October 22, 2006

KANK - the ultimate spoiler review because I can

Well, the verdict is in and the tissues are still in the box.

As I feel I am the last person on this planet who had not seen KANK, I will write this post assuming that anybody who reads this post has seen it. So again: Warning major spoilers ahead!

In KANK we have two married couples who are totally wrong for each other. So wrong in fact, that from the beginning you want to shout: "End it. Chor do unhe. You are doomed trying to make these marriages work. Why, oh why did you get married in the first place?" So it is totally understandable and, whats more important for me, even acceptable that the two most unhappy characters who, thanx to the screenwriters grace, seem to unterstand each other perfectly, start having an affair. And while we see this story unfold we are treated/forced to all kind of stuff happening and meet various people. Or don´t meet, like him:

The movies biggest problem. The screenplay. Its just not good. No I don´t mean in the way that the story would not work. It does, but it is stale and so nothing new. Almost every twist and turn has been there, and thats not the innovative movie we were sold. And now don´t tell me its new for Hindi movies. The look, feel and language that Karan tried to give the film is aiming at Hollywood so its very well that I compare KANK to that.
Marco is dead on in his review if he hopes that the writer will not be allowed near any Bollywood production in the future. She resorts to using (too) well known bits from movie history as patches whenever the writing would actually need some storytelling skills. Like the "black beast" thing for example. So much precious screentime wasted only to get an excuse to have Maya and Dev meet again. The Central park TV crews, the super annoying nurse. And that is a big pity as we are at a vital point in the story, which now serves as a very weak foundation for the whole film. And there are more of these band-aids because each "coincidence" needs another one only to justify its existence.

Two more things that really ticked me off:
The background score. The Swan Lake music in the ballet scene sucks big time. The synthie violins sound so incredibly cheap and spoiled the whole scene. We call that "italian porn music". Pathetic. Don´t tell me there was no budget left to get the rights to one of the countless real orchestra recordings.
Another thing, did you notice that Karan replaced the annoying thunder of K3G with the irritating "woosh" sounds and the overindulgence of whiteouts in editing? And don´t let me start on that stupid stupid visual/audio editing echos, like "I love you, Maja...I love you, Maja...I love you, Maja..."

Sorry had to get that of my chest and yes, thank you, I now feel better for it.

But I did not hate the movie. It´ s just... C´mon here´s a freaking Dharma Production. I know they are able do to stuff like Kaal but this is a KJ movie he supposedly worked on for the last 5 years. So I´m intitled to expect better. Bas.

As for the stuff I liked and I really did like quite a bit. Its bits and pieces. Like the cast. They make whatever is possible out of such a weak written script.

The male characters. Even sexy Sam in spite of being wasted mostly storywise. AB 1.0 does not get much place to shine but some stuff he says made me laugh out loud. My favorite quote is from the toystore scene:
"Dad...what did you have for breakfast?! I don´t know, I don´t remember her name".
Plus actually all his scenes with Kiron Kher.

AB 2.0. Yup Rishi is the guy. Now thats husband material. I would not even mind his tendency for extreme fainting. And he got the best temper tantrums (probably the only reason at the moment to look forward to Sarkar 2)

I like Dev. Grumpy ol´bat he is. You know the one person Dev really should be pissed at? His surgeon. In this day and age and with his social standing and financial background I just cannot imagine that even after 7 years he still is not able to kneel without immense pain.

And both wifes are stupid and so selfish I wanted to kick them. Especially Maja. Might have to do with my not so being the hugest Rani fan out there, but I thought she was the most selfish, most cowardly, most dishonest of the four.

Some things though KJ did get right. Like the staging of "Where´s the party tonight". Or Maja and Dev not falling straight into their arms after being kicked out by their spouses. Or the way the two fights evolved after the anniversery dinner.
And the "thats why I do love SRK" visuals like that:

or that:

You also can always count on KJ for a bunch of cameos like Kajol, John Abraham aur woh mobile phone larka. And of course Totally Basmatic, our very own continuity error here and here

So, that bad? Naa, not really. Disappointing? Not after all the reviews and reports I read before hand. A good movie? An ok one. Care to give a KJ films ranking? Hmm difficult. K3G holds a special place in my heart as it hooked me on Bollywood movies. KKHH just never clicked big time with me. And I really can´t say where KANK fits in. But I still have hope for the ultimate KJ film. A little less self-enamored directing. A bit flashier editing and a better script and dialogue writer and I´ll cry my heart out next time. Meri shaadi ki kasam.


Anonymous said...

Never thought about the cowardliness of the characters. Veeeery interesting point! I agree, Maya is cowardly - it's so unfair to keep someone else hostage to your own fear of taking responsibility for your emotions and then doing something about them.

And what is that first picture? I have no memory of that scene whatsoever. Isn't that Sharon's FPMBF?

babasko said...

yup thats from the deleted scenes. KJ cut cute riteishs cameo out....

Anonymous said...

for me its not only the script. its also a bad performance of mr. khan. he just does not manage to make this deeply hurt person work. all he can do is beeing aggressive. but dev is not a aggressive type, he's hurt, he's ironic, he's unsure about himself and does try to hide this behind barriers. but mr. khan does not manage to show these facettes of dev. and cause the main actor does not work, the whole movie can't work. allmost all my bollywood time i'd thought of mr. khan beeing a great actor with many unused skills. nowaday i am unsure if he has more skills than this smiling type we all like.

babasko said...

No, sorry michael, thats to harsh. of course in a perfect film these facets of dev would be shown, but all in all KANK is just a commercial product and KJ was the director. so he is responsible for SRKs performance. and he seemed only to want the angry/charming parts of dev. there is no room in this script for psychological depth. KJ just put a new coat on the same old: SRK (and the rest of the cast) playing to the masses...

Anonymous said...

i cant agree you. the angry part is the direct response out of the hurt one. if somebody should feel with dev, it has to be that way.

i agree with you, karan is the most responsible one. but i don't think shahrukh matched the requirement for his role.

Anonymous said...

"You know the one person Dev really should be pissed at? His surgeon. In this day and age and with his social standing and financial background I just cannot imagine that even after 7 years he still is not able to kneel without immense pain.

I really should not read blogs at work. I had to suck in a really big laugh so I wouldn't scare the guy in the next cubicle...

I agree with Michael, I wanted more depth from SRK. He's an experienced enough actor to bring more to the screen than what the script offered. Actually, I get the feeling that none of them took this film very seriously because they knew it would make buckets of cash just because of who was in it.

babasko said...

t.hype you nailed it. thats what was bothering me all along. thats the big problem with KANK. it really feels like its KJ and his friends dallying along with big bucks on their hands not taking the movie seriously and in doing so somehow cheating their audience.

Maja said...

Great post! Except aww, I love Rani.
I just ordered my KANK DVD a few days ago, really looking forward to watching it again, I wonder what I'll think of it the second time around.

Re. SRK's acting skills - of course he has them (see Swades and Don), but it seems they're lurking deepdeep down somewhere a lot of the time ...

Anonymous said...

i agree with maja, great post! and - if it's a comfort - you weren't the last on earth seeing kank, there are us living in germany, not buying the dvd... ;-) i saw it only yesterday.

i think dev really hates himself. the thing is - if you don't love yourself, and are harsh and unkind towards yourself, it's hard to love others or be nice, whether it's your child or someone who happens to jostle you(? anrempeln). of course dev is hurt, and that's why he's ironic and bitter and mean; for me, his character works out. i don't think i like him, but i feel sorry for him.