Kapoor & Sons: The ultimate family film

Arguments, conflicts and clashes normally don't make for a pleasant viewing. Shakun Batra's Kapoor & Sons, however, keeps you riveted as you move from one family fight to another—from the dining table to the kitchen to the bathroom, the lawn and the party, from the husband-wife to the brothers. At times two brawls run parallel, or they spark off each other. Even at its most ugly and shrill the film stays so real and believable that what you see on screen feels like your very own family war zone, a bitter-sweet slice of your own life. Even as a silent spectator you get planted in the action and become a participant. So at one level there is the sense of indulgence and affection towards the characters who could well have been your own granddad, father, mother, uncle or brother, at another it is also a curiously therapeutic experience where you step out of the theatre having come to terms with at least a few of your own demons, if not entirely exorcised all the ghosts.

You could well be the perfect elder child, Rahul (Fawad Khan), always looked up to as the responsible one but who is tired under the weight of all the expectations, wanting desperately to break free. You could just as well be the younger brother, Arjun (Siddharth Malhotra), living perennially under the shadow of a successful sibling, always being the second best, the runner-up, grudging and complaining about everything, right from the bhindi sabzi to his room getting taken over without his go-ahead. You could be the head of the family, Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) bearing the burden of a crippling financial crisis or his wife Sunita (Ratna Pathak Shah) trying desperately to be an entrepreneur but not quite.

On the face of it you might easily say that there's nothing new to Kapoor & Sons. Isn't it the usual, dysfunctional family drama we have seen in countless Hollywood films? But not for a minute does the film feel stale. Batra gives a refreshing new voice to an old, tried and tested trope.

Source The Hindu

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