To Kaabil or Not to Kaabil? Psychick Predicts


To Kaabil or Not to Kaabil? Psychick Predicts

Illustration: Shivali Devalkar

Namaste, my lovely darling habibis!

I’m Psychick, your guide to cutting the bullshit pouring out of Bollywood’s orifices, by predicting – with great accuracy – whether or not you need to direct your attention to this movie instead of a fresh slew of cat memes. I arrive at my conclusions with great speed, by analysing the film’s chakras, reading the tarot, and looking at its trailer. (Some people accused me of judging a book by its cover when I last examined The Xposé and went ahead and watched it… Never heard back from them.)

I find myself moved this week by Kaabil’s lovely trailer where we see Hrithik Roshan aka Rohan Bhatnagar walking into the frame nose-first. In his aura, I can sense that he’s a good, type-A, family-oriented, vanilla-type man that Bharatmatrimony ads are made of. However, he is blind, which is a shame because in the Kaabil universe he has not seen how attractive he is. Neither has an equally tasty Yami Gautam aka Su. They are literally the only two light-eyed, tall, blind people in the country and so it is only natural that they have found one another. Because life is just that fair.

A large part of the first half will be focused on bringing to life the catchline of the promo where Hrithik tells Yami Gautam that they are not weak – hum kamzor nahi hai. It is fairly evident to even a silly chick like me that these two with their powers of hotness combined, can never be weak. Even if Mercury is in retrograde, together they’re too strong to be real. If I was their landlord, I would never ask them for rent. If they ran me over in a car, I’d hunt them down, limbs askew and everything, and apologise for my pedestrian ways. But then Yami goes to say that two negatives cannot make a positive and Hrithik pauses. She has perfect hair and skin and teeth, but mathematics, she has not.

An hour into the movie, Hrithik makes peace with her deficient math skills and figures out that he’s better off taking her on a date more suited to her intellectual levels – he takes her to a trampoline so they can bounce. A crestfallen Yami handles this well though she does worry that this nutcase has a death wish. This theory is further confirmed when Rohan takes her to a building, walks her to the very edge and says and asks her if he’s “Kaabil” for her or not. Like any rational adult who doesn’t want to be splattered over the windshield of a passing car, Su acquiesces and holds Rohan close.

Buoyed by the success of this childish enterprise and also because he’s not over all the happy times he spent with Jaadu in Koi… Mil Gaya, Hrithik plans a series of dates that involve Disney’s marching band; they share an ice-cream cone, fly kites together as Yami tries her hardest to not make Bárbara Mori jokes. I see a lot of Pogo-watching and playing with balloons in their future. I feel the sighs of a patient Yami, waiting for some grown-up action, reverberating through the time space continuum.

I’d prefer it if they were all not so good-looking because then I would flinch lesser at the prospect of their overly photogenic faces getting rearranged in a fist fight.

This adrenaline-laden courtship ends up in holy matrimony and we’re treated to more shots of them chilling at home as happy newly-weds with picture-perfect hair. Rohan finally agrees to give a break to the fun and games and go to first base with his lawfully wedded wife now – they happily rub noses all night.

But I see a spectre in a distance, a sign of terrible things. Rohan leaves Su alone to stand in line one day to get his Star Wars merchandise signed, leaving the door wide open for villains to enter, and do terrible things to Yami and leave her traumatised. This part of the movie feels too real and horrific and the darkness begotten by evil Jupiter clouds my vision. But true to form, the movie does a sharp U-turn on realism. The villains of the story, played by real-life brothers Ronit and Rohit Roy, are beautiful gentlemen who despite their misdeeds tend to make even chicks like me thirsty. Their deplorable antics turn Rohan Bhatnagar into a blind vigilante like Daredevil with Arrow’s fashion sense. The fates tell me that at this juncture Rohan is handi-capable of fucking you up. I’d prefer it if they were all not so good-looking because then I would flinch lesser at the prospect of their overly photogenic faces getting rearranged in a fist fight. But we cannot control the future, only foresee it.

This showdown is set to an overdubbed version of Bollywood’s favourite sleaze-pop song, “Saara Zamaana Haseeno ka Deewana,” which will totally kill the whole vigilante vibe. Club it to death, so to speak. There will be lots of bottle smashing and jumping around and the mandatory building exploding, all of which you can also Netflix if you’re in the mood for action because please understand that is all the action you are getting. Su struggles with her trauma, which is upsetting to watch, but this is a FilmKraft production, which means that those parts will be intermittently cut with Hrithik Roshan’s anguished shake-face and nostril-flare. As my favourite Oracle Didi-Delphi says, one nostril flare in Singapore can cause the avalanche of a career in Mumbai.

Of course, the histrionics will still be more attractive than the entire cast of Haraamkhor put together and then squared. Yet, I’d pick the latter any day because Nawaaz has the soul of Meryl Streep.

Overall, all the signs point to this movie generally not being a good idea. In fact, as I was drinking my chai-latte, the tea leaves arranged themselves to a perfect NOPE. It looks like a bad trailer mash-up of all of Marvel’s Netflix shows minus the grittiness and quality performances. However, if you find attractive people talking about how the struggle is real a worthy watch, then go for it. Or you could just watch cat memes instead.