In any grown up relationship, there are always ups and downs, highs and lows. Whereas, during childhood, the same ups and downs were equalised as 'katti' and batti', where 'katti' signified red signal for communication and 'batti' signified green. This week's release goes by the name KATTI BATTI, and is said to be fresh take on the ups and downs of romantic relationships. But will this film get a Red or a Green signal at the box-office… let's analyze. KATTI BATTI starts off with Payal (Kangna Ranaut) shooting an MMS of a slightly reluctant Madhav Kabra aka Maddy (Imran Khan). This is followed by a hospital scene where Madhav is admitted after he consumes phenyl 'accidentally'. Then begins the flashback of many such incidents and events that show us the tale of his romantic relationship with Payal. The flashback shows that Madhav, who is doing his architecture in the same college as Payal falls head over heels in love with her the very moment he sees her for the first time. Even though he confesses his true love to her at regular intervals, Payal shrugs it off stating that she is just looking out for a 'time pass' relationship and not a committed one. Despite all the odds, Madhav convinces Payal to acknowledge his love and then they take a decision of living-in with him in Mumbai. While life seems to be a bed of roses initially, it gradually opens up its ugly side when Payal and Madhav have an argument for some reason or the other. It is during one such argument at the airport when they were en route Goa, that Madhav decides to break up and leaves her at the airport. After cooling down, when he comes back hunting for her, Payal disappears and switches off her phone, not to be seen again. Unable to digest the mysterious disappearance of Payal from his life, what follows is his endless attempts to search her at every place possible and from everyone possible. Is there more than what meets the eye for the mysterious disappearance of Payal, what ultimately happens to Madhav and Payal's love story, will Payal ever become 'batti' with her 'katti' live-in partner Madhav, is what forms the rest of the film. KATTI BATTI is Nikhil Advani's successive release at the box-office after last week's HERO. Besides directing the film, he has also written the film alongwith Anshul Singhal. With a plot that is supposed to revolve around the matters of the heart, heartaches and heartbreaks, Nikhil fails terribly to hit the right cord. While the film suffers due to a weak script, it seems to have been inspired by various American rom-coms and TV shows put together as episodes in the film. But most importantly, the film's premise is heavily inspired by Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves starrer 2001 film SWEET NOVEMBER. KATTI BATTI suffers from a poor screenplay, which tests your patience throughout the film, right from the word go. While Nikhil Advani has managed to make the film look fresh and young, he fails to build an engaging narrative. Rather than stretching the film endlessly for no reason, he should have focussed on having a stronger storyline and a crisper screenplay. Because of the absence of these vital elements, the film turns out to be an endlessly dull affair. KATTI BATTI primarily belongs to Imran Khan and Kangna Ranaut. As for the performances, Imran Khan, who hasn't had a release for sometime now, is decent only. In the film, he keeps on running after Kangna's character despite the constant refusal from her. His character seems spineless beyond a point. A little more dedicated effort from Imran's side into his character could have given him an extremely convincing onscreen presence. On the other hand, Kangna Ranaut, from whom expectations are sky-high now after her last two hit releases (QUEEN and TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS), seems to be a letdown in KATTI BATTI. One cannot blame her totally for the mess, as her character did not have scope to do anything extra-ordinary. It is indeed sad to see a talented actress like her not having much to do in the film. She also has comparatively lesser screen time as compared to Imran Khan. The rest of the actors help in the film moving forward. Except for the two heavily promoted songs ('Lip To Lip De Kisisya' and 'Sarphira') the music of the film (Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa) is nothing great to write about. The background music (Gulraj Singh), on the other hand, is decent. While the film's editing (Maahir Zaveri) could have been a bit more crisper, the cinematography by Tushar Kanti Ray is commendable. Costume designer Sheetal Sharma has done a good job in styling the lead pair. There are many reasons as to why the film may suffer at the box-office. The main problem with KATTI BATTI is that while its promos and trailers give an impression that the film is a rom-com, the film turns out to be a sob-fest, a reason that may work against the film. Secondly, for a romantic film, the audience has to connect with the lead characters to feel for them. However, in the case of KATTI BATTI that connect never happens. In addition to all this, the film keeps on oscillating between the past and the present, which lands up confusing the audience, especially during the climax. On the whole, due to its weak script and non-engaging narrative, KATTI BATTI will face 'katti' from the audience at the box-office.
Friday, September 18, 2015