For over a year now, the Roshans have been drumming up a steady beat, a feat unheard of in the film industry, in promoting their home production Kites. Be it the Barbara Mori-Hrithik Roshan kiss that almost put paid to his marriage with Suzanne, or the ailments suffered by director Anurag Basu and Barbara Mori, which bonded them on the sets or any such trivia they could get their hands on. Topmost being the Barbara-Hrithik romance/chemistry/escapades. All I believe, well choreographed by their PR machinery to feed the hungry media always on the overdrive to be the 'first' to get the 'scoop'.
So why am I beginning a review with the Roshan's PR strategy? Well, to begin with, this film does warrant this type of a scrutiny considering the moolah pumped in for PR, marketing, and the fact the that this is Hrithik's major release after two years. JODHAA AKBAR being his last if you discount his guest appearance in LUCK BY CHANCE. Everything for Hrithik hinged on KITES and he put every ounce of his creative energy in the promotion.
So is the PR strategy a success? You bet. Considering the people that thronged to watch the paid previews. Hrithik is a top draw and he does not disappoint once he gets his audience settled in their seats. KITES is a complete entertainer, a first of its kind in Bollywood; a multi-lingual film in Hindi-English and a spattering of Spanish. However, this film may find it hard to penetrate the interiors precisely for this reason.
But for now, let's celebrate KITES.
The story is uncomplicated. J (Hrithik) is a dance teacher with an eye on making a quick buck. Almost nine marriages later, with immigrants wanting a Green Card, he is stalked by Gina (Kangana Ranaut) a psycho who is besotted by him. J is freaked but soon realizes that she is his jackpot. Natasha (Barbara Mori) is one of his 'brides' who is now marrying Tony (Nick Brown), Gina's brother. Their father is an influential businessman who fronts a famous casino in the US of A. They have the entire state machinery in their pockets. Rub them the wrong way at your own risk.
Here is where a deliciously terrifying thunderbolt of love strikes. Both Hrithik and Barbara look good together and put in super performances. Hrithik, first gets to display his dance, then romance and finally, fury. What more can you want? At least it's not a brainless entertainer.
Basu uses camera movements to highlight emotions to telling effect. In one scene, where J and Natasha are getting passionate, the camera lingers on her family portrait and she immediately backs off. Her poverty is powerfully driven home and the marriage she is getting into for money's sake. The editing is sharp, getting back to 'cut' after a flashback scene. It's a seamless flow of action, dance and drama. Speaking about action, the scenes are top-notch, on par with the best in Hollywood.
Apart from Hrithik and Barbara, who makes the cut, Nick Brown puts in a power performance as the 'crazy' casino owner who will not spare anyone who crosses his path. Kangana as the psycho is perfect while Kabir Bedi is judiciously used. The music changes mood to the feel of the scenes from Wild West to simply bollywood.
At the start, Hrithik's voice-over explains the reasoning of KITES. In the end, you see the allegory.
KITES is a business module for anyone wanting to invest in movies and hit the jackpot. Provided they also get their PR machinery in place, almost a year before the release.