There’s nothing remarkable about the story of Kapoor and Sons – which is based on the classic homecoming scenario, i.e. a group of people, usually connected by family, coming together to form a combustibly dysfunctional whole.
Fawad Khan plays successful older brother to Siddharth Malhotra’s neglected and resentful younger sibling. They return from London and New Jersey on news of their grandfather’s illness, to troubled parents and their own unresolved issues with each other. Soon enough, everyone is at loggerheads, and the family seems to unravel. The film builds to an excruciating climax, which includes one fairly paradigm shifting moment for Indian cinema, and another slightly lazy plot device (you’ll recognise both when you watch the film – or read some of the other reviews!).
What sets this film apart is its telling of the story. Although the characters are familiar (Rishi Kapoor’s roguish, porn-loving grandfather, Alia Bhatt’s manic pixie dream girl) each character’s (considerable) baggage is revealed gradually throughout the film. The writing is tight, and every situation is mined for humour and drama to an appropriate degree. The film’s editing reflects patterns many will recognise from their own families – phases of everyday calm punctuated by moments of conflict, which seem to spiral uncontrollably, with the camera drawing the viewer in. This is the defining feature of the film – you feel like you’ve been there.
Fawad Khan is restrained, brooding and brilliant, taking full advantage of having the most well-developed character in the film. Siddharth Malhotra is lithe and handsome, and Rajat Kapoor and Ratna Patak Shah as parents are scene-stealingly excellent. We found Rishi Kapoor’s prosthetics extremely distracting, and failed to warm to Alia Bhatt’s smug cheeriness. On the whole though, the film is great – well worth seeing.
Kapoor and Sons is now showing at selected cinemas across London
Posted by SK on 20 March 2016