Amigos. Get ready to savour the Indian curry with spicy Mexican nachos. Do they make a heady combo? Well, they surely do. Kites, touted as India’s first crossover film for global audience, soars high, dips, soars again and leaves you levitating in your seat with its heart-wrenching climax.
Agreed it’s not a film for connoisseurs or for an average film-festival-going Joe. And it’s not exactly a piece of path-breaking cinema. But hey! It’s two hours twenty minutes of an edge-of-the-seat roller coaster ride full of stunning visuals, tender romantic moments, heart-stopping action, non-stop chases, and, of course, two gorgeous actors, Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori at the centre of it all.
At its core, ‘Kites’ is a love story. It’s about J (Hrithik Roshan), a small-time hustler in Las Vegas who plays the love game with the superrich Gina (Kangana Ranaut) so that he could be a part of her superrich family, comprising of a casino owner dad (Kabir Bedi), a mom and a snooty brother Tony (Nicholas Brown).
Coincidentally, Natasha (Barbara Mori), an illegal Mexican immigrant in Vegas, is playing the same game with Tony.
J and Natasha’s get-rich-quick plan seems to be succeeding until they fall for each other. Both paupers with dreams of riches. It’s a tussle between love and money. But by choosing love, J and Natasha not just kick the riches they could get, but also win the animosity of Gina’s dad and brother Tony, who’s hell-bent on killing J and getting Natasha back.
From then on, it’s a wild ride for the fleeing lovers, with not just Tony, but also cops and bounty hunters on their trail.
The real strength of ‘Kites’ lies not in its story, but in the flourish with which director Anurag Basu presents it on the screen. An ordinary tale of lovers on the run turns into a ‘Thelma and Louise’ kind of adrenaline stimulating road ride during which the lover duo rob a bank, cheat death, escape the cops and a bunch of money-grubbing bikers, and smuggle themselves into Mexico. And in between all the action and explosions, there a sweet little love story brewing between the Indian hustler and the Mexican stunner, despite them not knowing each other’s language. And it’s all told in non-linearity, with Basu never trying to follow the convention and jumbling together sequences that all make sense only when seen in entirety.