Netflix original AK vs AK, starring Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap, is a dark comedy done right

In this week’s YourStory Reviews, we talk about Vikramaditya Motwane’s Netflix original AK vs AK, a meta film starring Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor.
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AK vs AK is certainly ambitious, we can tell you that. In an industry filled with item songs, larger-than-life heroes and heroines, AK vs AK is a refreshing break — from reality yet real. 

Originally conceived in 2013, the film was meant to be AK vs SK (for Shahid Kapoor), but was shelved for various reasons. Finally, Anil Kapoor was brought on-board and the result is a definite success.

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane — the man who has given India gems like Udaan, Lootera, and Sacred Games — dark-comedy thriller AK vs AK is a special treat.

The plot 

The focal point of the movie is that the actors play themselves, but with a twist.

Anil Kapoor, a fading superstar of the box office, is pitched against Anurag Kashyap, a filmmaker for the modern-day streaming audience. 

The plot revolves around the kidnapping of Anil Kapoor’s daughter Sonam K. Ahuja by Anurag Kashyap. The subsequent events chronicle the actor’s search, filmed by the director’s assistant (Yogita Bihani) in real-time. 

It is a classic cat and mouse chase, with a smattering of dark comedy, jokes on Bollywood, and self-digs taken by the two protagonists.

As described by Anurag Kashyap, AK vs AK is, “The first realistic film with a superstar, not directed by Shyam Benegal.”

A shot from Netflix original AK vs AK | Source: Twitter

YS Weekender’s take

As Anil Kapoor searches for his daughter, he realises Bollywood’s harsh reality — the dehumanisation of celebrities and the audience’s failure to separate the reel from real.

Our movies may come with the customary disclaimer, “Resemblance to any person is purely coincidental,” but audiences always tend to misinterpret the message. 

 AK vs AK sheds light on how Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor’s life would look like if the paparazzi followed them everywhere, intruding  their private spaces, documenting their every move. The film offers several elements of dark comedy throughout its run-time and has many references to Anil Kapoor’s past blockbusters Nayak: The Real Hero and Ram Lakhan

A shot from Netflix original film AK vs AK | Source: Twitter

In AK vs AK, the plot and dialogues challenge real-life scenarios and misconceptions surrounding the two protagonists, once again holding the viewers accountable for deriving vicarious pleasure out of celebrities’ lives.

The gripping story, with a tightly-woven screenplay, is enhanced by a brilliant background score, including Duniya Badi Gol by Kaam Bhaari, and Amit Trivedi’s Ghum. The music is  raw and quirky, and is often used to break the tension of the narrative. 

Shot using a handheld camera, deliberately rough around the edges, AK vs AK’s cinematography makes it difficult for the viewer to hit pause.

 

If for nothing else, we recommend AK vs AK purely for the novelty factor and the two protagonists, who put on an effortless ‘act’.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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