Kapoor And Sons Movie Review & Everything Else!

It’s not every Friday that I book an afternoon show of the released film. But I had to make an exception for Kapoor And Sons because I loved Shakun Batra’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. And Kapoor And Sons looked like a movie that would leave me emotional. When ever anyone asks me what kind of movies I like or how I critique a film, I only tell them this. It should be an experience that moves me. It can’t bore me or not have any effect on me. It should have some sort of impact. That’s my only criterion.

Kapoor and Sons
Kapoor and Sons

So, what about Kapoor and Sons? In one line,

it will make you cry a little, smile a lot and be grateful for your family

because they are the only ones who are truly yours.

Just like a family portrait which is never perfect despite carefully considering all conditions, the family itself isn’t either. But there is a lot of love, hopefully. And the nuances and imperfections that make it uniquely yours.

Kapoor & Sons Poster

Let’s start with the painstakingly crafted characters essayed by an excellent range of actors. Right from Rishi Kapoor, the Kapoor (whose first name is irrelevant) who heads this esoteric family and helms the reel Kapoor And Sons. To Rajat Kapoor, the seasoned Ratna Pathak Shah and the delectable Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra. And the completely hot and charming Alia Bhatt who proves no role is big or small for an actor. I want to give all of them (characters and actors who play them) a big, big hug. Except Rishi Kapoor, who I just want to kiss, with his prosthetic make-up in tact.

Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor And Sons
Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor And Sons

To give away any plot points of Kapoor And Sons is to take away from the experience of watching it and doing injustice to the review. Watch it, with a family member, if you can, and revel in the experience.

I’d like to point out that I have been grooving to Let’s Nacho every day (more than once) and you will too after you’ve watched the movie, not knowing which ‘step’ to choose. You’ll definitely want to ‘bust some moves’ to Kar Gayi Chull as well.

Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons
Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons

There are some absolutely hilarious moments in the film when the audience clapped and laughed too. There are some candid moments that everyone will identify with. And there is a hell of a lot of attention paid to detail. It all comes together so beautifully, it made me want to write this blog even more.

Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons
Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons

I strongly believe one of the film’s many strengths is it’s very very clever and passionate writing. Kudos to Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon. I want that for myself.

And I want to wrap up this blog by saying you don’t come across a Kapoor And Sons every other week. A film that doesn’t even have title credits and gets right to it is a gem. It tells a heart-breaking story with ease and beauty.

Book your tickets already!

Gold Cinema ad

Making a splash this monsoon with Bata

Before the rains actually set in, some of us were invited to the Bata store to take a look at their monsoon collection. In an outfit suited to the season, we picked the pairs we liked most and posed for a shutterbug. Do I get a thumbs up for my monsoon ready ensemble?

Monsoon Basics
Monsoon Basics
Monsoon ensemble
Monsoon ensemble

Seventeen and Done! Alice chats with author Vibha Batra

Seventeen and Done
Seventeen and Done

It’s a funny story of how Vibha and I got in touch. But read about the book and our chat here:

What’s Seventeen and Done about?

Rinki and her wolf pack (that’s how she thinks of Robin and Sudha) are back in action! And they have company. In the form of Google (Mr. Know It All. ‘If I don’t know something, chances are neither does the search engine’) and Adit (Mr. Goody Two Shoes. ‘Life is short. Study hard’). At last, Rinki has her wish. She has two boys fighting over her, er, mostly with her.

Meanwhile, Rinki’s brand new grandmother, Mausiji, is raising hell at home. Her Dad, lucky fellow, is away in Coimbatore. And it’s all up to Rinki to cool tempers down. Mom and Mausiji are always on each other’s throat. And so are Google and Adit. Aiyyo aiyyo.

At school, things are no better. Board Exams are looking large and the Princy is making her feel smaller than ever. Her grades are shrinking and her waistline is growing. Tuition classes are keeping her up at unearthly hours and the syllabus is putting her to sleep. Her gym routine is like her love life. Non-existent. For the very same reason. With all the madness, where’s the time?

School life is about to get over. But not before things get a lot more crazy. Read the next installment in the Rinki series and discover why turning seventeen is no walk in the park!

Penguin Inked
Penguin Inked

Seventeen and Done has been published under the Penguin Inked arm:

Inked is a hip new imprint from Penguin Books India with a focus on the best writing for teens and young adults.

Who is Vibha Batra?

Movies (the soppier the better). Meals (think unlimited South Indian thaalis). Mad sitcoms (compulsive viewing, season 1-100). Just a few things that make Vibha happy. In addition to mails (the gushing kinds) from readers, of course. She wants to keep writing till her last breath (or carpal tunnel sets in, whichever comes first). She wants to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. (Best Adapted Screenplay for any of her books will do just fine too). She was last sighted at a quaint café in Chennai, hunched over the laptop, writing away like a woman possessed.

Vibha Batra
Vibha Batra

Alice’s conversation with Vibha:

Dhruvi Shah: Even from your bio and what little I’ve read of the book, you’re largely influenced by pop culture. I believe we all are to a certain extent. How do you incorporate that in your writing?

Vibha Batra: Hey, I’m trying to have fun with it. Keeping an eye out, ear to the ground, tongue firmly in cheek. I suppose it’s a case of ‘If you can’t run away, run with it’.

Continue reading Seventeen and Done! Alice chats with author Vibha Batra

Do you often wonder if you’re FAT?

T-shirt design
T-shirt design

A heated conversation and chocolate dipped butter cookie later, I’m writing this post. It started with a compliment, “I like the way you carry yourself”, continued with “don’t you think you would look even better if you lost some weight?” and ended with “It’s alright. I was just talking to you as a friend”. As well-intentioned as that conversation was, it wasn’t the first and certainly not the last. Let’s rewind 5 years ago. I was fresh out of college, thin and taking on my first job. In 5 years I’ve progressively put on 15-16 kgs. That’s a lot right? I know it is. The alarm bells never rang for me. Until I was ‘marriageable’ age and my parents thought I was overweight. I started working out – power yoga. It was the most ‘in’ and ‘seemingly effective’ form of exercise. I consulted a dietitian – altered my diet for six months. I lost 5 kgs? I was still 10 kgs overweight. I still am.

Weighing scale
Weighing scale

There are some people you meet and you come away with thinking of them as ‘fat’. I don’t consider myself one of those people. There are also some people who try really hard to lose the extra weight and succeed. I’m not one of those people either. You see, I’m a rebel with a cause. I don’t want to lose weight because the prospective boy I’m going to meet is going to reject me. I will only lose weight when it’s a health concern. Is it? I’m going to find out very soon. I’m scared shitless. I don’t want to find out that in addition to everything else, I have to worry about a major health issue.

So what is my problem? The freaking double standards. Every time someone so little as comments on my weight, I wish they would take a good hard look at themselves and tell me they’re fit and healthy without batting an eyelid. Most times, they can’t. Being underweight comes with its own problems. Of course, there are the boys who want their girls (friends or dates) to be ‘slim and trim’. Do they have a six-pack, are they good-looking, are they strong? No. Very few of them are.

Why, as Indians is it our national hobby to talk to people about their weight? Why is it that we can’t accept and flaunt our beautiful curvaceous bodies? Why is it that our actresses are getting skinnier? Why is it that we concentrate so much on weight when obesity is a national concern for another country? We have far bigger issues, as a people, to worry about!

Fun quote
Fun quote

I didn’t always look like this and I’m not going to either. I’m constantly changing and so is the structure of my face and body. I’m a beautiful person and I believe that. I don’t need to convince anyone. I know my body type, I dress accordingly and as of last week, I fit into a dress sized M from Forever 21. I take tests when I’m asked to. I don’t always follow-up with the medication. I want to be mentally healthy as a top priority. A fat girl doesn’t reside inside me. You can point out all my bodily flaws all day long but you won’t convince me.

Health is important. Weight isn’t. Love, family, support count. Judgements (especially other people’s) don’t.

Every now and then some of my friends talk to me about weight issues. Despite flared conversations, we don’t reach conclusions. While it feels great to fit into a bikini and college denims, it feels equally great to bite into chocolate and a cheesecake. The solution is balance, containment and contentment. The answer is to do everything guilt-free. Enjoy it all. Live a good life. Because that’s what matters.

Every body is beautiful
Every body is beautiful

Ask yourself this. When you meet someone new, are they going to remember you as a ‘fat person’ or an interesting person? And how they do is a good enough indicator of whether you want to continue knowing that person. Do you have enough clothes in your closet to take you through a month or a fortnight? If yes, you’re doing just fine. Do you have a good set of friends and actual well-wishers around you? Then you know who the gossips are. Do you have someone to hold your hand when you take tests, lean on if you are suffering? Then you don’t need someone enjoys your misery.

Make informed choices. And just work towards being happy. We have so much to take us down. A real superperson is one who knows how to uplift themselves.

Me. Now.
Me. Now.

I want to tell all of you, my friends and readers included. I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m aware of my flaws and I also know how to work them. Yes, there are days it doesn’t seem like it. But I’ve learnt to accept myself. You should too.

Alice loved Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and here’s why

Alice
Alice

Do you like this new picture of me? If you do, I can say I have the least role to play. It’s the hair, wind in my hair, make-up, light, photographer, post-processing, etc. I’m making a point here. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is not a great film. But as a product, as an experience, it’s amazing and so much fun.

I watched Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani earlier today with the team I currently work with. And we were having a conversation en route, the crux of which was as long as you can articulate why you do/don’t like a film, we have an ear. But if you want to wash your hands off at “I hate the film”, “I love the film”, your statement is short of an opinion.

I’m often asked what it is like to critique a film and I respond with ‘It’s fun as long as the film moves me in some way or the other.’

My observations on this film follow:

Deepika and Ranbir in YJHD
Deepika and Ranbir in YJHD

Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone are really good-looking people. Ranbir is a natural when it comes to acting topped with full-throttle charm. Deepika’s acting has consistently improved with every film. They fit the characters they are essaying in the film. Media has ensured you know of their personal equation. When something happens between them on-screen, you feel it too. You’re so connected. Their characters are clearly etched out. You know what to expect and there is enough room to be thrown off. Brownie points to writer-director Ayan Mukerji.

The music is a hit in the true sense of the word. There’s a song for every mood. It’s easy to listen to and relate to as well. I was sold on Badtameez Dil. As my colleague puts it, it’s like when we started watching Glee just for the songs. 🙂

If you watched Anupama Chopra’s interview with Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ayan Mukerji, they addressed some very important issues every filmmaker faces. “Picture mein conflict kya hai?” Also, it’s the 21st century, is parental opposition a factor in modern, urban relationships? What worked for me was the portrayal of relationships. A romantic relationship, friendship among school buddies, our relationships with our parents, the difference between platonic girl-girl and boy-boy relationships. I want best friends like Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) but I also want Naina (Deepika Padukone) to be my maid of honour. I want my parents to understand that my dreams are as important to me as my career and I might want the two to marry.

And finally, a change of heart is an experience few are fortunate to have. Acting on it is tough but the reward is sweet.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

In short, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani encapsulates modern times, covered in gloss and trying to find depth on the inside.

P.S. – Look out for the cameos/special appearances. They’re truly wonderful. If you have already watched the film, I’m dying to talk about it some more. If you haven’t yet, let me know what you thought when you do.