Free Press Journal

Movie Reiew: Katti Batti – A romance that kills-quite painfully!


Cast: Imran Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Vivan Bhatena

Director: Nikhil Advani

Rating: * *

Runtime: 135 mins

‘Many Influences but zero talent and less than half a life.’ If an epithet had to be written on the gravestone of Nikhil Advani’s Bollywood career, this would be it. Just last week he punched us in the face with his boomeranging take on Subhash Ghai’s ‘Hero,’ with two star children in the main lead and a redux narrative that never quite got the essence of  the original’s passionate story-telling, right. The critics and the Box-office certainly squared that up with a near unanimous K.O. Even so, the never-say-die hopers were cautiously optimistic of his then soon-to-be-released ‘Katti Batti.’ He couldn’t really go wrong with a hot and happening Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan as the never-seen-before lead pair, could he?

But star cast and hatke pairing alone does not a film make. UTV and Nikhil Advani should have known that from the many bad experiences they’ve had before this. And fashioning a rom-com between two unique but entirely confused individuals, deserved some consistency in the least.

 The script goes all over the place trying to blend bohemianism and conservatism, creating a mishmash that crushes out all hope for good sense and logic. Madhav(Imran) falls in love with Payal(Kangana) at first glance. And it plays out more like an ego-ride than a chemical reaction between two attractive adults. They are in design school , he  is purportedly studying for architecture and  she is an artist(for the moment at least). He pursues her in earnest while she makes him earn the victory the hard way. Then it turns out, much later, after they live-in and break-up, that she was dating Vicky(Vivan Bhatena) when Madhav proposed to her. Not that it mattered much because she promptly broke up with the flamboyant and trendy Vicky to latch on to the straight-laced Madhav. And we’re not quite clear why? Well..after umpteen break-ups and patch-ups they have a mother-of-all at the airport where Madhav dumps her in front of a half a dozen open-mouthed gapers. And this when they were on their way to Goa to rekindle their togetherness.

 I am sure you are getting as confused as I was, watching it. In fact just when you think all is lost, Advani ushers in the standard tear-jerker ploy hoping for surprise but managing disbelief instead. It’s an incredulous move that gravitates against sound logical sense and completely against the flow. But also, there probably was no other way to save the film from an igneous  ending. The story is an unaccomplished patch work quilt of elements from  ‘Saathiya, Sweet November, A little bit of heaven and Kal Ho na Ho. ’But there’s nothing significant of this unseemly coming together of ideas and ideologies that fail to generate amazement or amusement.

Songs are niche and forgettable, tempo is uneven, tone goes beserk and  Imran and Kangana are likeable but did they really think this film would take them places?

Did Aamir Khan suggest the final twist in the hope that a handkerchief wetting climax would endear the lead pair to an audience reeling from a till now trashy and hopeless experience? Well..your guess is as good as mine. Reports did say that Aamir Khan had tears in his eyes when he saw the finished take at a private screening. And I am willing to  put my money on the fact that his sadness was the direct result of the sheer idiocy on display here!