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The movie Ki and Ka raises interesting questions about marriage and the gender roles that each spouse plays in it, and how a more equitable marriage can be.
I was very curious and and also very apprehensive about watching Ki and Ka. After all, it has picked up a topic that is unconventional and which can be treated either with utmost predictability, or banality, or become totally ridiculous.
Luckily, the movie manages to navigate these treacherous waters for the most part quite successfully though it stumbles a lot in the first half. It’s as if the director himself is not sure which stance to take while going ahead.
Kia is a successful career woman who doesn’t want to have the hassle of running a house. Kabir is an IIMB topper who doesn’t want to enter the rat race and instead would like to be an ‘artist’ who will ‘create’ a beautiful home and manage it.
They make a perfect match and along with her mother they start living the perfect life where the mother and daughter leave for work every morning, and he cooks, cleans, decorates and hangs out with the other ladies in the building. Of course, things start going wrong in this paradise when he comes into the public eye with his unorthodox views on a husband’s role in a marriage and then the rest of the movie is about solving the issues and figuring if they will live happily ever after.
The first half goes in setting up the plot and flits between predictable scenes and a few surprises. The second half with the conflict gets a bit juicier and it is interesting to see stereotypes being flipped around like the omelets that Kabir makes and predictable responses being turned on their heads.
The story is well paced out and there are no melodramatic moments, though Kia shows a rather violent tendency to over-react to situations. However, there are too many places where the story becomes more of a tell rather than a show. So you have set scenes where suddenly a little homily on gender stereotypes etc. gets delivered in the form of a dialogue, but sounds totally like a mini lecture at a seminar. At times like these the setting and the acting look too forced and artificial – as if you are in a college fest drama competition and one of the rules is that the social message of the play has to be communicated clearly at least 4 times in the course of the play.
However, in the second half, the movie seems surer of its position and doesn’t resort to this kind of moral storytelling, and uses drama to resolve the conflict.
I didn’t quite get why Kabir has to hang out only with other housewives just because he chooses to be a house-husband. Surely, he must have buddies with whom he used to hang out earlier? Even at parties with Kia he is again seen only hanging with the women and saying things like “She is never home,” etc. It would have been interesting to see his interaction with his friends after his marriage, etc. but instead we see a housewife with a stubble playing games at a kitty party.
Ki and Ka raises interesting questions. Can society accept a woman as the main income earner? More importantly, can the egos of both the man and the woman accept this sort of a role swap in a marriage in the long run or will conditioning ruin it? How do you deal with jealousies about a spouse’s success? Can both people make a place for themselves under the sun and not let insecurities fray the fabric of their relationship?
As a society we need a lot of changes especially where it comes to roles in marriages. People are looking more at things like sharing tasks and movies such as these can probably help to change attitudes. Ignore the preachy bits and the movie can be quite entertaining.
Image source: trailer on youtube.
Smita considers herself an octopus with tentacles in different delicious jam jars. An alumnus of
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