Katti Batti has cute Kangana but doesn't connect
Maddy and Payal are in a live-in relationship. Suddenly, Payal leaves. But Maddy's sure Payal still loves him - can Maddy and Payal patch up their katti love-life?
So, Katti Batti is sweet, funny, sassy - but inconsistent. Maddy (Imran) and Payal (Kangana) fall in love, moving into a New York-like Mumbai apartment, living together in yuppie style. But slowly, the romance of bedside candles and naughty home videos fades and life - feeding the pet, paying the bills, withstanding family tragedy - happens.
Can Maddy and Payal's crazy love survive?
On the plus side, Katti Batti is one of the freshest-looking movies around, young, modern and hip. Its lead pair looks terrific - Imran simply rocks the nerdy glasses-and-stubble style while Kangana can clearly do boho-chic-chick asleep - and the movie's a delicious mash of tattoos and linen shirts, wineglasses and vintage jars, spaghetti straps and stunningly tiled floors.
But herein lies the problem - Katti Batti can't get over its own good looks. After a breezy first half, its story meanders, growing heavy while the bond between the leads feels too light. The movie is divided into dramatic cross-sections, moving from present to flashback, but the editing is too leisurely for powerful impact. Certain sequences - a contemporary Devdas, with 'Chandramukhi on LoC' - are hilarious but others - a 'Fosla' (Frustrated One-Sided Lovers' Association) band - add extra weight to a storyline that should be lean.
With geeky charm, Imran's competent but Kangana's Payal feels like a remix of similar roles. Kangana lights up certain scenes with her unabashed panache but others, like those featuring Maddy's supposedly South Indian boss, feel dated and dull.
In a sense, Katti Batti is vintage Nikhil 'Salaam-e-Ishk' Advani - pretty but so full of cute little somethings, the plot's overall impact gets jumbled. Here, an emotional twist takes you by surprise but the lead pair's bond doesn't develop enough agony, enough ecstasy - perhaps because they seem to live their life with so many buddies, including the Fosla Band.
Somewhere between glossy ad, glassy music video, sitcom and masala movie, Katti Batti leaves you pouting. This could've had the lusty, gutsy power of a full-blown French kiss - it ends up a pleasant but passing peck on the cheek.