AK vs AK Review: Bollywood’s rise beyond mediocrity
Rating – 3/5
Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor, the two major Bollywood stars with polar opposite styles. That is one of the many things that drew me to AK vs AK which is directed by Vikramaditya Motwane. The Netflix film which released on 24th Dec (which happens to also be the birthday of Anil Kapoor) is a breath of fresh air in the tinsel town which happens to be dictated by clichés and stereotypes.
Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor play the exaggerated version of themselves in this black comedy thriller. After a public feud between the two, Anurag levels up his game to earn back his credibility and decides to make a film with Anil. But here’s the thing – the film is the reality.
Yes, you heard it right! Anurag Kashyap kidnaps Anil Kapoor’s daughter Sonam Kapoor and makes Anil search for her using the few breadcrumbs laid for him over the entire city of Mumbai. With certain rules to be followed, the search becomes turns into a mind-meddling thriller game. The exciting events that follow keep us engaged in the film. It feels like we are there, watching Anurag’s ‘hostage thriller’ film unveil right in front of us.
The hustling camera gives a deeper shot of their lives. We see their houses, their families and what their typical day looks like; everything just the way it is.
Exemplar performances by the lead actors
We see Anurag Kashyap lampooning Anil for wanting to come back as a hero in mainstream cinema. Well, with AK vs AK, Anil sure did earn himself a savage come back. He was brilliant as…himself. The running-againt-time urgency was spot on.
His performance somewhere is a reminder of how we have dehumanized stars. We rush for selfies and autographs when we spot them disregarding the turmoil they actually may be in. Anil here is desperate to find his daughter but still poses for selfies and dances in public helplessly. Those scenes do strike a chord with the viewers.
The actor in Anurag Kashyap has already proved his mettle in movies like Immaika Nodikal. But with AK vs AK, he escalates his acting game. His comic timing is accurate and he plays his exaggerated self with perfection. Though the fictionalized versions of the actors is an entertaining watch, there are certain scenes that did seem inappropriate. Anurag hitting a woman seemed more emphatic than several blows he exchanged with Anil.
Harshavardhan Kapoor’s brief appearance is a scene-stealer. He is charming and energetic in his 15 minutes of screen presence.
The camera work of AK vs AK deserves a special mention here. We don’t see the camera taking a break. In the scene where the camera goes through the security check, we slide along with it. Everything happens in a single stretch. Like I mentioned earlier, it gives us a feeling of actually being there.
To conclude, AK vs AK may not be perfect but it certainly doesn’t bore. The Netflix film is a fun ride and makes for a perfect year-end watch. While the industry is struggling to rise beyond the mediocre content, AK vs AK can boast about how great content experiments can still top the charts in Bollywood.