Ki and Ka : Movie Review
In one of the scene’s in R. Balki‘s ‘Ki and Ka’, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan playing themselves, discuss gender role reversals. Jaya asks Amitabh if he would have been happy being a homemaker while allowing her to continue acting after their marriage. While the Big B awkwardly retorts that he would be perfectly fine with that arrangement, his face and body language indicate otherwise. That amusing scene pretty much sums up the basic concept of Balki’s fourth feature film.
Balki, whose films are invariably driven by concept rather than a strong screenplay, gives a fine twist to the gender expectation set by our society – It’s ladKA who earns the bread and the ladKI who applies the butter on it. In a role reversal, Balki’s KA or Kabir (Arjun Kapoor) prefers to be the househusband to his KI or Kia (Kareena Kapoor) who toils it out in corporate boardrooms.
They meet each other aboard a boring flight and despite a 3 year age gap (Kia’s older to Kabir), decide to be life partners more out of their individual choice. She aspires to be a CEO while he, inspite being an IIM topper, wants to be like his mom. Expectedly, Kabir’s billionaire builder dad (Rajit Kapur) throws a fit while Kia’s mom (Swaroop Sampat) inquires about their sexual compatibility. Anyways, marriage happens and with it, comes the problems and misunderstandings…
The story as such, is minimalistic and Balki plays around with situations rather than going for narrative twists and turns. A few sequences are truly amusing like the pregnancy scare and Kabir proudly displaying his mangalsutra as a bracelet. Having said that, Balki’s concept appears stretched for a full length feature film. Being an ad film maker, I believe he is used to executing high level concepts within a short time frame and seems to struggle a bit in the second hour by which time he is finished with what he had to say. The second half of Ki and Ka dips and dithers – a flaw I had observed in his previous outing ‘Shamitabh’ (2015) as well.
More on the flipside count those irritating product endorsements from Kalpataru Towers to Saffola oil to even a pregnancy test kit…yikes. Also, the way Kia’s office colleagues accept Kabir as a househusband looks unconvincing. C’mon guys, if my female colleague were to introduce her spouse to me like that, my face would naturally show some amount of surprise.That scene actually had potential to expose the societal gender role bias which was frittered away. The ending also appears to be a rushed up job.
Of the cast, Kareena Kapoor is completely convincing as the go-getter career minded woman. She looks ravishing and also shares a sizzling chemistry with her co-actor. As for Arjun Kapoor, possibly reliving his teenage fantasy about Kareena, does a fine job as the hubby who likes to chop vegetables at home rather than present powerpoint decks in board meetings. Swaroop Sampat as the open minded mom brings the nostalgia of her ‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi’ serial (1986) days.
Technically, P.C. Sreeram’s cinematography is of the highest order. Music by maestro Illaiya Raja and couple of others fits the mood of the film. Editing by Chandan Arora could have been better.
To sum up, Ki and Ka works more at concept level though not everyone will subscribe to it. Eminently likeable through it’s 126 minute duration, this gender blender is recommended to all the Ki’s and Ka’s who frequent high end multiplexes for their weekend entertainment.