Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Kunal Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Gulshan Grover, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
What’s Good: The social satire rightly tackles the issues of water scarcity and casteism with a story that bridges the both. What’s more special about the film is, the writer’s vision of showing water being used as the currency in a village that has been forsaken by water.
What’s Bad: Even though the thought behind this film is quite impressive, the film falls short of making a powerful impact with it. It loses its way over the second half and ends with a narrow approach.
Loo Break: As per your requirements. No need to stay glued to your seats.
Watch or Not?: Not a sure shot recommendation, but Kaun Kitney Paani Mein makes an effort to be an eye-opener. The film has its moments of hits and misses so if you want to step out for a cine-watch that is not particularly commercial, you could watch this one!
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein takes off with a narration by Raja Braj Singh Deo (Saurabh Shukla). It is a flashback chronicling the divide between two villages of the upper caste and royalty with those of the lower caste.
The upper half of the village is ruled by upper caste people who are presently facing water problems while the lower caste villagers settled at the lower end and are the privileged ones with abundant water supply.
Raja Braj Singh who is now only a namesake King has no money and no water. In these acute times, he is hell bent on selling his village and has even appointed a local who sits on the bark of a tree holding a board which reads ‘Village for sale’.
Braj Singh’s son, Raj (Kunal Kapoor) soon takes a detour from his city life to meet his father and ask for money to leave for London, only to realize that not only is there any money but water too. The Raja is seen drinking alcohol straight up since there is no water in the house. Raj realizes that things are difficult and decides to help out his father. With not many options left, Raja forces his son to lure Paro (Radhika Apte), the daughter of the lower side village’s leader Kharu Pahelwan (Gulshan Grover).
Will Raj’s attempt at helping out his village by luring Paro succeed?
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Review: Script Analysis
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein tries hard to hold your attention but it misses out on expressing a hard hitting point. It is true that rural India is plagued by water scarcity and that it won’t be far that trading water as money would be the only solution. But glazing with a background of caste discrimination seems like tackling two big issues half heartedly. What is truly amazing is the satire pulled off on royalty and their current status. Even though their reign is over, those with royal backgrounds have nothing left with them but their attitude. The pace of the film is so slow that after a point it loiters around the same subject over and over again without getting further. The one-liners that keep coming in between are hilarious and work well for the comic element.
What is even more amusing is that the film’s climax itself finds its roots on societal prejudice that the film wants to wash off in the first place. Also, after presenting a problem of one entire village facing such massive water scarcity, the solution of luring a girl and forcibly mating with her is given by the King which is completely absurd an idea for a film to promote. It cannot justify this concept by showing that Raj’s character is a sorted one and hence he does not indulge into such an activity. So while the script tries to be a mirror for the rural issues, it fails to rise above the beliefs and prejudices that it wants to get rid off.
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Review: Star Performance
Saurabh Shukla is a fine actor and when it comes to playing the not-so-royal royalty in this film too, he does a good job. His character brings out the humor in the film. He makes up for an amazing drunk King who sports a fake moustache every time he steps out.
Gulshan Grover is the actual hero of this film. He is brilliant as Kharu Pahelwan who is an aspiring politician and a liberal leader for the village of the lower caste.
Kunal Kapoor as the young prince does a decent job. There is nothing extraordinary in his performance but nothing to complain either. He gives a controlled act and does what his director expects him to do.
Radhika Apte has become the face of art cinema, although with this film, she disappoints. Her character has little to contribute and hence she delivers a very mediocre performance.
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Review: Music, Direction
Nila Madhab Panda has made one impressive film like I Am Kalam based on one of the most simplistic story. It was a treat and while the director tries to prove he can make more of meaningful cinema, he wanders a little too far with this one. Kaun Kitney Paani Mein loses out a lot thanks to its pace. The story moves at a snail speed in the first half without making even a single concrete point. With a strong star cast, the director could have done a far better job. Even though the film has a forced love story, the director fails at capturing Radhika and Kunal’s chemistry well. Already it is quite hurried and lacks the spark completely.
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Review: The Last Word
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein comes across as a half-baked attempt. While the satire is good, the film fails to rise above it. I am going with a 2.5/5 for this film.
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein Trailer
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein releases on 28th August, 2015.
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