It may be too early to predict, but ‘Kapoor & Sons’ could well be the best film you’ll see this year, and for many years to come. It will revive every memory of sibling rivalry, parental discord, marital infidelity, dysfunctional-family moments that you thought you had tucked away for good, never to touch again.
It’s a family drama unlike the usual Bollywood fare, veering away from loud histrionics and focusing instead on the emotional undercurrents that lie seething beneath the ‘keeping up appearances’ mantra that all Asian families follow like a religion.
Director Shakun Batra takes the viewer from the light comical feel of the film at the beginning, to the deeply dark tone towards the end so subtly that you never realize what hit you, just as it happens in real life.
If subtlety is the key to a good acting performance, Fawad Khan has nailed it to perfection in ‘Kapoor & Sons’. It’s improbable he’s going to pack a punch more powerful than this one. He must have known it, when he accepted the role of the conformist, ‘perfect son’ who is battling to be just that and keeping his sexual orientation under covers for fear of hurting his parents, that this is as good as it gets. The way Fawad has played this one is not only bold but exceptional. In a cast studded with veteran thespians like Rishi Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah, he holds his own.
Alia Bhatt and Siddharth Malhotra as the romantic leads are impressive, but ‘Kapoor & Sons’ is a film in which there are no lead actors. Every member of the ‘family’ holds up his or her bit of the sky above them and they all sink or swim together, just as real-life families do.
If you haven’t already done so, go and watch this visual and emotional treat – it’s a cinematic gem you’ll cherish for a long time.