Kites First Detailed Review

By Jack Rico (New York Critic)

The Bollywood film ‘Kites,’ directed by Anurag Basu, was a film unlike any I’ve seen before. It was spoken in three languages, had a diverse cast and it wasn’t from Hollywood. It was a completely original experience. It blithely leaps from romance, to musical, to action adventure, to western, referencing any number of Hollywood genres along with one of the more beautiful musical scores in recent memory. The romance, in particular, was as intense as Nicholas Sparks‘ ‘The Notebook,’ and the chemistry between the leads was off the charts. I have to say I was surprisingly entertained and am a better critic for having seen this film. 

The plotline begins in the blistering heat of the Mexican desert, where a man has been left for dead. This is “J,” (Hrithik Roshan, the biggest movie star in India), a once- carefree Vegas huckster, now a wanted man, fighting for his life. As he makes his way back home, “J” relives the past, and we learn that the one thing keeping him alive is his burning desire to reunite with Linda (Bárbara Mori, best known in America for the 2005 hit “La Mujer De Mi Hermano”), the love of his life. When “J” first meets her he is working odd jobs, the oddest of which is to marry “illegals” for money. Linda, fresh from Mexico, has barely enough cash to pay for the phony marriage but, like “J,” she has dreams of striking it rich in America. They wed and, that very night, she departs, green card in hand. Though he barely knows her, and they don’t even speak each other’s language, “J” will never forget her. The next time he sees Linda, she is engaged to Tony (Nick Brown), the son of a fabulously wealthy casino owner. As fate would have it, “J” is dating Tony’s sister. Both of them are prepared to marry for money so they can finally make their dreams come true. There are just two problems: they are still legally married and they have fallen madly in love. Choosing one another over wealth, they flee, with a vengeful Tony in hot pursuit… This romance is described in the film as a love that “knows no language,” an apt description of KITES itself, which has more international appeal than the more traditional Bollywood fare.

Bollywood films are a rare breed of cinematic products here in the States and there are legitimate reasons why films from India aren’t successful with American audiences: they are always over 2 hours (we complain when it’s 1hr 45m), they’re like musicals that involve too much dancing (we left the musicals back in the 50’s and ‘NINE’ was a flop) and for the most part, they’re not spoken in English. The closest movie we’ve had to a successful Bollywood production has been Danny Boyle’s Academy Award effort ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and that wasn’t really ours, it was a collaboration we did with England.

Nevertheless, Kites has the potential to change the way we look at Bollywood films. Due to its Latin flavor, it has the ability to reach the largest movie going audience in America, the US Hispanic. Enter director Brett Ratner. Known for taking Asian action star Jackie Chan and crossing him over into American superstardom with his spectacularly successful “Rush Hour” series, Ratner carries a unique synergy – he’s a Hispanic of Cuban descent who understands the power of the Hispanic consumer and what it would take to attract them to the theaters. In a brilliant strategy move by Roshan Productions, Ratner was asked to rework an English language version, designed to extend the reach of the original to the largest possible audience, including the younger demographic for whom 2+ hours is a challenge. This led to “Kites: The Remix, A Brett Ratner Presentation”. Its title suggests, a true “remix,” in that it is the same film, played to a different rhythm, running a swift 90 minutes as opposed to the 130–minute original.

The remix caters to a mass audience but it begrudgingly also contains some elements from the original cut that hurt it. For my particular tastes, the acting by the secondary cast is not as strong as the leads. There are some over the top acting moments that are quite risible. We could have done without some of the excess torso bearing poses by Hrithik, but I imagine the ladies need a dose of carnal ecstasy once in a while. Despite these small imperfections, the film is very entertaining, even for audiences that don’t regularly consume Indian films.

The bulk of the entertainment comes from the extravagant, larger than life action sequences that involve 18 wheeler trucks, chases, explosions, bullet fights, crashes and jumps that stun the senses.

Actor Hrithik Roshan is extremely charismatic and possesses the handsomeness of a major movie star. His talents don’t just end there; in the only dancing sequence of the movie, he gyrated, twirled and whirled like a snake in Vegas. He needs to come to Hollywood and do movies here ASAP. Bárbara Mori, the Uruguayan actress, raised in Mexico, fit perfectly well with Roshan and her new environment. Even though her English accent is rough, it is endearing. She has a magnetic connection that has made her one of the top actresses in Spanish television in the US. We look forward to her evolution in cinema.

Despite the positives of the protagonists, to craft an affecting love story the stars need to be well-developed, evidence a degree of sexual chemistry, and their relationship needs to be allowed to unfold on screen. By falling somewhere in between – more serious than the average comedy and lighter than the typical drama – Kites feels just about right. This love story isn’t going to appeal to those who don’t appreciate romance. It is sweet and sentimental and embraces the fantasy of love all the way through its operatic finale.

Kites recalls such master movie mixologists as Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, and Baz Luhrmann. Producer Rakesh Roshan and director Anurag Basu, have made Kites into an intoxicating cinematic cocktail with a flavor—and a kick—all its own.

Rating: ★★★½☆



  • looking forword for this muv for a very long time.

    i will definately watch it 1st day 1 show.

  • My Prediction
    1st weekend——— 38 carores
    1st week————-60 carores
    2nd week————-28 carores
    3rd week————-10 carore///bcz of rajneeti
    4th week ————10 carore
    no big release after that
    total—————–128-135 carores

  • i dont think latin flavor will go well with indians at home not expecting much in this film

  • I went to see it today, waited so long for this movie, all I can say that it was a good movie but not amazing as I thought it’d be! Hrirhik was good so was Barbra mohri, she’s so beautiful, charming woman, I can consider her the most beautiful face which I’ve seen so far, songs r not bad, a love story and kangana didn’t hv a strong role in the movie, but it’s a movie which u hv to see for hrirhik with this beautiful lady, a one time watch only. I think it wl be a hit movie only not a super hit or blockbuster in india

  • And yeah.. some ppl on other websites were saying that this movie will be a blockbuster and will surpass My Name is Khan.. it’s not fair to compare a love story like Kites with a movie which is about humanity and gives a big big message to the audience like MNIK.. for me, I found MNIK is a better movie and watched it twice at cinema, Housefull too watched it twice coz it was an entertaining movie, but Kites is a one time watch and I will see it after sometimes on a dvd only.

  • @Fathiya

    You watched houseful twice ahhh OMG,, no offence intended to you but it is one the crap movie coming out of akshay kumar pocket…
    I liked MNIK very much especially the post interval portions but HOUSEFUL cut the crap …
    I have my show for KITES tomorrow,,,will post my feedback to you on the movie

  • this movie ie entirely to show case hrithiks body and show modern version of troy and furious et al .. now havent we seen it all.??? waste of my compnay s money ..btw the entire hall was sneaking out after half an hour was half empty to begin with dont expect much here wait for the dvd to come out ..this is anll time worsr worse than mnik and veer .. surely you will know the result today evening

  • Megha: why r u “always” negative for any movie u watch? R u against every movie releases in India and consider them..bad?!! ( I know u loved Amar Akbar Anthony and 3 Idiots.. what else?!!). In addition, u can’t compare Kites with Veer by saying it was better.. I left the theatre while watching Veer as it was so poor in direction, but Kites is a good direction but a western type flavour, nothing lacks this movie except that it’s not similar to all Hrithik’s movies.. if I would compare it with Dhoom 2 , I’d say that I was amazed while watching Dhoom 2, but not amazed by watchig Kites, except for Barbara Mori who’s gorgeous, so beautiful, and Angelina Juli is just ugly comparing her with this natural beauty..if this lady is lucky and smart can make it to the top in hollywood movies.
    And you’re also wrong in comparing it with Troy!!

  • Gurvinderpal: I don’t like all bollywood comedy movies but I do enjoy watching some of them, I liked the latest movies of Akshay Kumar e.g. DDD, Singh is Kinng & Housefull.. yeah.. truly I enjoyed watching it even more than watching Kites and had a good time, I didn’t agree for all the scenes in the movie but it was interesting ( if it’s a crap movie for u let it be, I just don’t care! some stupid comedy movies e.g. Golmaal, Welcome and many others were liked by lots of ppl in India but I found them crap and felt a waste of time and not funny.. what u enjoy and consider as good might be bad for other ppl in this world!)

  • oh must i tell u that the story line is soooooo predictable .. no film staring a foreign actress has ver been made well and been succesful in anand tried it and they all flopped ..couple of others too.. no wonder people are scared of starring the gwerman bombshell claudia ciesla also lest their film bombs..and why should i like each and every film??? if mnik is bad it is bad.. try watching the dvd now ..i!!! it just doesnt have the repeat value of 3 idiots or munna bhai.. i can watch these movies from any point if shown but kites has the potential of mass rejection ..i could see it in the theatre and edginess of getting out that my kids showed .. my elder one was more happy outside the theatre munching nachos than inside it… if the movie was to show case the bodies of hrithik and barbara then that is all.. music was so pathetic that the songs are least played on the fm stations .. i am not alone in saying that it is abad film the entire world is sayoing so .. why should we accept what u like??? if houseful to u is good film then i pity the masses .what a laffable end to that film!!! when sajid got bereft of ideas as to how to open akshays secret he just made use of laffing gas and called the credits rolling..!!!!wow ..and this is good film??? i hope u all have some standards to mantain as mature audience and do not pat the back of any pehwlwan that enters the ring…!!!

  • btw my comparison to troy is only in terms of hero falling in love with villains sister and call it travesty of fate that he is chased down by them

  • it has all the trademark rakesh roshan s attitude written over it .. the same agony in the opening scenes with blood splattered that he is so known for ala koyla. and once this film flops im sure rekha who is missing from the film will surely comment to rakesh … see im your lucky mascot forgot me and see the result ..your film didnt work.. in fact rekha too was soaked in blood in khoon bhari mang .while running on the horseback to the strains of chariots of fire .. this time his brother has chosen ryan farishs electrifying instrumental to copy.. and copy??? we dont likes..

    i had predicted before its release that this type of foreign loclae film do not work with us and ivew been proven right .. wait for a couple of days and the excuses will come surprised a t the amount of unity people have displayed in disliking the film ..all the members of our club had only one thing to say.. wrong choice for our companys anniversary bash.. in fact the cinema hall priya in vasant vihar was o empty that we sprawled ourselves all over and mind u this was first day first show>>!! so despite what the reviewres feel here is my prediction.. huge losses for our roshan saab

  • Megha: I don’t deny that it was a predictable movie, but we can say about it that it’s just a good movie, not so great.. that’s my opinion although my sister and my niece who accompanied me for the movie loved it, u can’t say that it was bad in direction, and why r u saying “the entire world r saying that it’s a bad film?!!) it’s released in India and worldwide on 21st Friday, and I saw it one day earlier, on Thursday 20th, and you posted yr comment on 22nd ( one day after the release date) so when the entire world watched it and decided that it’s a bad movie?!!

    Do u do it intentionally just want to post bad bad bad comments whenever any good movie releases?!! Do u hv any purpose behind yr constant negative comments for Shahrukh, Bigb, Akshay and other actor’s movies?! The only movie which I remember u liked among all the new latest movies was 3 Idiots, and 3 Idiots was a passtime comedy movie, that’s all ( r u a die hard Aamir Khan’s fan or a member in his family?!!!!!

    And why do u think because (Rekha) who was in a supporting role in Koi Mel Gaya is the main reason for his successful as a director?!! Rekha is not the main reason for Koi Mel Gaya to be a super hit movie!! it was because of Hrithik, his son, that’s the reason ( if u didn’t mean Rekha in KMG, then can’t remember any other movies for her in Rakesh Roshan’s films)

  • grow up dearie please grow up….when i say the world has seen it is because it was a worldwide release….understood???
    if the films are bad they are bad.. they can star srk or rajpal not bothered …

    if they copy too bad for them cos i dont like copies…
    rakha has been lucky for rakesh roshan he himself admitted to it that is why she is in all his films except this but then he had kabir bedi instead …yet it didnt

    im not from the popcorn munching public to like everything that comes by i have certain taste and i dont call people appreciating mnik and houseful to have any taste

    you may be starved forr movies from our superstars but we know how to teach them a lesson when they do silly cinema

  • What r u saying Megha?!! teach them a lesson!! a funny line which u wrote!! Do u consider me – or anyone in this world – as some little people, dwarfs, coz we found Kites as a good movie and u r the smarttest, tallest one ever who can “only” value any movie correctly?!!!

    As I already said, the movie is not bad, but not so good.. we’ve to be honest in our review.. I totally agree with Indicine review as they gave it 3/5.. fair enough.. 3/5 is good for Kites, doesn’t deserve more.. but it’s not as bad as u r describing it. that’s all I can say, some directors try their best, to make a good movie but they fail.. everyone fail in their life sometimes.. u can’t “eat” the success everyday! many of yr big directors did some silly stupid movies too e.g. RGV who did Aag, Daur and Darna Zarouri hai which were total crap movies, in addition to many flop movies he did.. we can’t deny that he did also some good, Rangila, Darna Mana Hai, Sarkar, etc.

    but u Mega “always” write negative comments even for the best movies! I remember your comments.. u didn’t like Paa ( comparing Paa with 3 Idiots Paa is a better movie, better story) just go and see how many holllywood movies every year flop and r the worst movies.. at least we enjoy and hv some good time while watching bollywood coz of songs, dance, and good scripts.. but holllywood movies in general makes u sleep and yawn, or want to leave the theatre! how many hollywood movies I do watch every year, but 3 or 4 out of 30 or 40 movies please me as an audience, had a plan to watch Robin Hood and my family said: it’s a boring one too, so I changed my mind.. can’t set 2 hours or more on my seat at cinema watching meaningless movies, no stories and nothing in them except some toys moving on the screen!!

    At least Kites was not a boring movie!

  • Megha: this is for you.. copied from masala website:

    ‘Kites’ has opened in 2,000 screens in India and 500 screens overseas, making it the biggest Indian release so far.

    “I am overwhelmed by the response both in India and abroad,” said producer Rakesh Roshan.

    Hrithik said: “My dad and I are extremely grateful to Reliance BIG Pictures for the extraordinary release given to ‘Kites’ worldwide and the tremendous love showered on the film by cinegoers.”

    The multiplexes are booked till Sunday (May 23).

    “The advance ticket booking has been extraordinary. We have sold more than 5,500 tickets for the next three days,” said Amit Awasthi, senior manager (programming and operations) of Spice Cinemas that is running 33 shows per day with a seating capacity of more than 8,000, told IANS.

    Deepak Taluja, senior vice president (business and operations) of Fun Cinemas, said: “The advance booking at Fun Cinemas till Sunday for all the properties put together in Delhi is close to 3,500. We are expecting ‘Kites’ to run for at least two more weeks.”

    On May 28, Brett Ratner’s pacier version titled ‘Kites: The Remix’ will be released in 300 screens worldwide.

    The international press has raved about the film.

    New York Times praised Hrithik in its review saying, “Mr. Hrithik Roshan requires viewing uncut: writhing on the dance floor or just gazing into space, the man was made to drive women crazy, one movie at a time.”

    Los Angeles Times said: ” ‘Kites’ has been given the no-holds Bollywood treatment by producer Rakesh Roshan and director Anurag Basu. The result is an exhilarating escapist entertainment that plays out like a violent and floridly poetic allegory.”

    The Hollywood Reporter too showered praise on the Hrithik. “Hrithik Roshan anchors the film with a solid, believable performance and a palpable chemistry with his co-star that will remind audiences just how hot a good Bollywood romance can be,” it said.

    “Deliriously entertaining,” wrote Variety.

    Indo-Asian News Service

  • i have read those bits dear but if people like roshans didnt have the clout to get those pieces written for themselves who will?? im not denying that the good part of the film is spent in gazing at hrithik and barbara ..but thats it…. the film doesnt work on several accounts

    poor music ..
    feeble diction of hrithik ..and the dance moves are oh so familiar
    predictable story line soon as the friend lands up at the cootage where hrithik is hiding you know that hes going to be shot from behind!!!
    no tear jerking heart pulling moments for a love story…
    the initial description of kites by assumably hrithik who eventually dies in the film who is narrating thwe philosophy of kites??? also showing kites in the initial scenes is oh so predictable..!!/???isnt it???
    would u like to see it again?? most likeky not…
    there are other views at some sites bearing opposite views and i can paste them here ..but that wont make the movie run…

  • your opening comment says that it wasnt a good movie antd yet you ask me why i didnt like the movie???

  • if paa axccording to u was a good film then i think abhishek bachchans career is quite safe even though he is fat and ugly looking in the film and otherwise also.. if those mutterings by shri bachchan evoked tears in your eyes then you can probaly cry reading my reviews also.. ms baln gets an award for just being curt in the entire film and u call it praiseworthy .. i dont buy critics views ar anybody else .. i believe in seeing a good film which should be extraordinary..and u say hollywood movies are bore..just watch UNTHINKABLE starring samuel o jackson or see MR BROOKS starring kevin costner.. try to get dvd of RDGE OF DARKNESS starring mel gibson.. just see how their stars perform.. if ever u want to see a good hollywood film please let me know on this forum and i will suggest u many ..u mkust see a good hindi release called chase and also kushti

  • Megha: I think u didn’t read my opening comment properly or u just didn’t concentrate or u imagined that I said what u hv mentioned!.. go back to the comment and read it again.. I didn’t say that the movie wasn’t good, I said: “it was a good movie but not amazing.. that’s what I said”

    U didn’t like Paa, u didn’t like MNIK, u didn’t like Akshay Kumar’s latest comedy movies so I can’t force u to love them, but I did like them and enjoyed watching them, specially Paa.

    I follow up all hollywood movies, all the new releases, and watch “only” what I think could be some good movies worth watching.. I saw The Edge of Darkness ( but I thought it was a copy of the movie Taken in a different direction, was not a bad movie)
    Unthinkable.. can’t remember if I already saw it, but will see a part of it on any movie online.
    I saw Mr. Brooks, a good movie and I admired Kevin Costner’s performance in the body Guard, loved the movie.

    Hollywood make good movies but they’re one out of ten movies releases every week.. that’s what I meant.. if u hv for example 10 new releases, you’ll find one or 2 only good movies.. with me I love stories, meaningfull movies as well as romantic, comedy and thriller, I saw many many hollywood movies but the latest ones which I saw and liked them were: Everbody’s Fine for Robert Deniro, Orphan, Case39, Avataar, and the comedy The Backup Plan.

  • exactly and people abroad are not dying to see indian cinema ..i mean the non hindi understanding people … yet they see hollywood films u see hollywood or spanish/japanese films are being made and people do see them ..there is a torrent site which lists a lot of foreign films also with subtitles i have seen quite a few in fact a russian film called CALL GIRL was also downloaded by me and was good. but waht are we doing??? in the name of fleecing people we make garbage and meaningless films like MNIK APKGK,HF.DDD etc .. and now this u remember any scene after u leave the theatre?? wheere does J get all the power to drive like a speed racer fight like steve austin or catch hold of aballon at the last second he a federal agent or what?? wvwn they will not be capable of such stuff?? the way the movie goes about is very very frivolous…indicine is always giving one rating more than what is needed .. for me now i will rise a little and give it 1.5 but not more .. please verify the points ive raised in favour of the movie not working

    paa hasnt worked for me nor ever will cos i dont place amitabhs acting anywhere nowadays.. his days of supremacy are over.. whatever he does today is for the sake of his son/friend in need .. he doesnt work for us anymore and thats why his films flop also he is not popular with young generation who find him granddad.. im sure abhisheks ravan will allso take a fall cos he is looking his true self in the film i.e very very ugly.. how u people can stand him i dont know???

  • How much we discuss about movies, actors, what’s good.. what’s bad.. we never agree.. we always disagree and that’s because we’re different ppl exactly like your fingers.. they’re not the same!

    I find a movie very good.. you find it crap..and I may find a movie a total crap but u find it good, others would find it a so good movie e.g. JTYJN, as an example, that’s how we’re in fact, can’t convince each other.

  • for a true perspective of what works and what shouldnt work you have to come out of the mindset of if it is a superstars film it will be good dictat.. and judge what the maker has to offer in terms of novelty.. 3I works splendidly on that account..fab music fab acting fab storyline wonderful climax and a message delivered if films nowadays are being made for NRI audience what can we do??? take a good looking star mix him with a sexy latino and voila you ahve a pasta sambhar ready …ready to be gulped down by the NRI audience ..and they can laff their way to the bank this is how it works nowadays .. a pity..really good friends husband is making a movie called PAN SINGH TOMAR and i asked her why is he making such an unheard of movie ..and im yet to be convinced by the logic she gave me .. irfan khan cant carry the movie entirely but those who can spend acres of amoney to dish out a rotten pot pouri masala is our duty to eduacate everyone to keeep away from such dishes even though our tastes may differ..!!!

  • Can u forbid, stop the kids from eating candy or junk food?! You can’t.. right? how much u try to advise them.. this is good.. that’s bad. .they won’t listen ( if u don’t allow them eating them at home, they’ll do it behind you.. while they’re out) and u can’t stop some ppl from smoking, drinking alcohol and they “know” that these stuff will harm their body but they use it coz it’ll give them pleasure..

    So the movies aren’t anything different, movies are made to entertain the audience, as people need to enjoy their time.. right? ( and that’s what lots of ppl on this website said) So how much you’ll tell them, they won’t listen.. they’ll go for what they like ( and not for what other people would like)

    I remember when I saw Karishma Kapoor’s movie (Zubeida) I admired this movie although it was a bit slow ( and saw it so far 4 times) loved the story which was a true story but this movie wasn’t recognized by everyone, as it didn’t do a good business.. what was the rating.. I don’t know, but I was sorry that this movie didn’t do well, and the reason was for sure: Not an interesting movie for the audience to watch! the indian audience wants to enjoy his time, don’t want to see some tragedy, mellodrama on the screen, don’t care if the story was true or false, don’t care to see what’s happing in this world, as they need to forget their problems in those moments and not watching movies which remind them of their problem and make them weep or feel sad or get bored.

    So Megha: don’t waste yr time.. no one would listen!!

  • right ji…we are not here to stop anybody from watching good cinema but it is our duty as fellow humans to stoppeople from wasting their money on buying crap just as wed o to our kids .learning the hard way is not all the time good ..learning from wise people is also necessary.. aftera ll we have the experience to guide them by our views and i will try my best to guide the lost souls of our society to a better future .. there is no futire for them in watching crap cinema in seeing a monkey slap a character 15 times(HF) OR a semilunatic travel all over the usa looking forthe president of usa cos he wants to whisper in his ear the secret of his youthful looks the whitening cream>>>…..
    this kites by the way has turned into a kati patang for the makers .. just read the reviews coming in now.. offf course you all know the fate by now
    im sure i wasnt wrong hallucinating when we sat in the near empty priya cinema vasant vihar on that fateful friday morning with my colleagues and their families…and wondered why we were made the scapegoats..

  • Megha: well I found that scene in HF, Akshay slaps the monkey as a funny scene..and the funniest scene was when Deepika braught a black baby for Boman Irani..if u just take that scene as an example.. all the members are trying to convince Boman Irani a false story ( but does this happen in fact, in our real life? No.. never happens.. it happens only in bollywood comedy movies) why do u take these comedy movies as some serious films!! they’re made just to make u laugh? See hollywood comedy movies, Jackie Chan, Jim Carry’s and the rest who did also some silly comedy movies which aren’t based on reality and never happens in fact.. they r all made for u to laugh and hv some good time! now if that scene was a part of a serious movie.. happened in the movie Sarkar for example or Sarkar Raj.. what would u think would be the reaction of the audience? Aishwariya slapping the monkey and the monkey slaps Aishwariya 10 times?! Everyone would’ve left the theatre.. everyone knows that these stuff which we see in some comedy movies never happens in our real life, but they make it for the audience to laugh, we watch what the magician does on tv or any show.. and we all know that what he does is not a magic but some tricks, but ppl love to watch what they do.

    Shahrukh in MNIK wasn’t a natural person there4 he was insisting on meeting the president of US! If a mad person in jail would insist and try to convince others that he’s a jeusus, a prophet, or a president of any county.. people would laugh and they know that he’s mad but would never say: why this mad guy is saying like this?!) u can’t say any bad about MNIK.. it was an excellent movie, if it didn’t do very well in India but it did overseas.. we all loved the movie.



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