Match Point Review – OMG, Can Kites Match This?

The man who said “I’d rather be lucky than good” saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It’s scary to think so much is out of one’s control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you lose.
– Opening scene of the Hollywood movie Match Point (2005).

If you go by the rumors, Hrithik Roshan’s soon-to-be-released film Kites is no more than the Bollywood reprise of Hollywood director Woody Allen’s Match Point.

Given the sordid reality that a lot of Indian movie-makers are no more than thieving bastards, we drove down to our nearby Blockbuster store and rented Match Point the other day to see if there’s any truth to the gossip.

Match Point – Intoxicating Fare
Having watched Match Point, all we can say is Wow!

What a gorgeous movie.

Of course, until we see Kites we won’t know whether it’s merely a bastardized version of Match Point. Even if it is, can it remotely match Match Point?

Written and directed by Woody Allen and featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer and Matthew Goode in key roles, Match Point swept us off.

The movie is an intoxicating thriller with its lethal combination of lust, adultery and murder.

Add to that potent combination the tension in viewers’ minds of will the perpetrator of the two murders be caught or will he get away and you have a highly engaging film.

Now for the Story
Since most of you schmucks are unlikely to watch Match Point, we’re going to spill the beans this time, spoilers and all in the following paragraphs.

So if you plan on watching Match Point, stop right here. Pray, do not cross this threshold beyond which all will be revealed. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Now, if you dolts are wondering why we’re uncharacteristically disclosing the story in so elaborate a fashion, there’s a reason fellas.

Since Indian film-makers routinely deny they steal stuff, we’d like you to watch Kites and let us know if you think it’s a copy of Match Point.

Young Irish lad Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) has pulled himself up from lowly circumstances by the bootstraps through tennis. But having reached a fairly high level on the pro circuit, he gets weary of the endless travel and the grueling rigor of the matches.

And with the certainty that he’s no Agassi, Chris drops off the tennis circuit to become a coach at an exclusive club in London where he meets an uppah class fella Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode) with tons of old, family money.

Chris and Tom quickly hit it off and soon Chris is a guest at Tom’s house or the family’s sprawling country estate. Soon, all of Tom’s family including the parents and charming sister Chloe take to Chris.

Making no effort to hide her growing attraction toward him, Chloe takes Chris under her wing, showing him around the city and escorting him to the various arts events, particularly the opera.

By the way, the opera music provides the soundtrack to the movie.

Even as Chris is enjoying the attention of Chloe, the devil in him lusts after Tom’s fiancee Nola, a sultry aspiring actress from Colorado, with a fierce passion that makes a slave of him.

Yes, true to their early description in the movie Nola is extremely aggressive and Chris naturally competitive.

No sooner does Chris join Chloe’s dad’s firm than he becomes the old man’s son-in-law with endless good prospects before him.

Tom and Nola part (likely because his mother has never made a secret of her dislike for the American wannabe actress) and before long Tom is married to another woman.

Never one to cease his mischief, Satan gets Chris’ cojones and schlong all twitter when he espies Nola one day and it’s not long before he’s tearing away her clothes.

Ironically, while Chris’ wife Chloe fails to get pregnant despite all the visits to the fertility clinics, Nola is soon pregnant and wants a reluctant Chris to divorce his wife and be with her.

Contented with the good life and now accustomed to the trappings of a luxurious life, Chris is not keen to rock the marital boat.

Ultimately, when Nola’s pressure becomes insistent and she threatens to tell his wife, Chris plots her murder, secretively grabbing his father-in-law’s gun. He also shoots a neighbor and makes the crime look a drug robbery.

What next, is, of course, the big question that bothers not merely Chris but us as well?

So, what’s gonna happen to Chris?

Of course, the police are quickly on to Chris’ scent.

Nola’s private diary is discovered, Chris questioned, his lies exposed and the man suspected.

We wait with bated breath for the handcuffs to be slipped on Chris’ wrists and to see him being led away in the back of a police car.

Tis not a question of if but when Chris will be arrested, right?

After all, the police inspector is convinced Chris is the murderer, having accurately uncovered the modus operandi in his dream.

Alas, No.

Here’s where a brilliant stroke of luck comes upon Chris.

Following the two murders, he had flung a whole bunch of stolen jewels into the river but one ring hits the fence and falls on the sidewalk (in a link to the opening scene), is picked up by a junkie with a long criminal record. Luckily for Chris, the junkie is killed in a 4AM shootout with the ring in his pocket.

Poof! There goes the inspector’s case.

Voila, the good life continues for Chris, Chloe finally gets pregnant and he moves up the ladder in his father-in-law’s business.

The movie ends with Chris’ brother Tom exclaiming of his new-born nephew:

I don’t care if he’s great. I just hope that he’s lucky.

Top Class Stuff
The acting in Match Point is top-notch, Woody Allen’s writing splendid and the photography very compelling.

Folks, Match Point is a jewel of a movie. One that holds you tight in its perfumed bosom.

While Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer and Matthew Goode play their parts to perfection, we were taken in more by Emily Mortimer, who seemed a cut above the rest.

Sure, Scarlett Johansson is seductively endearing and tailor-made for the role of the sexy siren.

The writing is first rate with a humorous vein flowing through the whole film.

Here’s a snippet:

Chris (after a bout of fierce love-making with Nola): What time is it?

Nola: Time for you to go.

At some key points in the movie, Woody Allen cleverly leads us astray to keep us on tenterhooks as to the finale.

Woody Allen, a director with a prodigious output, has on occasion reminisced that Match Point is perhaps his finest movie.

Although we can’t remember seeing any of his other films, it’s hard, very hard to believe that any of them can out-match Match Point.

Must Watch
Rare is the movie like Match Point that has held us in its thrall from the opening moment till the end.

We can’t recommend Match Point strongly enough.

The movie oozes class.

If you live in the U.S., you can rent Match Point from Blockbuster or Netflix.

For the rest of you desis, your nimble fingers should do the trick. πŸ˜‰

15 Responses to "Match Point Review – OMG, Can Kites Match This?"

  1. vjcool   May 14, 2010 at 3:31 am

    watched ‘Scoop’ featuring Woody Allen, Scarlett and ‘Wolverine’ on TV. Very good movie.

    Will wait for Match Point. didn’t get past your spoiler alert πŸ™‚ Responds:

    We plan to watch more of Woody Allen’s movies.

    Netflix likely has all of ’em.

  2. sam   May 14, 2010 at 3:58 am

    What a Movie and Story!

    Hope Kites comes close, but somehow I dont think so, since the trailers and stunts seem stale already. Music is good.

    But alas, I still will prefer Kites, somehow I cant sit thru English movies. Lucky you! Responds:

    You Write Above: But alas, I still will prefer Kites, somehow I cant sit thru English movies.

    How is it then most Indians can easily shit through Bollywood films? πŸ˜‰

    We’ve already seen the Kites preview two or three times in the theater. Seemed sophomoric.

  3. sam   May 14, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Offtopic, Hey guys now That Team India is back in India after the T20 debacle, what do u think should be done with the captain Dhoni? Any gr8 thoughts! Responds:

    The entire team should be defenestrated from a tall building.

    Oh wait, could you please include that tennis bozo Sania Mirza too in the group.

    For the mediocre shit our sportsmen/women put out, they get far too much attention.

  4. guruprasad.s   May 14, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Thanks for red-lettered spoiler warning.
    Some nimble fingers might be able to get it here, so I thought it better to skip the spoilers.

    Kites director Anurag Basu has a burgeoning record in plagiarism.
    His first movie Murder was a copy of Unfaithful.
    Gangster (2006) was engrossing fare and it has not been traced to any Hollywood movie
    so far.
    His Life in a metro (2007) had one full track copied from Billy Wilder’s The Apartment.
    So, the potential and inclination (to copy) is very much there.
    It will be a tragedy if Kites is copied, after all the hype of it being a ‘simple film’, ‘straight from the heart’, ‘will appeal to a universal audience’ etc.
    Writing a script and screenplay is something that was never given due importance in Hindi movies (or for that matter in other Indian languages).

    I also wonder if aspiring directors should watch the movies made by master directors, because it is hard not be influenced by their styles and scripts.
    Whatever it is, “To fail in originality is better than to succeed in imitation” (dont know who
    quoted it). Responds:

    As with everything else, Indians (for the most part) are completely inept in the movie business.

    Most of our Bollywood stars can’t act.

    As for scripts, they are either stolen like Ghajini, Heyy Babyy et al or a complete joke like De Dana Dan, Chandni Chowk to China, Badmaash Company et al.

    Full of sound and fury signifying nothing, the bard would say were he to watch a Bollywood film.
    (Source: Macbeth)

  5. vjcool   May 14, 2010 at 7:32 am

    welcome nostalgia! Responds:

    We watched very little Doordarshan even in the good ol’ days. Except maybe for a few episodes of Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (the late Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat) and Diff’rent Strokes (Gary Coleman, the late Dana Plato, Jeff Bridges) and news occasionally.

    Wonder if any of you remember the yesteryear news-readers Geetu (Geetanjali Aiyar), Minu (Minu Talwar), Ramu (Ramu Damodaran, an IFS officer)… πŸ˜‰

    • The Mahatma   May 14, 2010 at 10:11 am

      I remember Geetanjali Aiyar.. after you jogged my mammary. She looks quite fine even now πŸ˜‰
      uh oh, I am ready to get into spam-hole. Responds:

      Age has obviously taken its toll.

      Still, we agree with you. Geetu looks sexy even now. πŸ˜‰

      Didn’t go into the spam-hole this time. WordPress, like God, works in mysterious ways.

      • The Mahatma   May 14, 2010 at 11:24 am

        Have you seen Sangeeta Bedi? She was probably after your time (in India). Responds:

        No, can’t recollect her.

        The only famous Sangeeta then was the model Sangeeta Bijlani now Mrs. Mohammed Azharuddin.

      • tiramisu   May 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

        OMG… this took me on a trip down memory lane.
        Remember Sundays used to be Carl Sagan’s Cosmos… followed by Rajini…priya tendulkar…..then an afternoon regional movie !!

        Hum log on Tuesday’s if I remember it right…. or was it on Monday ?
        Remember Khandaan…? Basanti…?

        Weekday afternoon’s had the good stuff from UGC – Insat TV project…produced by Jamia Millia Islamia…

        Remember the hindi news reader Salma Sultan ?
        Tejinder Singh ? Usha Albuquerque ? remember them ?
        Sweet ol’days!! Responds:

        You write above: followed by Rajini…priya tendulkar….

        We remember seeing her at an airport a few decades back when she was with Anant Nag.

        Just realized she died eight years back.

        Yes, we remember Tejeshwar Singh too, the guy with the beard.

  6. The Mahatma   May 14, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Oh yeah, Emily is one of my favorites.. like her much more than Scarlett.. Fell in love with her in “Lovely & Amazing”.. incredibly it is only rated 3.1 stars on netflix. RT critics have given it 90%. Responds:

    Now that we’ve ‘discovered’ Emily, will watch more of her films including Lovely & Amazing.

  7. sganeshkumar1989   May 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Will you even review Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Manhattan? Responds:

    Annie Hall, soon.

    After all, the movie won four Oscars. Can’t ignore that, can we.

  8. ao   May 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    The first review for Kites:
    Quote from the review: “It was a completely original experience.”

    This is just one reviewer, but maybe the rumors aren’t true… Responds:

    Just read the review. Does look like Match Point.


    Read the last couple of lines:

    Kites recalls such master movie mixologists as Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, and Baz Luhrmann. Producer Rakesh Roshan and director Anurag Basu, have made Kites into an intoxicating cinematic cocktail with a flavorβ€”and a kickβ€”all its own.

    Absolute nonsense comparing Sergio Leone (the man who gave us those spaghetti westerns like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More et al) to our Bollywood buffoons. The nerve! πŸ™

    • The Mahatma   May 16, 2010 at 4:54 am

      ao/SI, i don’t see any review there.. has it been taken down? Responds:

      It does look like the Kites‘ Review has disappeared at the Showbizcafe site.

      But you can see it here –

  9. Ace   May 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    wow, Match Point sounds good. don’t you think this is a kind of James Hadley Chase story?
    like roman polanski’s Chinatown….hmm?

    as for the bollywood idiots, i have no doubt that all scenes of “kites” will be directly lifted per se………and of course, an extra dollop of romance and love will be thrown in……. >_>

    i mean, just look at the posters…..hrithik and a hot girl….no hint at dark or mysterious thingies…….you’d be forgiven for mistaking this film as a sugar-puff luv story……..and what’s with the title……”KITES”? kites, for pete’s sake??? O_o

    PS: btw, SI, you use “shmuck” a lot…but did you know that the word has a jewish origin :D….haha just a random bit of info…. Responds:

    You write: btw, SI, you use “shmuck” a lot…but did you know that the word has a jewish origin :D….haha just a random bit of info….

    Yes, we are aware of the word’s Yiddish origins.

    If you run a search on the SI blog you’ll find we’ve used other Yiddish words as well – for instance, the more vulgar Putzhead.

  10. jittuboy   May 17, 2010 at 8:22 pm


    Been trying forever to figure out how to register and post.

    Just wanted to say I enjoy reading your reviews and think they are totally on the mark for all the desi movies.

    Love the humor-subtle and otherwise! Will definitely see Match Point and of course Kites. Responds:


    Put on your seat-belt and hang tight. πŸ˜‰

  11. STG   June 20, 2010 at 7:38 am

    One of my friend who lives at your coast brought a bunch of DVD’s which includes this movie. Woody Allen succeeded in propagating the single word “Luck” into two-hours of movie. After the film ends, I couldnt think of the logical facts like

    Chris murdered two (three actually considering the fact that Nola was carrying) and why would director let him free?

    Old women’s wedding ring – Chris throwing – Drug addict found and keeping in his pocket – He was shot dead – generally speaking there’s no logic?

    …but was thinking about luck and how it changes peoples life.

    SI – do you believe in luck? (or only the words *uck and many more on its league πŸ˜‰ )

    btw you say…

    Tom and Nola part (likely because his mother has never made a secret of her dislike for the American wannabe actress) and before long Tom is married to another woman.

    Apparently, Tom sees this another-girl and fell in love immediately which leads him to break with Nola. Tom didnt give a flying f*** for his mother’s desire. He made this clear on his confrontation with Chris at the tennis court…

    Tom: Well, Nola and I broke up
    Not that I have any intention in marrying Olivia sodding Allred (his mother’s choice)
    Chris: I am sorry, I dont understand
    Tom: I have met someone else
    Chris: No
    Tom: Yes. I met someone and I fell in love, and I just knew right away Responds:

    1. You Write Above: Chris murdered two (three actually considering the fact that Nola was carrying) and why would director let him free?

    Why would director let him free?

    That is a bizarre question that deserves a bizarre filmi response.

    Tell us, why do Indian film stars involved in terrorist cases causing murder of hundreds get away with a slap on the wrist while others get harsh sentences.

    Also, please tell us why Indian film stars involved in hit-and-run cases causing death of innocent pavement residents because of alleged drunk driving are still moving about freely even as the case languishes in court many years after the incident.

    There’s often no logic to life. And doesn’t art often imitate life?

    If there’s any logic to life at all, it’s that smart people, rich people, powerful people get away with a lot that normal people usually would pay a heavy price for.

    And remember Chris was no fool.

    And to suggest tacitly that bad deeds never go unpunished in life is take the Karma doctrine, that perpetrators of evil actions suffer the consequences, too seriously.

    2. Regarding Tom’s break with Nola, our interpretation is one possible explanation. That he did not marry his mother’s choice does not necessarily mean that he was not influenced by his mother’s intense dislike of Nola in the breakup.

    And we did say ‘Likely’ leaving open the possibility of other interpretations.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login