Kangana, who has given us cut-to-perfection characters in Rani (Queen) and Tanu and Datto (Tanu Weds Manu I and II), tries her best to give some substance to Payal but her efforts are lost in the haphazard plot of the film.
A major letdown, Katti Batti is boring, tiring and inane. Walking out of the theatre made me feel as if I was walking out of a gym after two-and-half-hour-long workout, just that here it was my mind going bonkers trying to connect dots and comprehend what I had just watched, and more than that, ‘why’?
The film opens with Payal (Kangana Ranaut) filming Maddy (Imran Khan). As the video rolls, they enact a mock marriage by taking pheras around a bin fire, drawing mangalsutra around 'the bride's' neck, and replacing the famous chutki bhar sindoor with tomato ketchup. The scene cuts abruptly to the present day, where Maddy, foaming at the mouth, is being rushed into doctor’s care. What happened? He drank phenol. He says it was an accident, his friend and family believe he was trying to commit suicide because Payal left him. With this, the audience enter a disorganised maze of a done-to-death theme.
Besides, the film’s striking resemblance to Marc Webb’s (500) Days of Summer is more than evident. Both films are non-linear narration of a shy guy falling in love, and further into a live-in relationship, with a tempestuous girl, who prefers romantic flings over serious commitments. Both men can’t take it, break up with their respective partners, dive into depression, and long for a reunion. But Katti Batti still is not a remake of (500) Days of Summer because the latter was about two well-developed characters whose actions match their traits, while Katti Batti's lead pair not only lack chemistry but also seem unsure of their own characters in the film. By the time Katti Batti distances itself from (500) Days of Summer, it is already a mess.
The fast-paced film invests no time in defining and developing its lead characters. There are no backgrounders or strong support to their existence. Maddy and Payal's story is a random cut-paste of sequences which seem unrelated otherwise. Non-linear narration makes it even worse for the audience to get a grip on what is happening onscreen. Throughout the film, Maddy is an illogical, hyperactive, irritating, love-smitten college boy. His dependency (or love as he claims) on Payal becomes overwhelming to a point that you don’t regret her leaving him. Payal is hardly around in the first 120 minutes of the 140-minute film, except for in Maddy’s memories, leaving no room for the audience to even know her. And then, the tragic truth behind her disappearance is revealed, by when it is too late for you to even care.
Kangana, who has given us cut-to-perfection characters in Rani (Queen) and Tanu and Datto (Tanu Weds Manu I and II), tries her best to give some substance to Payal but her efforts are lost in the haphazard plot of the film. Although she still managed some 10 minutes of touching performance towards the end, which is easily forgotten as the film regains its focus on Maddy. Kangana's talent is completely wasted, especially at a time when she is at the peak of her performance. Imran's cute looks give a certain charm to his character, similar as in Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, but his acting doesn't seem to have evolved a bit since his debut days. His forced acting, bad comic timing, and lack of intensity expected in a heartbroken hero bounce off any sympathies directed towards Maddy. The only thing that provides some comfort through the ordeal of watching Katti Batti is its music, which is as young and melodic as most Shankar Ehsaan Loy compositions. Of one and half stars, one is for the music, which is the only thing worth taking home from the experience of Katti Batti, and half for Kangana’s effortless boho-chic look.
In all, you will not miss anything by giving Katti Batti a miss, unless you want to learn (500) ways to bore people.
Film: Katti Batti
Director: Nikhil Advani
Star cast: Kangana Ranaut, Imran Khan