UTV Motion Pictures and Emmay Entertainment’s Katti Batti (UA) is a love story. Payal (Kangana Ranaut) and Madhav Kabra alias Maddy (Imran Khan) have an affair just for the sake of it. They are not serious but they soon fall in love with one another once they start living in together. And then, one day, Payal just disappears from Maddy’s life without giving him so much as even a hint.
Maddy is unable to forget Payal and just can’t seem to get over her. He tries to trace her but to no avail. Their common friends are not of much help as they tell him to move on like she has moved on. Then, one day, Maddy gets the news that Payal is soon due to marry Ricky (Vivaan Bathena), her ex-boyfriend. He also learns that the wedding is scheduled to take place in Delhi where she now lives. Maddy takes off from Bombay to Delhi in search of her because he firmly believes, she would marry him if he made the first move. It is with great difficulty that he tracks down Payal.
But is Payal ready to take back Maddy into her life? Is she prepared to spend the rest of her life with Maddy? Why had she walked out on him? Does Maddy get to know the real reason and, if so, does he forgive her?
The film has a story which is not new or fresh as love stories like this have been attempted in Hindi cinema before also. It is loosely inspired by Hollywood films 500 Days Of Summer, Sweet November and Chasing Amy. Anshul Singhal and Nikhil Advani have penned a screenplay which is more convoluted than free-flowing. In today’s age and time, making a cock-and-bull story, which is what Payal does, doesn’t seem to be the solution to a problem. Rather, it can create more problems, as it does in this drama. In fact, the entire track of Payal confiding in her group of friends except Maddy fails to have the desired emotional impact on the audience if only because it looks contrived and it is far from sensitive and heart-rending. Although the drama becomes more and more serious as it progresses, the emotional angle doesn’t strike a chord in the viewer’s heart because in the establishment of the love story, it is only fun, frolic and frivolousness which have been shown, never the real love which Payal and Maddy have begun to share. The cock-and-bull stories of Payal, therefore, don’t shock the viewer as and when they are revealed.
One more point about the screenplay which keeps troubling the audience is that too much time is devoted to Maddy trying to locate Payal. In today’s time, tracing a loved one can’t be as difficult as it becomes for Maddy. Therefore, rather than the audience feeling sad for Maddy, it ends up feeling irritated at his, so to say, inability and dumbness. Showing Maddy running (and literally, many times) in search of Payal looks rather silly. Frankly, because there is not much real love shown between Payal and Maddy, the viewers don’t really feel for the characters when they are separated. Agreed, Maddy is shown to be pining for Payal but the audience fails to sympathise with him because they are simply not aware of the intensity of his love for her or even of the intensity of Payal’s lovce for him, before the break-up. Resultantly, the many scenes devoted to showing a love-lorn Maddy missing Payal and trying hard to reach out to her seem contrived and written to make the viewers feel sympathy for him, which doesn’t happen. The film oscillating between the present times and the many flashbacks only serves to add to the audience’s confusion. Towards the end, when it is revealed that Payal had confided in everyone, including Maddy’s own sister, but not in Maddy, the question which troubles the audience is, couldn’t she also have just told Maddy the truth? It is not as if Maddy was not in a state to face facts or, if he was, that doesn’t come through in the screenplay. The track of Roger and his music band members looks like an unnecessary add-on.
The last couple of scenes are designed to activate the viewer’s tear ducts but if that doesn’t happen, it is because of the aforementioned defects in the screenplay. Yes, the weak-hearted may end up feeling emotionally moved but what was needed was an emotional climax which would make the viewers weep a number of times. The comedy, or whatever little there is of it, is not half as funny as it should’ve been. Anshul Singhal’s dialogues are good but needed to be far better.
Imran Khan does a fair job but suffers on account of a weak characterisation. He falls short in the performance department in intense and emotional scenes. In an intense love story like this, one needed a hero who could deliver an outstanding performance and nothing less than that. Kangana Ranaut is not what one has seen her in some earlier films. Although she has acted well, especially in the last few reels, the audience now expects her to deliver a superlative performance and anything short of that keeps them dissatisfied. She has not looked good consistently and one is not talking about the scenes in which she is required to look less than charming. Abhishek Saha does a splendid job of Maddy’s close friend, Vinay. Vivaan Bathena leaves a mark as Ricky. He has worked hard on his physique and the results are astonishing. Mithila Palkar is alright as Maddy’s sister, Koyal. Suhaas Ahuja is restrained in the role of Roger. Suparna Marwah and Suneel Sinha are okay as Maddy’s parents. Adaar Malik (as Aniket), Gavin Methelika (as Yash), Jimesh Patel (as Raghu), Nikkitasha Marwah (as Tina) and Shilpi Tiwari (as Shweta) lend fair support. Chandan Raina, Nigel Rajarathnam, Yohan Marshal and Sasha Chettri are quite nice as members of the F.O.S.L.A music band. Buggs Bhargava’s comedy is not funny enough. His performance as Ramalingam is ordinary. Jiten Mookhey is fair in the role of Ahuja.
Nikhil Advani’s direction does not suit the script. He has tried to make a very youthful film but, in the process, he has lost the track of the emotional side of the drama. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have composed fairly good tunes but there is not a single chartbusting song. ‘Sarfira’, ‘Sau aansoon’ and ‘Ove jaaniya’ are melodious while ‘Lip to lip de kissiyaan’ is fast-paced and mass-appealing. Kumaar’s lyrics are nice. Nupur Bhargava and Arvind Thakur’s choreography is okay. Gulraj Singh’s background music could’ve been fair richer. Tushar Kanti Ray’s cinematography is good. Mohd Amin’s action and stunts are functional. Production designing by Amit S. Ray and Subrata Chakraborty is alright. Maahir Zaveri’s editing is nice.
On the whole, Katti Batti lacks the depth of an intense love story and also lacks entertaining moments. Its tension-ridden climax is another minus point, from the box-office point of view. It will end up as a losing proposal as it fails to not only entertain but also emotionally move the audience.