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‘RK/RKAY’ review: Film within a film will confuse and amuse

Surreal laughs.

RK/RKAY is a film within a film from the “godfather of Indian independent film” Rajat Kapoor. RK (played by Kapoor) is a filmmaker making a new film in which he is also the star. Once shooting is completed, RK thinks this time he will not be able to complete the film. When RK’s character Mahboob someone escapes the film, it is up to RK to save the day. 

The film is as complicated as it sounds. Actors play multiple characters, there are a number of plot lines, and a string of absurdist scenes. This is part and parcel for these types of stories and will determine how much a person enjoys them. 

RK/RKAY can be difficult to follow, but it is incredibly funny. The writing is witty while the movie is light hearted and fun. The jokes come naturally and nothing is forced. The film takes on some interesting themes without losing any of its comedic charm.

Kapoor has crafted a personal film that looks at the relationship between the artist and their work. This is a fascinating subject usually reserved for horror or movies about obsession. RK/RKAY does not bring in these darker elements while still examining the topic. It is refreshing and remains interesting the entire time. 

Almost by definition, RK/RKAY will be difficult for some to follow. Characters and plotlines are all over the place, with some threads being left unresolved. This seems to be intentional on Kapoor’s part, but it will not be any less frustrating for those who prefer their storytelling with structure. Still, it is a charming watch the will make audiences smile.

RK/RKAY will open in select theaters and virtual cinemas May 14

Outsider Pictures will donate $1 per ticket sold to Covid relief in India through the following organization: https://www.helpageindia.org

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