Parents' Guide to

Kapoor & Sons

By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Bollywood family drama has drinking, drugs, language, upset.

Movie NR 2016 132 minutes
Kapoor & Sons movie poster

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Families can be complicated. In Kapoor & Sons, two adult brothers return to the family home in India and find their parents struggling to cope with money and each other. It's a frosty household and the brothers' emotional baggage doesn't warm it. Instead, the sharp shock of everyone's seething resentments and sad secrets coming together creates a pressure cooker scenario that blows up quickly. And as this is an intense melodrama, we wouldn't have it any other way. Sexuality, infidelity, child favoritism, death, lying, stealing, drugs -- there are plenty of juicy morsels to wring the drama out of. With all this shade there must be light, and the moments when the family are happy and relaxed are full of potential and played perfectly by the endearing cast.

The warm heart of the movie is the creation of its new relationship. As author Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) and entrepreneur Tia (Alia Bhatt) get to know each other, we get to watch on almost as encouraging friends enjoying their naturalistic, relaxed, and romantic getting-to-know-you period. This needs to work as well as it does because as the third act begins, truths explode out, gloom spreads, and a spiral of sadness ends with a key character's death. This acceleration to abject misery feels a bit too much and a sequence in which we shadow grieving characters doesn't help. But it all points to a realistic message that has us try to accept family for who they are, as well as a bittersweet ending that reintroduces hope back to the characters' lives.

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