’t to say there aren’t still plenty of gendered expectations at play and sex prejudices and so on! Just that this specific binary is really out of date.
But that’s for the Spoiler review (going up in a few hours)! For the non-Spoiler review, I’ll just leave it that the big theme failed. But beyond that big fail, there were a bunch of little fails as well. Like, for instance, the dialogue! Which was terrible! It felt like Balki wrote the script, put in really obvious placeholders like “and now he says something about how what women do at home is an art”, and then ran out of time/money to get a dialogue writer, and just decided the placeholders were good enough. Nobody talks like this! Nobody!
And nobody behaves or thinks or acts like this either! The characters were just terrible! Kareena’s character was the most well-rounded, and even she had these massive shifts that just made no sense. Arjun’s character, who was supposed to be the heart of the film, was completely one dimensional. Basically a saint, with no growth or change over the course of the film, because he didn’t need to grow out of or change into anything, he was already perfect.
Weirdly, the biggest statement this film made on gender roles was on how empty Arjun’s homemaker character was compared to Kareena’s wage-earner. No matter the sex of the character, if a man is directing/writing, the character who plays the “woman” part is going to be opaque and perfect and mysterious and the character who plays the “man” part is going to be complex and layered and challenging.
But the performing was top notch, I have to say. I won’t say “acting”, because the script didn’t even really give them enough to act. But Kareena in particular managed to infuse personality and charm and realism into her character, even when there was nothing there in the script. Arjun wasn’t quite as good (and I hate hate hate his hair), but he wasn’t bad, and he had a nice kind of laidback vibe that went well with Kareena’s strong authority.
And the songs were fabulous. That would have been worse case scenario for me, if the movie was so bad that I could no longer enjoy the music. Thank goodness, that was not the case! It was just sort of boring and ambitious bad, not like bad taste in the mouth afterwards, actually offensive bad. So I will continue listening to the soundtrack over and over again with no guilt.
And bless you Yo Yo Honey Singh! You brought in the film in the first scene, and you took us out over the ending credits, and if I can just manage to forget everything that happened between the two, it would have been a perfect evening.
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