Nikhil Advani’s second film on two consecutive Fridays, Katti Batti, is about Madhav aka Maddy (Imran Khan), an architect who is head over heels in love with a woman, whom he barely understands. She is rich, super-confident, attractive, strong-willed and has a serious aversion to marriage and commitments. 500 Days Of Summer, anyone?
Payal (Kangana) is not particularly different from Tanu (Tanu Weds Manu). According to Maddy’s sister, Payal doesn’t even know the spelling of commitment. Maddy eyes her for the first time at the architecture college where they are students. He falls for her, and after an embarrassing initial encounter, the duo embark on a relationship. After living together for five years, Payal leaves Mumbai and Maddy for a quickly fixed marriage with her ex-boyfriend. Unlike Manu in TWM, who could act grounded and mature, Maddy is an emotional wreck. He is the type of a lover who writes his girlfriend’s name fifty times on a piece of paper, to (supposedly) make her smile. His obsession with Payal tends to comes across as bizarre and irksome. When he fights with everyone he knows in order to get Payal back, an irresistible feeling creeps up on you. That it would be a good idea to split open his skull and pour just a little sense into his brain.
The duo’s relationship is explained through a number of flashback sequences. In what is portrayed as an eternal and deep love story, there’s hardly a tinge of actual love. They look more like two teenagers bewitched by lust and togetherness. After a long, drab first half, Advani tries to clear the mess with a tear-jerker second half.
Some of the characters in the film are the kind you would come across only in romantic Hollywood utopias, against the backdrop of idealised versions of Paris and Barcelona. For instance, a pet-shop owner who listens to Maddy’s love story with the utmost interest, and jumps on the bandwagon to bring him and Payal together. And then there’s Maddy’s boss, a south Indian man named Ramalingam, who you really want to drag to a psychiatrist. When Devika, Maddy’s ‘femme fatale’ colleague, tries to hit on him, Maddy says tells her that he’s gay. With a plethora of cheesy gay jokes, it’s clear that Advani hasn’t got the Kal Ho Na Ho hangover out of his system.
Imran Khan clearly makes an earnest attempt to deliver whatever his director has asked him to. But he isn’t very expressive, and hasn’t improved much from his Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na days. Kangana effortlessly dishes out the ‘liberated, free spirited woman’ persona. Ultimately, the storyline of Katti Batti reeks of artificiality and displays a lack of imagination. And neither good acting, nor great music, could have saved this film.
The Katti Batti Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.