Review: AK VS AK Is The Best Bollywood Movie Of The Year

Published by Shah Shahid on

Bollywood is not really known for experimenting. At least, not in the mainstream. The Indie film festival circuit is full of amazing films that come out of the industry every year. But unfortunately, none get the commercial acclaim or recognition that they deserve. But one of the most experimental films this year can walk that tightrope to pass as commercial. This AK vs AK movie review will point out just how weird, crazy and absolutely ingenious the movie is. And that director Vikramaditya Motwane is a God and we must worshipped him! Ok, that last part might just be my excitement speaking. 

AK vs AK Is A Meta-Action Thriller That Has Many Layers

AK vs AK is an incredible Bollywood action thriller. The premise is all about an indie Bollywood movie director who is publicly spurned by an A-list actor. After the public altercation, the director’s personal and professional life is in ruins, as no one wants to work with him. Plotting his revenge, the director kidnaps the actor’s daughter and gives him one night to find her. He also plans to film the entire experience, promising a never-before-seen movie, responding to the actor’s comments about him being a hack director. 

The plot twist: the director in the movie is Anurag Kashyap, played by real-life Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap. And the actor involved in this movie is Anil Kapoor, played by a real-life Bollywood actor, Anil Kapoor. Both play exaggerated versions of themselves, in a movie set in their own lives, recalling their own fame, impact on the industry, and personal and professional history. e.g. When someone says that Kashyap is a director whose movies flop at the box office, it’s very much a true statement. And the genius of this AK vs AK movie review is just how meta the movie gets, with great results. 

The AK vs AK Movie Review Is How Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

The character development for AK vs AK is all there before the first frame appears on screen. Bollywood audiences already know both Kashyap and 30-plus year veteran in the industry Anil Kapoor. But for non-Bollywood audiences, the first scene at a public Q&A session establishes who both these characters are. One is an artsy-fartsy director, while the other is a famed, but somewhat has-been actor. So the movie is totally accessible to non-Bollywood audiences from that standpoint. And the framing of the film, its cinematography and the story makes it engaging, even if you don’t understand all the inside-baseball references. Of which there are many. 

It’s Brilliant Just How Self Aware The Netflix Original Is

The genius of AK vs AK is just how painstakingly self-aware the movie is. It says a lot about both the actors, with how far they are willing to blur the lines between fact and fiction. Both characters use their real-life and history as ammunition for the insults and the conflict between them. It’s especially hilarious when that animosity gets physical in a few scenes in the movie. The humor is very much based on how the trash talk is absolutely real in the movie, and to see both actors embrace it for the sake of this fictional story, is absolutely marvelous.

AK vs AK Movie Review Is Not Just For Bollywood Audiences

Let’s put aside that this movie is a meta-story about two Bollywood insiders, playing Bollywood insiders. It still works! Writer Avinash Sampath’s story is incredibly accessible. He ensures to put in exposition and establishing a story that sets these characters as who they are, even if you don’t know who they are. Even many inside references, like the one with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, as set up in a way that you still get the context of the scene, even if the specific personalities aren’t known. Director Vikramaditya Motwane goes to great lengths to execute the technical elements of the movie with a lot of flair and polish. The documentary format doesn’t break stride or pull you out of the story in any way whatsoever. And when it does, it knows to play within the rules the movie sets up from before. 

One Of Bollywood’s Best Of The Year

Despite having a gimmick, AK vs AK is very much a well-rounded movie that is thrilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Kapoor’s emotionally driven performance benefits from the suspension of disbelief that he’s playing a version of himself. Kashyap impresses in one of his biggest roles yet, keeping up with Kapoor, and playing an antagonist who is both hilarious and scary as the story demands. A very special shoutout to Harshvardhan Kapoor in one of the movie’s most hilarious cameos. 

AK vs AK is one of the finest movies of the year. It’s an experiment that is a resounding success. It’s more than its premise and can tell a story that is tragic, ridiculous, and one that can’t help but be insanely fun. 

AK vs AK is now streaming on Netflix. 

Did the meta-movie idea of AK vs AK work for you? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @theshahshahid. 

Featured image via Netflix. 

Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


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