It is hard to write about Kapoor and Sons because the film is about internal struggles rather than a linear story. It’s about how we act for appearances sake, to keep relations civil within a family. Shakun Batra delves in the gap between appearances and reality. Patriarch Amarjeet Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) is close to kicking the bucket and wants a family portrait with his two sons and their family. Eldest son Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) is failing professionally and financially, which perhaps results in his wife Sunita (Ratna Pathak Shah) taking barbs at him. Their marriage, in short, is in a state of disrepair.
Harsh’s two sons Rahul (Fawad Khan) and Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) have their own internal strife going on. Rahul is a successful novelist and investor while Arjun is still struggling to write his first novel and making ends meet by bartending on the side. Arjun has his own grudges against his older brother. The parents seem to be partial to and proud of a successful Rahul while dismissing Arjun as a loser. Professional success seems to determine importance of members in the Kapoor household. Outside the household is Tia (Alia Bhatt), a slightly wild child whose path crosses that of the two brothers.
The film opens with Rahul and Arjun returning home from London and US respectively to see their ailing grandfather. The tension between the brothers is palpable. Slowly the layers are peeled and we learn the reason for their animosity. The true to life characterization of the family members keep the story interesting. Alia Bhat’s lively character adds to the interesting mix till it starts to get too long and repetitive. Moreover, her track does not tie to the main story at all. Thankfully, the film gets back on track and focuses on the struggles within the family. In the end senior Kapoor gets a family portrait not quite the way he expected but the smiles are genuine.
Thanks to excellent makeup, Rishi Kapoor looks every inch the 90 year old he plays in the film. Ratna Pathak and Rajat Kapoor are veterans who bring the right emotions every time. Fawad Khan does full justice to his forever-trying-to-live-up-to-expectations character, Sidharth Malhotra is decent and Alia Bhatt brings liveliness to the film.
This is a film strong on script, screenplay, direction and performances. A little shorter would have made it better.
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Rating : 3/5
Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt, Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak, Rajat Kapoor
Director: Shakun Batra