Romantic Bollywood films can either be really well done or downright cheesy, but one thing you can always count on is to be entertained despite the outcome. Most of the time there isn’t any deep underlining message that needs to be discovered, but rather, messages that float on the surface and are easy enough for anyone to pick up on. That’s also the beauty of Bollywood; we can enjoy it, laugh, sing along (or try horribly), and still understand what is going on with the story.
Anurag Basu’s 2010 film, Kites, takes somewhat more of a dramatic turn, and in a depressing way. However, that does not deter the film as a whole from having its much lighter moments. In fact, some of my most favorite Bollywood songs come from this film. Though they may not represent the colorful Indian dress or culture, but imitate western society, it still retains its vibrancy. The vibrancy is prevalent even more so, because of the landscapes for which the film takes place in—Las Vegas and the Mexican desert.
The two main landscapes of Mexico and Las Vegas are comparable to one another in the way they both represent vastness of wealth or a vastness of poverty. The characters themselves can pass over these two boundaries; at one point they abound in wealth, but ultimately they run away from it to escape the restraints. These restraints or issues are what make the characters so round and not as flat as they sometimes come out to be.
It doesn’t hurt that the main actor in the film is Hrithik Roshan, one of Bollywood’s sexiest actors. He plays Jay Ray, a dance teacher who is somewhat of a con artist, i.e. he just wants money, money, and more money. At first, Jay is defined by this desire to have it all, but once he meets Natasha (the lovely Barbara Mori), that of course all changes. The story, however, is more about what happens to Natasha and the information is given to us through a series of flashbacks that fill in the back story. The flashbacks take the time to bring us through the story as we go through the film, and it pays off in the end, because by then you are left wondering what in the world will happen to Jay and Natasha. Like I said, entertaining until the end!
The story is also about two people who fall in love and have to somehow, against all these odds, find a way back to each other—no matter what that entails. So, yes, as I said it is a more meaningful love story, and definitely not as light hearted as other Bollywood films. However, that should not stop people from watching this film, and although I am no expert in Bollywood, I would have to say that Kites is in my top ten Bollywood films list.