‘Kites’ Review

-Ria Brij, BMC ’13

Kites” is an ambitious venture which aims to fly you high but falls flat on its face. It is the story of Jai (Hrithik Roshan), a man whose main purpose in life is to be rich. He makes a living in Las Vegas by having fake marriages with illegal immigrants so that they can obtain green cards. He pretends to be in love with Gina (Kangana Ranuat) when he learns that she is the daughter of a wealthy casino owner. However, he ends up falling in love with Linda (Barbara Mori), one of his illegal “wives” who happens to be the fiancée of Gina’s vicious brother Tony (Nick Brown).  Jai and Linda soon realize that they have involved themselves with a dangerous underworld family, so powerful that they even have the cops of the city under their belt. The real action begins when Tony finds Jai and Linda together, and all hell breaks loose. Jai and Linda are forced to escape, with Tony and the police after them.

In many ways “Kites” is not your typical Bollywood movie. It is very international in the sense that it takes a huge Indian megastar and pairs him with a popular Latin American actress (the first leading Bollywood role for a Mexican actress). It is shot in US and Mexico, and the entire movie is told in a mix of Hindi, English, and Spanish. It is even made to suit different people’s tastes, because you get drama, romantic comedy, and action thriller all for the price of one. Watching this movie reinforces one thing for sure – Hrithik Roshan is a charismatic leading man who knows how to carry a movie. His chemistry with Barbara Mori is spot on and really makes the movie bearable. The cinematography is also spectacular, as the composition of each scene is stunning. The lights, the camera angles, and the scenery are done very nicely. And that’s as far as the good parts go…

The movie is much too long, and at times feels like it is dragging on. Scenes from the movie flash between past and present. This becomes confusing. Twists and turns are added everywhere, but don’t let this deceive you – “Kites” is the simplest and oldest story ever told. Underneath its somewhat complex exterior, it is really just the classic story of the hero wanting the villain’s girlfriend. Once the hero gets the villain’s girlfriend, the villain wants revenge. The second half of the movie, in which Jai and Linda are on the run borders on unrealistic and difficult to believe.  Yes, a lot of Bollywood movies pull off chase scenes which are improbable, but “Kites” has to take the cake when in one scene, our protagonists manage to escape a party of at least 20 shooting cops by flying away in a hot air balloon. It continues in this fashion for the rest of the movie, finishing off with an overly tragic ending which will disappoint most. Watch ONLY if you are a die-hard Hrithik fan!

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