Katti Batti Movie Review

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Too much of Nikhil Advani kills, and bearing him two weeks in a row, turned out to be horror show. The much anticipated Katti Batti is a dud. For those who bought into the film’s bright world, we are really sorry guys, but there is hardly anything good about this uninspired romantic comedy which is a sorry mishmash of Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk To Remember, blended in with Sweet November and 500 Days of Summer, but doesn’t come even close to their zest with its loopy plot. No wonder Bollywood has a saying – Never judge a movie by its trailer.
Imran Khan, with all his two-and-a-half expressions, tries hard to pump in the spunk from his earlier romantic comedies. Afterall, at a point of time, he was the official cute-boy whom bimbettes fell for in Bollywood rom-coms. Katti Batti is just smell-the-coffee-reality-check for Imran to realise that he hasn’t made much headway in the industry. He is still running down airport lounges, even seven years after he made airport love stories a hit with audiences. But let’s not blame the man needlessly in this case... It was one of those films which even an actress of Kangana’s stature couldn’t salvage. With all her vivacious energy and effortlessness, she fails to bring back the film from its grave. Afterall, her only job in the film was to look pretty and given her vulnerable porcelain beauty, that wasn't a hard feat.

Katti Batti is dead from the word go. Nikhil and his writer Anshul were plain lackadaisical and their laziness shows glaringly. A film can’t be a compilation of abrupt scenes, strewn together to extort money from unassuming audiences who will walk in to enjoy it on a fun weekend. The climax, that seems superimposed on a narrative that probably had a different ending, is sappy and melodramatic, failing to jerk out a single tear. Nikhil should take the onus for our malfunctioning tear glands, and for making another run-in-the-mill romantic comedy which has neither romance nor humour to vaunt. The wafer-thin story is needlessly stretched for 132 minutes, till you had the strong feeling of ramming your head into a wall.  
Payal and Maddy meet in college and fall in love eventually. After five years of living together, she dumps him and returns to Delhi to marry her school sweetheart. Maddy senses a catch in the story and spends two hours of his and our lives to excavate the truth. A big chunk of the film unspools as flashback and amidst all the going forth and coming back in time, the film loses plot. 
How Payal and Maddy fall for each other over frivolous dating and how the head-over-heels in love Payal leaves her opportunity to study in London, for Maddy, is never described. It all happens too conviniently and is more silly than breezy. Neither the lead characters, nor the supporting roles are well fleshed out. We never know their characteristics, their hobbies, what they adore about each other and what they detest in each other. For a romantic comedy, it is necessary to establish its two lead characters well, for their chemistry to feel palpable. Hence, there is obviosuly a genuine lack of zing in their chemistry, precisely because of the poorly sketched characters.
For most part of the first hour, the most pertinent questions were – Why is Maddy’s bestfriend so graphic? (At one point, he hooks up Maddy with a big bosomed girl at their workplace saying – Mita le apni desperation - by making an obvious physical gesture hinting at her assets. Ofcourse, hot women who crush on their colleagues are loose and hence easy rebounds preys) Why is Maddy’s sister so shrill? (She screams all through the film in her annoying bossy voice, which makes her the least likeable character in the film). When the story moves to Delhi, Maddy befriends a bogus musician-cum-lovegyaan group called FOSLA (which has the legend-wait-for-it-dary acronym Frustrated One-sided Lovers Association). They inspire Maddy to wage the Ishq-wala jung which lands in jail and causes his sister to shriek in higher decibels - such grief!
The overwhelming prurient thinking can’t be missed. In one of the first dialogues of the film, Maddy asks Payal, ‘Tujhe aise shaadi ke bina live-in mein rehna ajeeb nahin lagta?’ And then it doesn’t even hinder people from labelling her as ‘chaloo’, when she dumps him without any apparent reason. Old boyfriends walk in from oblivion and college animosities prevail even after five years. Clearly, almost everything wrong with this morose tale.
The incoherence of the story becomes more blatant due to the past-present, flashback-now, shifts. Had Nikhil taken up an uncomplicated tone to narrate his story, this film would’ve turned out so much better.
Probably, the only memorable scene in the film is when Maddy clasps Payal’s hand, when his mother’s body is put inside for burning in the crematorium and the only gag that works is that of a customized 5 lac worth commode which dispenses perfume and gives a soothing massage, once the job is done. Yes, a tortoise named Milkha, too made us smile. But that's about it. Though, Nikhil expects us to find humour in a man pinching a baby to get to his ex. But frankly, that’s stooping too low for laughs.
Using humour as a garb clearly didn’t work in the film’s favour. Advani’s affinity for loud, outlandish comedy has always been evident and in this film there are superfluous gay jokes, racist South Indian ones poked on bosses who are overtly physically affectionate and speak with heavy twang, emphasizing on their alphabets too much. The most ridiculous gag in the film is a drunk-as-dead Imran Khan enacting lines from Devdas for his parents. We laughed our hearts out. It was funny, the so-bad-that-it-is-good variety of funny.
The fatal mistake on the film’s part was overusing its weaker actors ( read Imran) over its stronger ones (read Kangana). But then again, actors can only go a certain extent to lift up their films. With a dated, idiotic, boring and logic-deprived script like this, even Academy Award winners hardly had a scope to save it from being a disaster.
Since the makers claimed that the film’s climax has a heartwrenching twist, here’s word of caution : the best thing about Katti Batti’s ‘gloomy’ ending is that you can finally go have aspirin for that nagging, hammering headache the film gave you. We have solid reasons to be cross with Katti Batti, do you?
We rate the film a 40%


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