BY Ayesha Babar

At the outset, Ki and Ka looks like a fun concept – the classic case of role reversal – the woman is the ambitious breadwinner and the man, the home-maker. Kia, who is a young executive in a firm meets Kabir, an intelligent man whose goal in life is to manage a household much like his late mother, on a flight. There is instant chemistry and attraction and soon enough there is talk of marriage. This is where the story really begins.

Ki and KaWhile Kia focusses her energies outside, Kabir is busy redoing the interiors and making sure everyone gets good food on the table and yes, even hosting the odd kitty party. It is not that Kabir does not have it in him to make a career for himself – it’s just that he think it is a bit of a worthless pursuit!

A concept like this is very vulnerable to caricature and exaggeration and that is what Ki and Ka falls prey to again and again. When Arjun Kapoor makes no bones about wearing a ‘mangalsutra’ you cannot help but think – is this really necessary? It doesn’t add dramatic effect and it definitely doesn’t add comedy. The ‘mangalsutra’ is a token of love, worn by the wife for her husband – regardless of the wife’s profession or the husband’s ambition. My gripe with Ki and Ka is that it lets Kia and Kabir’s profession (or lack thereof) define their identities.  This was a brilliant idea but dampened and let down by the treatment and the patchy writing.

The first half of the film is actually quite funny – it is light and the dialogue is short and relatable. It is ki and ka 3the second half, when things become serious and the screenplay is tested that the cracks appear.

Not to say that it is a bad film -there are scenes and dialogues every now and then that make you sit up and take notice and it is these bits that make the film worth-watching.

Kareena is spot on as Kia and really shows why even after a string of playing second fiddle roles to the superstar heroes, she still deserves to be in the league of top actresses. Ki and Ka was a meaty opportunity to display her acting prowess and she makes the most of it.

Kudos to Arjun for being brave enough to experiment with Kabir’s character. I cannot think of many mainstream actors who would be willing to play a part like this and Arjun has done well to accept the challenge. He is able in most parts in a role that arguably does not have much of a reference point to follow. There is also a heart-warming cameo in the film by Amitabh Bachchan and wife, Jaya.

ki and ka 2The director, R Balki has always tried new and novel concepts – whether it is Cheeni Kum or Paa or Shamitabh. The experiments might not have always worked but they get conversations going – and that is important for any modern day filmmaker. This is another attempt to handle an interesting concept and put across a point, even if the film sometimes suffers from this burden

It is because of the unique idea, the light-hearted moments and the acting (particularly Kareena’s) that we give this feel-good film 3 stars – you will definitely not be worse off for watching it this weekend!