Just when you thought double-roles were a thing of the past (barring David Dhavan
flicks, of course, which are never complete without one), we have a stunning example
of what a good actress can do enacting diametrically opposite identical twins.
Pritish Nandy Communications Ltd's Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi, edited-directed by
Rahul Rawail, is a switching-places saga of twins.
Tina (Kajol) is a hothead. She is a rebel, but not without a cause. The palatial mansion in which she lives also houses her alcoholic father Raj Khanna (Rishi Kapoor), whose drunken state leaves him with no time for her. To top it is a scheming aunt (Mita Vaishist) who, with her son Teddy (Mayur) and lover (Pramod Moutho), a doctor, forms the prime cause of the Khanna family's doom.
The evil aunt's sugarcoated attempts at creating misery cause Tina to leave her home one fine day, and fly across the seven seas. And who should she meet there but her sweet and demure twin sister Sweety (Kajol again) and their mother Archana (Rati Agnihotri), whose existence she was oblivious of.
Tina and Sweety resolve to take matters in their contrasting hands. The East may never meet the West, but their parents definitely will. And then begins a roller coaster ride filled with plots and plans, laughter and tears, fun and facades, regrets and reunions. The film starts to keep the viewer engrossed, but the pace drops when, soon after the misunderstandings are cleared, Sunil Shetty weaves a yarn about his parents. The sequences that follow, with Sunil impersonating a Gujarati, throw a spanner in an otherwise smooth narrative. However, the drama picks up again towards the climax when the parents - Rishi and Rati - iron out their differences.
Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi is a mix of several films - the Neetu Singh starrer Do Kaliyan, Disney's The Parent Trap (made in 1961 earlier and 1998 later), the Hema Malini starrer Seeta Aur Geeta and the Sridevi flick Chalbaaz. The remaking of classics, always a risky proposition, is under scrutiny more than ever. But Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi is slick and sentimental. And most importantly, the film scores in that main department - the cast. Kajol is just what you have known her to be - too good.
Director Rahul Rawail has handled the subject with honesty. Despite the fact that the plot is not innovative, the story still has a lot of heart, and is sure to attract its target audience of families.
However, the film has its share of weaknesses too, the most obvious one being that the drama gets juvenile towards the second half. Also, the film has been unduly stretched in the latter half. How one wishes that Rahul Rawail, credited with editing the film too, done it objectively!
The scripting is not foolproof either. The monumental selfishness of separating twin sisters from each other and never letting either of them know of the other's existence is hard to swallow. Maybe that was okay in the 1960s, but it seems unrealistic today. Also, the romance between Kajol and Sunil Shetty is not stirring enough, and seems half-baked. Ditto for the Pooja Batra track, which seems a last minute add-on.
Anu Malik's music is quite pleasant. The film has two lilting numbers - 'Tumko Sirf Tumko' and 'Kuch Kuch Khatti Kuch Kuch Meethi'. The picturization of the latter is indeed laudable. Cinematography is praiseworthy.
The bulk of the film rests upon the proficient shoulders of Kajol, who seamlessly plays the two roles and infuses life in the characters. Especially as the brat, she is great fun to watch. However, she ought to take care of her weight - she looks plump in several sequences. Sunil Shetty gets no scope to exhibit his talent in an enterprise that is dominated by Kajol.
On the whole, Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi is a welcome change from the usual bang,
bang, shoot-'em-up flicks produced in recent times. The film has its share of
flaws, but it is a feel-good movie at the end of the day. It has genuine buoyancy
that leaves the viewer happy.