Critics’ Verdict: Ki & Ka is a Bold Idea, But Fails in Execution

Film critics are of the opinion that R Balki’s ‘Ki & Ka’ reinforces stereotypes instead of trashing them.

2 min read
Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in a scene from <i>Ki &amp; Ka</i>

Film: Ki & Ka
Director: R Balki
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor

Excerpts from reviews of Ki & Ka:

R Balki comes up with the most unique ideas, infuses them with a whimsical energy but in his eagerness to impress, he loses all subtlety. If a man and a woman are happy with the arrangement they have chosen for themselves, nobody outside it has any right to judge. R Balki’s Ki & Ka examines the shifting dynamics of this ancient institution through a contemporary marriage between a homemaker husband and his breadwinner wife. What it wishes for is praiseworthy – to dispel chauvinism and prejudice. But in trying to erase gender stereotypes by reversing roles, he only reinforces them.
Sukanya Verma (
Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor in a promotional still from <i>Ki &amp; Ka</i>
Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor in a promotional still from Ki & Ka
As a commentary on gender norms, Ki & Ka is about as deep as the washing machine commercial that suggests that domestic dynamics will change for good if men start washing the clothes. The binaries along which both the characters are plotted leave no room for negotiation. Kia hates housework (which woman doesn’t?) and is terrified at the thought of pregnancy, while Kabir doesn’t want to be a corporate drone (which man wants to be one?) and embraces domesticity. At no point do these two narratives merge, and by sticking the characters in His and Hers corners, the movie misses an opportunity to examine the straitjackets that society forces on men and women.
Nandini Ramnath (
Director R Balki with Arjun Kapoor and KAreena Kapoor (Photo: Twitter/<a href="">@arjunkusafc</a>)&nbsp;
Director R Balki with Arjun Kapoor and KAreena Kapoor (Photo: Twitter/@arjunkusafc
Too much talk and very little plot progression put the skids under the film. Ki And Ka goes belly up pretty quickly never to recover fully. With its promising premise undermined by erratic execution, Ki And Ka is only intermittently watchable.
Saibal Chatterjee (NDTV)
Ki & Ka is an important film because it talks about some unconventional and rather tough relationship goals, but it mostly remains a film which is immensely in love with melodrama. The characters converse in a strange tone and have outbursts at regular intervals. Too much breakfast and coffee table drama make this well intentioned film lose steam. Ki & Ka isn’t a strong voice against gender stereotyping, but it’s one of its kind in mainstream Hindi film industry, and that makes it notice-worthy.
Rohit Vats (Hindustan Times)

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