Kyon Ki Review

The Film

Anand (Salman Khan) is a newly-admitted patient in a mental asylum, who has been found guilty of apparently killing his girlfriend, Maya (Rimi Sen). Left a dim-witted mess by the incident and declared insane by the courts, he soon starts shaking things up in his ward, raising the ire of the hospital in-charge, the uncaring Dr. Khuranna (Om Puri), and his fellow doctor and daughter Tanvi (Kareena Kapoor). Anand’s only support comes in the form of Dr. Sunil (Jackie Shroff), a childhood friend of his, but of whom he remembers nothing. Tanvi eventually warms to and falls in love with Anand and attempts to restore his sanity by awaking within him the painful memories of Maya’s death. Meanwhile, Dr. Khuranna is busy making plans for his daughter’s arranged marriage…


Kyon Ki (‘Because’) is a truly insipid and mind-numbing two-and-a-half hours worth of wasted celluloid. Though not strictly a straight remake of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, all the main elements have been borrowed (including a surprisingly more downbeat version of the ending) and bits and pieces from several Indian movies can also be seen, including – deep breath now – Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), Khamoshi (1969), Thalavattam (1986), Dil Se (1998), Deep Jweley Jai (1959) and Minsara Kanavu (1997). With such a wealth of excellent inspirational material, one would think that at least a slight bit of greatness would wind up on film, but nope. A laborious narrative, nondescript direction, lifeless performances and yawn-inducing song sequences all combine to produce one giant bomb of a Bollywood film that doesn’t even manage to become so awful as to be enjoyed in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way.

Kyon Ki tries hard to endear Salman Khan’s mentally-disturbed character to the viewer by spending most of its first act with a series of loud comedy set pieces that neither amuse nor engross thanks to an unfunny script and unengaging performances. It only takes a few minutes of watching Khan act to realise he is no Jack Nicholson and that a role such as this is best left to those with a range beyond that of a hunky, beefed-up android. As the film moves on to its dull romantic flashback subplot, Rimi Sen (to her credit) refreshingly manages to deliver her lines with a shred of charm and conviction. A shame it is wasted here as is Jackie Shroff, who also does his damndest to salvage some believability from what becomes an increasingly unbelievable story in the tedious third ‘dramatic’ act. Elsewhere among the cast, Om Puri, Kareena Kapoor and (blink and you’ll miss him) Suniel Shetty all show an equal and obvious apathy for their material as they go through the motions in their respective roles.

Frankly, it’s bloomin’ hard finding anything entirely positive to say about Kyon Ki, but the cinematography and art direction does warrant at least a little merit. A convent school uniform-clad Rimi Sen riding her bike through a summery park is a particularly beautiful shot, though ultimately it’s left buried along with any other remotely praise-worthy elements on offer. The Indian movie business is the largest film industry in the world, producing around a thousand releases per annum, so it is to be expected a fair amount of these will be out-and-out stinkers and Kyon Ki is undoubtedly one of the more rotten ones.


Kyon Ki receives appropriately dismal treatment for its DVD release courtesy of Worldwide Entertainment Group and its UK distributor Freemantle Media. An NTSC-to-PAL conversion (the opposite of most Hindi DVDs), the transfer is littered with severe MPEG compression problems, ghosting, aliasing and chroma-shifting. Colours are murky and over-saturated, while contrast levels are far too high. A lack of dirt and print damage and a steady image save the video (anamorphically enhanced and cropped slightly at 2.23:1 from 2.35:1) from being a total disaster however. Of the two Hindi audio tracks provided, the 5.1 surround mix sounds fine and perfectly clear while the 2.0 stereo track is much less pleasing to the ears with a fair share of pops, crackles and other such distortion.

Not much is on offer in the way of special features on the disc aside from a few brief interview highlights with the cast and crew (taken from the film’s promotional material) and two deleted scenes which were present in the theatrical cut, but jettisoned afterwards in an attempt to up the pace a little. The edited scenes are in letterbox format, but actually boast better quality than the main feature. Of the many European and Asian subtitles included, the English captions are adequate, but are prone to awkward translations and the occasional spelling mistake (‘baldy’ appearing as ‘badly’ in one instance).

A brain-dead movie on a second-rate disc, Kyon Ki on DVD is strictly for die-hard Salman Khan fans only.

3 out of 10
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