Is KANK really so lank?
Well well, everyone's gone and panned KANK, so I must be contrary. Never thought I would say this, but it really turned out to be better than what I'd expected.
You can say clever things about having low expectations and you might be right. But the fact remains that in spite of having to clutch my head in agony at times, I still thought the film did get a few things right. And no, unlike this gentleman, I don't believe a film about infidelity in marriage has to be dark and sombre.
Yes, it was too picturesque. Rani Mukherjee got on my nerves too with her photogenic crying. Both heroines looked as if they'd had to spend the better part of the day putting on eye makeup. Rani's clothes were all wrong, magnificent though her bosom looks. Some of the attempts to make the film wholesome family entertainment, such as by including bits of a kiddie football match, are pathetic. Some of the humour is quite misplaced, as Jai has pointed out. As for SRK, we must all be inured to him by now and must not complain. On the contrary, I am tempted to forgive him for some of the funniest lines which I suspect came from him (like asking Rani in the last scene if she isn't a bit overdressed for the station).
And also, I still haven't figured out why the two lovers go off to make noble confessions to their respective spouses, after having decided to call their affair off. I mean, one of the partners might have such misguided honourable feelings but two people at the same time? That's stretching it a bit.
And yes, I am coming to the reasons why I liked the film. I loved the way Amitabh and Kiron Kher flirt outrageously, I like how Amitabh while dying doesn't hold Rani's hand and beg her to save her marriage, I liked Preity Zinta's character immensely (and that well-timed slap), I like the fact that even smaller characters like the kid Arjun are developed to some extent. Also, I like the way Rani and Shah Rukh delude themselves into believing they are meeting up to discuss their failing marriages, while their attraction towards each other become quite obvious.
Needless to say, people having extra marital affairs do need to have a high degree of ability and willingness to delude themselves , and I don't think it at all unnatural that they take their spouses out for dinner (though to the same restaurant is again silly and unlikely) and spend it staring at the each other.
Which brings me essentially to my main point. Which is that KANK is a majorly confused film made by a director who has a certain set of sensibilities, which he tries to sugar-coat for presentation to an audience that comprises (in a big way) of people with an entirely different understanding of such matters. Which then results in tedious and unnecessary explanations (like the one for Amitabh and Kirron Kher's friendship), several expository scenes (such as Shah Rukh and Rani finally taking the sexual plunge after she makes him jealous at the theatre) and lots and lots of contradictions and over-emphasising.
Clearly, Karan Johar needs to get out of the family entertainment trap before he can translate his 'modern' ideas into a really modern film.
And oh, I also wish he would quickly get tired of New York. I just cannot bear to see autumn leaves swishing around ever again or Shah Rukh Khan walking/shuffling/running with arms outstretched along a picturesque bridge.