Anil Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Sonam Kapoor.
A dream within a dream, a film within a film… these are things that we might have experienced as an audience but ever in Bollywood. Indian entertainment thus far has steered clear of such films. Till Vikramaditya Motwane and his AK VS AK came by. The plot is simple Anil Kapoor who sort of plays himself, is offered a film by Anurag Kashyap who also plays himself in the film. The film offered revolves around Anil Kapoor’s life. The plot is about how Anil Kapoor has to rescue his daughter Sonam Kapoor who has been kidnapped. He only has that one night, or he has to face dire consequences. The film is to be shot in real-time, and almost in reality. The camera will be following Kapoor and there will be no acting, everything will be real.
Little does Kapoor know that irrespective of what he says, he is already the protagonist in it. Sonam is already kidnapped, and the consequences he was threatened with, might come true. With little else that he can do, the celebrated hero goes into the rescue mission. Unfortunately, he alone knows the reality, and each time he comes closer he is pushed further way from the conclusion. It is frustrating but thankfully not confusing. Motwane and his team of technicians have to be applauded for this attempt.
Firstly, the writing – Avinash Sampath has managed this task so well, that he almost had us believing that we were being silent spectators of the reality. With references to Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur which despite being a wonderful film didn’t really get Kashyap the recognition, his brother Abhinav Kashyap enjoyed for Dabangg. Sampath also dragged Harshavardhan and the fiasco of Bhavesh Joshi Superhero into the narrative, with each such reference, Sampath blurred the lines between real and reel.
The cinematography speaks the language of the film Motwane is trying to make so efficiently that it almost appears effortless. The subtle switch in the framing and camera work between the perspective of both the AKs cannot be missed. There is detail in every frame but nothing opulent that catches your eye. The fact that it's all so subtle, soaks the audience into the movie experience without us even realizing it, rather than leaving us only to be spectators.
Of course, the film completely belongs to Anil Kapoor. He is absolutely jhakaas in every frame. Kashyap on the other hand is not in a comfortable space and it shows. His expressions are selective but he makes for a nice opponent to Kapoor.
However, the fact that you are at the edge of your seat, waiting to know how it all unfolds in the climax – is all Motwane’s doing. The director has such astounding variety, that his stories become impossible to miss. AK vs AK is no different. An entertainer all through. Take a bow, Vikramaditya!