To emit: Anil Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Sonam Kapoor
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Classification: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
An unusual fork that bends a lot of Bollywood rules, AK vs. AK It is an unclassifiable rate. For the sake of convenience, let’s call it a mockumentary where a hostage thriller meets insane mischief that turns incessantly in a way that we didn’t know was within the realms of possibility in a Hindi movie.
The film opens on the vanity of a veteran movie star. A ‘persona non grata’ director sneaks in and comes up with a grotesque idea for a movie. It’s the actor’s birthday and he’s late for a family reunion. But the supplicant is in no mood to take no for an answer. That is precisely what AK vs. AK it’s like: so far away that it has no forbidden areas.
The Netflix original film, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, blurs the line between fact and fiction. Enduring Hindi film star Anil Kapoor (AK) and independent film dissident Anurag Kashyap (AK) play themselves and beat each other in an actor-director fight that is, for all intents and purposes, a lengthy joke. The action unfolds over the course of one night: December 24, Kapoor’s birthday.
The roller coaster encounter, filmed in the style of flying on the wall, centers on the kidnapping of Kapoor’s daughter Sonam (who makes an appearance along with her brother Harshvardhan, who mourns Motwane’s harm BhaveshJoshi superhero has made his career and hopes that Kashyap will help reverse his luck with Bhavesh Joshi 2).
Kashyap, a director publicly humiliated by Kapoor, wants to settle the score. Summons a script that involves a race against time to find and rescue the hostage before dawn, all to be filmed in real time. Kapoor is beside himself with rage, but the danger his daughter is in forces him to play along.
As each hour passes, the tension builds and the desperate father gets dirty and dirty on the streets of Mumbai. The filmmaker within the film and his cameraman (Yogita Bihani, who we only see fleetingly because he is behind the camera) can barely contain their joy as the Bollywood luminary goes to great lengths and shakes off his inhibitions, regardless the pitfalls that lie ahead. of the.
In one scene, Kapoor is injured in a fight. He bleeds from a cut on his face. “Daniel Day-Lewis ho gaye,” Kashyap jokes. “There is blood.” Do we need to emphasize that a movie stranger than AK vs AK has never been made in Hindi? Scarface is referenced, Tarantino is mentioned, Scorsese is mentioned as well, but AK vs AK is pure Bollywood despite how far it is from Bollywood in terms of substance and style.
In other parts of the world, authors such as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jim Jarmusch, and Abbas Kiarostami have conducted meta-experiments and produced cult films.
Around the turn of the millennium, Charlie Kaufman (a past master of the meta-movie) wrote Adaptation (directed by Spike Jonze) to record the creative struggles he faced in adapting the Susan Orlean non-fiction book that cannot be filmed The Orchid Thief. Nicholas Cage played Kaufman and his fictional twin brother, while Meryl Streep played Orlean.
Thirty years ago, Kiarostami made Close-Up, a fictional-documentary hybrid about the real-life trial of a movie buff who posed as Mohsen Makhmalbaf and tricked a family into believing they would be cast in his film. The Iranian director had real people, including the accused, play themselves.
Of the 11 vignettes that make up Coffe and cigarettes (2003), Jarmusch got some of the cast members, Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina and Bill Murray, to interpret versions of themselves. And can anyone beat Jodorowsky (as The Alchemist), at the end of the surreal? The holy mountain (1973), say, “Zoom back, camera!”, Reveal the film crew, lights, and equipment, and direct everyone, including the audience, to return to the “real world.”
The candid camera plays a key role in AK vs. AK, and we are always aware that we are watching one movie within another. Everything is organized and yet it feels too real. The permeability through the two perception zones is high in both directions. Kashyap mocks Kapoor (the excavation smells of age discrimination) by suggesting that his days at Mera naam hai Lakhan are over and that he imitates a hesitant old man.
Kapoor, a little later in the movie, not only turns back the clock and dances to the same beat, but he’s also rock solid despite all the runs he has to do. In contrast, Kashyap, more than a decade and a half younger than Kapoor and asthmatic in real life, frequently runs out of breath and needs an inhaler.
It is not just personal facts like the above that inform the film. Kapoor and Kashyap’s careers and movies (he was once mistaken for his brother, the creator of Dabangg) are constantly referenced. No one knows you even in Wasseypur, Kapoor shakes Kashyap. The latter makes fun of Kapoor’s Nayak: the true hero position. The game with the ‘real’ is constant. At one point in the film, Kashyap presumes that Kapoor should be grateful to him for helping him rise above all the “fake” performances he has done in his career.
Director Motwane (given their hard-to-fit work, best suited for an experiment as bizarre as this), writer Avinash Sampath, and cinematographer Swapnil Sonawane (who gives the film a dizzying fluidity) stay out of the frame. . This is, therefore, a meta-movie that is not a meta-movie in the strictest sense of the term.
AK vs. AK tracks a clash between two contrasting film cultures and two distinct periods of Hindi cinema. The ever-sympathetic Kapoor, a star of the pre-social media era, is a cheeky and proud commercial film man whose career has been built on blockbusters. Kashyap, by contrast, is a product of Twitter’s restless age, the bellicose spearhead of a millennial new brand of independent Hindi-language films that are sustained by critical acclaim.
The unbridled, contagious, and anything goes spirit AK vs. AK stems in large part from Kapoor’s energetic immersion in material that puts his life, career, and children in the public eye. For the seasoned actor, it is a leap of faith clearly based on the joy of adventure. He acts in AK vs. AKbut is he really acting? That question becomes important because everything in the movie is real without being really real.
When Kashyap comes up with his crazy plan, he tells Kapoor that everything in the proposed film will be real: the hostage search, the pain, the tears. He mentions laughing at the same time and stops in his tracks. You won’t laugh, he says.
AK vs. AK it looks like a movie made for fun. There is a constant good humor inherent in the match between two well-known industry personalities from different ends of the Bollywood spectrum who whip each other on personal and professional sore spots. Kashyap’s soundboard presence is enhanced by the fact that he is also the dialogue writer that adds spice to the exercise.
He is, as he is to many in real life, the agent provocateur who leads the lead actor around the corner by tying him to an experimental idea that is fraught with risk. AK vs. AK touches on the general themes of stardom and fame, of the sheer number of filmmakers playing by their own rules, of the difference between insiders and outsiders in an industry where surname and family ties do matter, and what tangible and imaginary.
On the acting front, Anil Kapoor is, well, Anil Kapoor. It doesn’t stop one bit. His vigor is reflected in the film. Anurag Kashyap, who has to gasp and gasp to keep up, is the observer of the confrontation who can’t afford to take his eyes off the ball. There comes a point in the movie when the script begins to dominate him. Capture the bewilderment of a director who is losing control of his work to perfection.
AK vs. AK It’s a crazy wild shot in the dark. It could have been a disaster if the brains behind him didn’t know what they were up against. That is certainly not the case. The film’s self-awareness borders on amazing.
All things considered, AK vs. AK It’s a minor miracle It is worth embracing with all our might. It is Halley’s Comet from Hindi cinema. It is unlikely that we will ever see anything like this again.