A week after coming up with a commercial potboiler like ‘Hero’, director Nikhil Advani offers the audience an urban romantic comedy in the form of ‘Katti Batti’. While Imran Khan makes a comeback two years after his ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’ (2013) released and bombed at the box office, Kangana Ranaut is on a winning streak what with the success of two of her last releases (excluding the much delayed ‘I Love New Year’ (2015)) ‘Queen’ (2014) and ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ (2015) catapulting her into the big league. The promos of the film hinted at it being a breezy and fun affair. One has similar expectations from the movie.
Madhav is studying architecture in a college where he comes across the free-spirited Payal. It is love at first sight for Madhav but Payal is not someone who is interested in a long-term relationship. Payal asks Maddy that she would be willing to get into a ‘timepass’ relationship with him. Madhav agrees and over a period of time, Payal gets serious about the relationship. Madhav/Maddy (Imran Khan) and Payal (Kangana Ranaut) part ways after being in a live-in relationship for five years. The lovelorn Maddy finds it difficult to deal with the breakup and is hopeful that he will get Payal back in his life.
Even when a film approaches the subject of romance and love in a very predictable manner, it is the treatment that sets it apart. ‘Katti Batti’ portrays a modern couple but it does not really show anything that one has not witnessed before. The film moves at a sluggish pace and forces you to yawn several times as you see the lead pair’s relationship going through all the bittersweet moments you have seen in several films. There are a few charming moments and witty dialogues that save the film from turning out to be a bore-fest. The sequence in which Maddy’s friends try to wake up their hungover friend from a deep slumber as his parents approach his hostel is hilarious. The characters come across as real even as the situations they are put in are far from being amusing.
The film offers a twist towards the end which one would have easily guessed. The main problem with the so-called ‘shocking revelation’ is that it arrives abruptly and you feel as if it is forced inside your head. As a result, you do not feel a tinge of emotion in your heart and find it difficult to immerse yourself in something that was intended to raise your emotions.
Director Nikhil Advani has always had a keen eye for visuals and his prowess over the visual medium is evident in this film as well. The film has a glossy look to it which is easy on the eyes. His direction is not bad but he stretches a one-line plot like a rubber band and makes a two-hour film out of it. The screenplay (Anshul Singhal and Nikhil Advani) is superficial and has got no depth. The dialogues (Anshul Singhal) are witty at places. The music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) is good. One of the songs (“Lip To Lip”) is shot using the stop motion technique and it is a visual delight. The background score (Gulraj Singh) comprises some lovely instrumental pieces. Cinematographer Tushar Kanti Ray lends a lustrous look to the film. Debutante editor Maahir Zaveri shows a lot of promise as he composes some wonderful shots that add to the non-linear narrative.
Imran Khan plays a kind of character that he has portrayed in several films. His character has shades of the roles played by him in films like ‘Break Ke Baad’ and ‘Ekk Main Aur Ekk Tu’. Kangana Ranaut’s performance is good but her character comes across as uni-dimensional for most of the part. Vivaan Bhatena, who was last seen as the antagonist in ‘Hero’, plays a suave character quite charmingly. Abhishek Saha provides a lot of light moments as Vinay. Mithila Palkar is very good as Maddy’s younger sister. Suneel Sinha and Suparna Marwah lendable to support Maddy’s parents.
‘Katti Batti’ is a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy that brings nothing new to the table. The film is a predictable affair all the way and the twist it throws towards the end does not make the desired impact. The film boasts of some stunning frames and features a solid supporting cast led mostly by new faces but the weak script lets the film down.