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'Katti Batti': A Syrupy Cocktail Lacking Vision And Execution

22/09/2015 8:20 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Indian Bollywood actors Kangana Ranaut, left, Imran Khan, second left, director Nikhil Advani, right, and producer Siddharth Roy Kapur pose for photographs during the trailer launch of their forthcoming movie “Katti Batti” in Mumbai, India, Sunday, June 14, 2015. The romantic comedy movie is scheduled to be released on Sept. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Nikhil Advani's Katti Batti, starring Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan in the lead roles, proves to be quite an underwhelming experience. The movie over promises but terribly under delivers. It's the last thing an actress like Kangana Ranaut needed amidst the golden run she has been enjoying for quite some time now. Katti Batti comes across as a failed rocket launch wherein the rocket could never really make a takeoff. The only good thing about the movie perhaps is Imran Khan who tries his level best to put life into something starkly lifeless. Unfortunately, the non-linearity of the narrative fails to make up for the lack of meat in the movie's storyline.

"In addition to the absence of a cinematic logic, the movie also appears quite weak in terms of aesthetics."

Meaningless plot twists are introduced so conveniently as if intended to insult the intelligence of the viewer. Of late, Kangana Ranaut has established herself as the thinking man's actress but there is little cerebral about her drab turn in Katti Batti. In addition to the absence of a cinematic logic, the movie also appears quite weak in terms of aesthetics. The movie fails to examine the social or moral implications of a live-in relationship in modern-day India. All the movie proves to be is a syrupy tale of shallow and superfluous emotions. The drama and suspense elements seem rather forced and only add to the viewer's annoyance.

Plainly speaking, Katti Batti is devoid of any substance. The movie heavily relies on the use of gimmicks as a convenient substitute for organic storytelling. Nikhil Advani's blunt direction fails to give any flow to the shoddy material at hand. Except for the final few scenes, Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut fail to exude any romantic chemistry. Katti Batti, in a nutshell, is a mishmash of ideas which lack both coherence and structure. The only respite for the fans of Kangana Ranaut is that she continues to look like a Barbie Doll thanks to the lovely costumes she gets to wear in the movie; those looking after her wardrobe certainly need to be commended.

"All the movie proves to be is a syrupy tale of shallow and superfluous emotions."

Overall, Katti Batti serves as half-baked cinematic product, lacking in terms of vision as well as execution. The subject of live-in relationships in the modern Indian society has all the ingredients of becoming a hot seller but, alas, the unimaginative treatment of the subject in Katti Batti leaves one utterly disappointed. While Shankar Ehsaan Loy's music fails to inspire, Maahir Zaveri deserves a special mention the brilliant show in the editing department. Also, there is nothing exceptional about Tushar Kapoor's cinematography. The movie borrows heavily from one or two Hollywood films (naming them would be tantamount to leaking major spoilers; contrary to the speculations, 500 Days of Summer is not one of them). Katti Batti is not actually a bad choice if you are merely looking for an activity to pass your time but it is far from being a compelling movie viewing experience.

(A version of this article was first published at A Potpourri of Vestiges)

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