“It’s not a conflict between man and woman or who works more and who not, it’s about who bring home money,” summing up the entire concept of the movie.
In our Asian culture, a woman’s place is in the kitchen and man has to go outside for earning. A man who does not have job is considered worthless or in other words impotent whereas woman who is ambitious and wants to pursue her dreams is regarded as selfish.
R Balki’s new release ‘Ki and Ka’ challenges these gender stereotypes that have hijacked our society for so long. There is no denying that the movie portrays a noble concept but is it really about breaking gender stereotype or merely a story of role exchange?
The movie sets the pace with the first scene where Kiya (Kareena Kapoor), an independent career woman, was gulping down booze at her friend’s wedding. Over there she heard the trite conversation between her friend’s in-laws and her parents of how the new bride would be like a support system to her husband. Kiya cannot tolerate of such nonsense and right there and then she out rightly snapped back on a patriarch mindset.
Unlike other girls, Kiya doesn’t want to settle down and raise kids; she is a strong-headed corporate achiever who wants to have a name of her own. On other hand, Kabir, an MBA topper, aspires to be like his mother-a homemaker, in his words an ‘artist’. He is a modern atypical man who is not afraid of showing his emotions publicly.
They had their first encounter in plane where Kabir was sobbing by recalling his mother. Rather empathizing with him, Kiya makes fun of him. However, the brief bantering led up to conversation and with that they started meeting each other. Both end up marrying each other where Kiya became the man in the relationship and Kabir, having no ambitions to work in a cut-throat environment, stayed back at home.
Kiya’s mother (Swaroop Sampat) was all right with their thought process but Kabir’s father (Rajit Kapoor) was not happy at all. He also taunted his son by saying who man wants to stay at home and live-off on his wife’s money.
Ki and Ka narrative falls short of projecting unconventional and tough relationship goals while the movie is just another extension of Bollywood cliché. Being an independent woman is not about having no pregnancy or fretting over it. Or being a home-husband doesn’t mean that you have to clean, cook or look after home. The idea of gender equality in a relationship is more about working out together for the same goal and not limit them with mere role exchange as depicted in the movie.
The movie deludes you into thinking that Balki may be challenging the status quo but the change is purely cosmetic and superficial. It is just story of role reversal where man stays at home and woman goes outside to work. That’s about it. By nature Kabir is a man and Kiya is a woman. His reactions are men’s reactions, no self-loathing, confident and being rationale while Kiya overreact, thinks too much and an emotionally driven person.
The brilliant cameo of Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan in the movie underlining the gender debate let you re-evaluate the situation carefully. It questions the gender equality by posing some serious questions.
There is not much to say about Kareena and Arjun’s acting. The performance lacks depth and is just bland. The narration is a reflection of Balki’s inconsistent writing. The characters lack lucidity and few scenes were just a drag in the movie.
The idea of one being superior to the other is deep-rooted in our psyche which needs to be changed. But if you think that Balki’s movie will bring that change so you are wrong. It may have touched the subject of role reversal but it’s not a strong voice against gender stereotyping. In fact it doesn’t touch any chord of your heart.
Watch it only if you want to have a few laughs and want to see a husband doing cleaning and looking after a home for a change!