Ki & Ka

Kia has a successful career and doesn’t like the idea of abandoning it in favour of her future family. Kabir, in turn, looks forward to taking care of the household and isn’t interested in taking over his father’s company. When they fall in love with each other, they make a very unconventional couple: Kia provides for the family and Kabir carries out domestic chores. At first, the couple seems contented with this situation but as soon as Kabir becomes a celebrity, things start to fall apart.

2016 – 124 min – romantic comedy
language: Hindi
subtitles: Czech, English
directed by: R. Balki
cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan

Big Bollywood productions try to reach the widest possible audience in order to ensure profitability even with generous budgets. This leads to the fact that they usually stick to conventional, conservative methods. On the contrary, lower budget films allow their creators greater freedom: it is easier for them to earn profit because they don’t have to appeal to all segments of the potential audience. Since the beginning of the new millennium, an important audience Indian filmmakers have tried to focus on includes young people from cities who lead a modern, Western lifestyle.

Ideal genre for such efforts? Romantic comedies that enjoy huge popularity (not just in India, but practically worldwide) and often show people from higher social classes. Just like the other Bollywood movies in this group, Ki & Ka defines young Indians according to their involvement in the capitalist system, their using of internet and social networks, positive attitude towards the bar culture, relaxed approach to sex and a general willingness to prefer their individual desires to conforming to traditional social norms.

Focusing heavily on relational issues in his works, the director and screenwriter R. Balki made sure the film highlights the socio-critical elements. By inverting the traditional family structure with men as breadwinners and women as housewives, it points to a number of injustices patriarchal gender expectations may lead to. Social phenomena criticised in Ki & Ka are not only present in India (there, they are only more widespread and more deeply rooted) but also in the rest of the world, including the developed Western countries. This adds to the up-to-dateness and general validity of the film.

Ki & Ka is not even embarrassed to admit that Bollywood, on and off screen, has helped to reinforce gender stereotypes. It is, however, willing to change. This can be best seen in the scene showing the Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya. They play themselves with a gentle self-irony that characterizes the whole movie.

Author: Miroslav Libicher / Translated into English by: Matouš Hájek

Trailer Ki & Ka