Yesterday I watched Kapoor & Sons and was pleasantly surprised. What seemed like a typical family drama with brother vs. brother and a love triangle at its heart, this movie was anything but a cliche. Don’t let the teasers fool you. Okay, spoiler alert!
Set in the small town on Conoor, in an idyllic little house, you’d initially think this is a the sad tale of a delusional grandad growing old, young sons who have grown distant from their families and each other, and the story of the typical unhappy-yet-happy-together old couple, with little depth to their characters and a teeny-tiny sense of history. It still amazes me how the writer and director managed to give all these characters (there were so many), such a three-dimensional feel to them. I almost found it hard to pick a protaganist. Was it the ‘bechara’ younger brother Arjun, played so convincingly by Sidharth Malhotra, the always-in-control older brother Rahul, played perfectly by Fawad Khan, the girl-next-door played by Alia, Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak or Rajat Kapoor’s character. Each of them stay with you long after the movie is over.
Here are my 5 takeaways and themes addressed immaculately in this film:
- Sibling Rivalry: If you have a sibling, you know what a huge role this relationship plays in your life. And if you’re the younger one, you felt Arjun’s pain. Yet, as the movie ends, you can suddenly see your elder sister’s side of the story. The few scenes with Arjun and Rahul enjoying each other’s company will take you back to all those crazy memories of mischief that belongs to only you and your sibling. It celebrates so beautifully what an integral part our siblings play in our lives.
- Love & Loss: We live long lives and relatioships are constantly changing. In only a few scenes, the love that once was between the parents and then the loss, is communicated, leaving you question life and the irony of it all. Ratna Pathak’s impeccable acting will have you believe that seh is real and this is her story. You might even leave the hall thinking she was the protagonist all this while.
- Infidelity: We still don’t know how to talk about this without a great deal of moral policing. The movie deals with this with immense maturity. Nothing is said, and yet everything can be felt. From betrayal to second chances, the emotions are so intense, believable and not at all over-the-top.
- Stereotypes: Are girls who like to party, easy? Young people have sex all the time. Gays are feminine. This movie breaks so many stereotypes. Everything is subtle, leaving you to peel the layers and engage with the film maker. The movie truly treats the audience as it should be without insulting our intelligence.
- Family bonds: Ultimately, Kapoor & Sons is a celebration of family. It celebrates the young and the old, the imperfections that comprise family, the right and wrong judgements made over lifetimes. It negates distance and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy – that feeling one associates with the ones we take most for granted, the ones we call home. If you are not weeping as you step out of the theatre and speed dialing your mother, father, brother, sister or grandparents, you shouldn’t have watched this movie in the first place. This isn’t a movie you watch, it’s a bunch of memories you preserve.