Movie Review: KYON KI… (2005)
Considering Salman Khan has been hugely successful recently with DABANNG and is coming out with another (apparently) funny philum, READY… I thought it’d be cool to take a look at an old review of one of his more ‘serious’ films that I did. Again this was years ago, and my repeition and being gushy is very apparent. The more I revisit these old posts, the more I begin to be embarassed about old me…
Rating: 3 Out Of 5
MAINE PYAR KYUN KIYA and NO ENTRY ended up being last year’s biggest grossing movies in the Indian Film Industry. The previous in my opinion was an absolute travesty, while the latter was pure comedic highlarity! Regardless of how you and I liked these two films, they are 2005’s biggest hits, and the one thing they both have in common besides being comedies… is Salman Khan. This has been a great year for the macho Khan as almost all his movies have become super hits if not mildly successful. Since his comeback in 2003 with the sleeper hit TERE NAAM, Sallu has been dominating the industry in all the genres he’s trying out, be it a tragic love story, a comedic love triangle or an emotionally charged drama. Dominating with mostly comedies this year and a touching love story… Salman ends the year with a dramatic film from, ironically, the master of comedy, Priyadarshan.
KYON KI is probably the first Hindi language Priyadarshan film that has not been a comedy in almost 6 years. After super hit rib tickling comedies like HERA PHERI, HUNGAMA, HULCHUL and the recently released, (coincidently on the same day as KYON KI) GARAM MASALA, KYON KI is done incredibly delicately, if not sometimes naively, by the veteran film maker. In the end though, what audiences are left with is a tragic story with a lot of heart.
KYON KI is a re-make of Priyadarshan’s previous Tamil film, which was actually a re-make of a Hollywood film, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. Based on the famous book, the Hollywood version had Jack Nicholson in the lead, where as Priyadarshan opted for the infamous Salman Khan.
A story of a highly exuberant man, who loves life and spreads his love of life to all and everyone around him. He tries to be everyone’s best friend at the expense of danger to himself. And he brings joy to everyone he meets and is everyone’s favorite person… within the mental hospital. It’s a story of a man who is incarcerated within a mental institution by his own relatives for treatment, although there seems to be nothing wrong with him, except for maybe his child-like innocence. A story of one man and his attempts to continue to live a normal life as best as he can within the institution, while others around him try to figure out what has caused this young-at-heart man to wind up in the situation in which he is.
As the film starts, we see Salman being himself; by which I mean that it’s Salman doing what he does best, being silly. It’s the comical, silly, young, jovial, prankster Salman that we have seen in all his movies starting as early as MAINE PYAR KIYA and as late as MAINE PYAR KYUN KIYA. But for some reason, be it the background music or the way it’s been treated by Priyadarshan, this Salman seems innocent and child-like. Salman’s clue-less and oblivious mental patient act is one to make one smile and forget that this 40 year old bad boy of the Indian Film Industry is the same Khan that has gone through so much controversies and scandals in the last 10 years. His performance of an emotionally traumatized lover trying to repress his past is brilliant. It just proves how much his talents have been honed through years of experience. Salman’s performance in KYON KI just proves how much he still has the capability to rise above everything and prove that he still can be emotional and give a powerhouse dramatic performance, and not just immature comedies.
Despite Sallu’s heart breaking performance, it’s ultimately not a Salman movie. And even though it’s the first time Kareena has been cast opposite Salman, it’s not a Kareena movie either. After Salman its Jackie Shroff who steals the show. After a long time, Jaggu Dada comes back with such brilliance that it reminds us of his powerful performances back in the day from KHALNAYAK, RAM LAKHAN and TRIMURTI. Jackie Shroff comes back with a performance that won’t soon go unnoticed. With a thick beard and nerd-glasses underneath a lab-coat, Jaggu Dada’s Dr. Sunil becomes the only friend to Salman Khan’s Anand. It’s a great role with a lot of emotion.
Kareena is fast becoming an incredibly tolerable actress for me. After films like FIDA and AITRAAZ, the de glamorized look seems to suit her. She seems to be getting more and more tolerable is all I can say about her. Also besides honing her talents, she seems to be fast becoming one of Priyadarshan’s regulars, after being leading lady in both HULCHUL and KYON KI.
Rimmi Sen is wasted in yet another cameo/guest appearance role in a Priyadarshan film. With minor roles in GARAM MASALA and a two bit part in 2005’s last comedy, and also last flop, DEEWANE DUYE PAAGAL. In KYON KI, Rimmi has a small role as Anand’s lover. She’s competent in the few scenes she’s in. Om Puri is the man to hate in this one. Being the despicable Doctor that tortures the innocent Anand.
On the whole, KYON KI is a highly emotional movie that touches one’s heart. If you watch it without any pre conceived biases against Salman, Kareena, or even any comedic expectations from a Priyadarshan movie, then it’ll turn out to be one of the best emotional films ever seen. If I could use one word to describe KYON KI, it would be “tragic”.