Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kites (2010)

KitesWith the glittering spectacle of Las Vegas as its backdrop, the Bollywood film "Kites" got a better than average U.S. distribution upon its release relative to other films of its type. Consequently, it stands as one of the highest grossing Bollywood stories shown in mainstream American theaters and even broke into the box office Top Ten for the week of its debut. It certainly seems appropriate as this hybrid tale of romance, music, action and heightened drama clearly takes its plotting influence from Westernized big budget films. "Kites" doesn't aim for realism, far from it! It is a bold, colorful and glossy film product that shuffles together several genres, adds two appealing leads, splashes in some stylized romanticism and a dash of charm and emerges as a crowd pleaser. This truly international tale of lovers on the run features performances in English, Spanish, and Hindi as well as variations and combinations of each. Sure, it may be a bit overstuffed and chaotic at times--but it is grandly entertaining!

The primary plot point is pure romance novel pulp. A streetwise Vegas hustler does whatever is necessary to bring in the cash. While romancing the daughter of a wealthy and dangerous casino boss, he becomes entangled with her brother's beautiful fiance. This begins a chain reaction with dire consequences. Seeking retribution, the hot headed brother relentlessly pursues the young lovers with vengeance and murder on his mind. With some pretty ridiculous (in an entertaining way) car chases, a couple of shoot-em-ups, and some double crosses--"Kites" kicks into action mode as the chase heads toward the border. Never fear, though, the sweethearts have plenty of opportunities for chaste canoodling, sassy banter, and a musical montage or two. Fans expecting star Hrithik Roshan to showcase some hot dance moves may be disappointed that there is only one such number near the beginning of the film--but really, how much would you want to dance if you were taking bullets? Will the couple escape? Is is happily ever after or bittersweet sorrow? You'll just have to tune in.

The film is layered into alternating timelines that heighten the mystery which unravels to reveal the lovers' fate. This is a wild and fun ride with moments of quiet tenderness, sweeping melodrama, silly humor, and over-the-top action mayhem. Really a great popcorn flick--this is entertainment for the sake of entertainment and not meant to be taken very seriously. Roshan and co-star Barbara Mori are immensely appealing and pretty easy on the eyes as well. Even when the film veers into wacky territory, the pair keep you grounded. The film is gorgeous to look at as well--with the Blu-ray, it is exceptionally vivid and colorful.

The DVD set contains the original version AND what is referred to as a Hollywood version. I'm not exactly sure why someone would be interested in a Brett Ratner supervised alternate cut of the movie as opposed to the director's vision. The Hollywood edition is thirty minutes shorter, loses much of the sweetness and musicality, and highlights the action set pieces. It mystifies me, quite literally, but if you want it--you've got it. My advice, though, stick with the original and true version of "Kites." It has charm to spare and achieves real heights of operatic melodrama! KGHarris, 2/11.

'Kites' was specifically made to appeal to Western sensibilities--it's not the first Bollywood film to try to crossover, but it is the first to succeed at it, and it does so while remaining true to the essence of Hindi cinema. 'Kites' looks like an American film, but it feels like an Indian one.

It's not the best Bollywood movie--not by a long shot--but by stripping itself of the typical trappings of Hindi films (and making itself stylistically familiar to Westerners), it reveals the heart of Bollywood--a beating, bleeding operatic heart. Hindi cinema is ultimately not about language or culture or musical numbers; it's about exalted melodrama that draws you in despite yourself and affects you with life's corniness and agony.

The story is set in Las Vegas; the actors speak a combination of Hindi, English, and Spanish; there is only one dance scene; and the plot follows a single sequence of events--all of which help make the film accessible to non-Indian audiences. Director Anurag Basu was the perfect choice for this project as his style naturally lends itself to the objective. Had his previous film, 'Life in a...Metro' (2007), been marketed abroad as aggressively as 'Kites' has been, it would have garnered the same critical praise in the U.S that his latest film has. Cinematographer Ayananka Bose produces sharp, gorgeous shots of the glitz of Las Vegas, the desolation of the desert, and the beauty of the leads, Indian superstar Hrithik Roshan and Mexican actress Barbara Mori.

Roshan and Mori play struggling immigrant hustlers Jay and Linda, who are about to marry into money--they are engaged to sister and brother Gina (Kangana Ranaut) and Tony (Nick Brown), the children of a ruthless crime boss/casino owner (Kabir Bedi). The night before Linda's wedding to Tony, she and Jay stay up until dawn drinking champagne, sharing their tales of woe in a broken hodgepodge of languages, and dancing in the rain. And after one brief, trembling, feel-it-in-your-toes, forbidden kiss, they foolishly, nobly chuck their gold-digging schemes for each other.

Even in love scenes devoid of explicit sex, Roshan is expert at appearing to teeter on the edge of control, and his precarious desire is hotter than bared skin could ever be (see his performances in 'Dhoom 2' and 'Jodhaa Akbar' for more examples)--although bare his skin he does--at least, his eye-popping torso--in between exciting stunts and car chases, as the lovers flee Tony, who's hell-bent on murderous revenge, and adorably struggle to communicate along the way.

'Kites' proves it is possible to fall in love--with people or films--even when you can't understand their language.

'Kites' is rated Must See.

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Buy Kites (2010) Now

This movie blew me away from the beginning to end.I recommend this movie to anyone who loves good music and romance

Read Best Reviews of Kites (2010) Here

I didnt know that it was a Hollywood version of that beautiful movie. What a shame! I think the Bollywood version it s such way much better. And I noticed because I saw the original one. Looks like its something missing in the movie. I had to explain to the others why certain things happened. Looks like discontinuous sequences. Where is the scene with the dance with J. and Julia (the girl who danced with him at the Dance Contest?) i dont understand why they deleted that gorgeous scene. And they added the love scene! for what? i felt disappointed!

I really thought you were sending me the Original version (the next time im gonna write it down this: I WANT THE ORIGINAL MOVIE MADE IN INDIA)

Thanks any way.



Want Kites (2010) Discount?

I got it brand new for a wonderful price and you wont regret buying this amazing movie. It is a bit exaggerate on the action packed part, but the love story and the actors in it are amazingly beautiful and make a stunning love role

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