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Movie review 'Katti Batti': Designed to put us to sleep

Published Sep 19, 2015, 6:24 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 7:07 pm IST

Cast: Imran Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Vivan Bhatena
Director: Nikhil Advani
Rating: 1 stars



Katti Batti? I know of katti (break up) and abba (make up), but batti? Never heard. But then, what do I know? These days grown women end their text/WhatsApp messages with “hyuck”, which I had to look up, and which, incidentally, is, in spelling, the laugh of that “that dog from Disney”. So Disney dogs. I mean, Katti Batti. For the first five minutes of Katti Batti, with its dizzy and “cool” view of a live-in relationship, as it frolicks around dissing all tokens and symbols of shaadi and suhaag, followed by a love song in mixed-media, I thought, wah! Finally a fun romcom. An adult romantic comedy. Bus! Just then, it tanked. Like, totes.

Madhav Kabra is being wheeled inside a hospital because that live-in girlfriend of his, Payal, has dumped him. He’s frothing at the mouth because he has consumed phenoyl. And there on begins the toggling, between the present and the past, though there’s no difference at all except that then Maddy (Imran) and Payal (Kangana) were in college and now they are not in college. In college they had a Meet Cute. He was studying architecture and she was making origami birds and gliding them around. When he asked her name, she lifted her skirt. He was hooked.

You see, he was a nerd. From the college nerd gang. And nerds never get cool girls. And when he did, even a non-committal one, he decided never to let go. Also, his mommy said so. Payal, however, keeps letting go. Then and now.   And every time she does, he reacts by failed attempts at killing himself. This urgent situation always necessitates the urgent attention and arrival of all — then, college friends, mommy dear in a wheelchair, and now, office colleagues, friends, family, doctors, boob-thrusting duffer — all of whom have nothing better to do than overact, overreact and keep telling Maddy to forget Payal because she’s so, you know whatever. It’s deathly boring. And then it gets worse.

Maddy is weeping, missing Payal. He’s also clutching a turtle, his and Payal’s baby. Move on, move on, everyone is telling Maddy. Payal has. But there goes Maddy, from one friend to another, holding the baby turtle, trying to figure where Payal is really moving on to. In this journey designed to put us to sleep, he meets Roger who runs a pet shop but is, more importantly, the chairperson of a Sufi group called FOSLA — Frustrated One-Sided Lovers Association. They should have called themselves Obsessive Stalkers Who Won’t Take No for An Answer. Roger takes Maddy to a concert where this idiot group sways to its own music and molly coddles Maddy instead of beating him with their guitar and drum sticks. Maddy finally locates Payal, the turtle is let loose in the water, but we are held hostage for an exploitative, melodramatic sequence that, apparently, explains all the bulls*** before.

About 10 minutes into Katti Batti, I started having violent thoughts. These thoughts intensified when I recalled photos of Aamir Khan crying phoot-phoot ke after watching Katti Batti a few days ago. Aamir Khan, Imran Khan’s mama or chacha or whatever, should have at least tweeted that those were tears of deep frustration. That he was howling because he had been impaled for over two hours by this nonsense. He didn’t. And that’s partly why my violent thoughts turned into an urge when the film shamelessly went weepy and sentimental. I wanted to shake the person responsible and ask, screaming, “Have you not a single original idea in your head? Have you seen a more vacuous, dull, dud than Katti Batti?” There must be in Bollywood a secret Employment Bureau for The Well-Connected Betas and Bhanjaas. Why else would anyone put their money into this nonsense? I want an answer. I want to know. For your sake, my own.