A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’

There are several justifications for why watching Kenny Basumatary’s ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ is a worthwhile pursuit. This is because it is emotionally uplifting, frequently amusing, and generally relatable. It features the lives of four male characters who share a rented house and three female characters who also cohabitate a shared space, and how a small café brings their lives together. And the random absurdities of their lives make way for a humour filled ride that may either meet or fall short of your expectations for humor, as there is no distinct plot or dramatic structure present in the story.

In its depiction of the interdependent lives of the seven distinct characters, including their connections with one another and other individuals, the movie attempts a straightforward shot at humour that mostly appeals to teenagers and young adults. It portrays genuine friendships and amusing life events that can well resonate with this demographic, offering both relatability and enjoyment at different levels.

The film’s humor is sourced from diverse elements that include the characters’ personal setbacks, inter-personal and family relationships, and romantic pursuits. These themes offer relatable experiences that can resonate with individuals across various age groups. For instance, younger viewers may find commonality in Deniel Hazarika’s difficulties in communicating with women and his endeavours to charm women his age or in the havoc caused by an uninvited guest overstaying their welcome.

The on-screen chemistry among the characters is a noteworthy aspect of the film, evident in their seamless delivery of dialogues and comfortably playful teasing with each other. The timing of the jokes was impeccably executed. It also features some ultimate one-liners that work best in its context like – ‘Xui Thoka Xiyale Hah Dhoribo Nuware Aru Roi Thoka Manuhe Ruti Bonabo Nuware’ and ‘Lubhei Pop, Popei Biscuit’ among others.

A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’
A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’

Ki Kowa, Dosti’ can act as a relief from daily stressors and problems. The movie portrays its characters as carefree individuals who seem to have an excess of leisure time to spend together in a coffee house, engaging in activities such as cooking, playing board games, and enjoying each other’s company. The characters exhibit a highly social behavior that differs from contemporary society’s tendencies, where individuals often prioritize the use of electronic devices over social interactions.

During a time of intense debate around same-gender marriage, the film subtly puts a perspective to this concept by presenting it in a conversational manner between two characters, rather than through a moralistic sermon. Interestingly, the film also features a transgender character depicted in a rather empowering light without being preachy about it. When the male characters in the film are trapped by a gang of ruthless attackers, it is a transgender character that comes to their rescue, indicating the character’s strength and bravery. These instances are not overt, but are effective because of their understated nature.

‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ also acts as a festive get together of popular young personalities who are prominent in the Assamese YouTube content scene, including Bedabrath Borah and Yasashree Bhuyan. And it also features a cameo by none other than Utkal Hazowary as the beloved Inspector Boro and a special appearance by the popular Montu da including a blink and miss appearance by director Kenny Basumatary himself. It can also add an extra layer of excitement and surprise for fans who may not have been aware that these characters were going to make an appearance in the film.

A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’
A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’

In terms of its drawbacks, ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ has several cringe-worthy elements that may make many viewers hope to never have to go through similar experiences. This is in contrast to the relatable aspects of the film that may resonate well with the audience. There are accents, facial expressions, and physical comedy that falls flat. Some of the jokes did not resonate with me, as I sat stoically as others nearby me in the theatre chuckled. Although humor is subjective, it has been the driving force behind all Kenny D Basumatary movies, but with ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’, I will proceed with some reservations.

Although the film’s aim to avoid a dramatic plot was partially successful, it was not entirely effective. The film’s lack of a cohesive narrative structure may have its advantages, particularly in contrast to plot-heavy films, where missing even a single moment can result in confusion. In ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’, the film’s arbitrary and disjointed structure also means that viewers can jump in and out at any point and not miss anything significant. But, this approach can detract audiences from the satisfaction of having watched a complete and fulfilling film, as the storylines and character arcs do not have definitive conclusions.

Certain plot points are established early in the film, such as Daniel’s father sending him to a rented place so that he can live with the other boys and learn and adapt to the ways of the world. Daniel also begins to develop feelings for one of the girls from the coffee shop, but struggles to gather the courage to approach her. But these build-ups are left incomplete, and the audience is not provided with a conclusion to these storylines as the film ends. For instance, it remains unclear whether Daniel Hazarika was able to meet his father’s expectations of self-sufficiency in the city, and the fate of his love interest is left ambiguous. This unresolved aspect of the film left me unsettled. The rather episodic structure in which the events of the film are laid makes the case of ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ best as a series rather than a film as it was originally planned out.

A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’
A still from the film ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’

But ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ is fairly able to break the visual monotony of Kenny D Basumatary films which always stood similar in terms of its look and feel. While it is evident that the visual quality of his earlier works were often compromised by cost cutting measures, the originality and locally flavoured humour of those films often compensated for this shortcoming. In 2023, ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ boasts a significant improvement in terms of its cinematography and color, and is comparatively more impressive in its cinematic framing and staging. However, the film’s storyline and humour are only mildly satisfactory.

‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ offers a light-hearted viewing experience that provides audiences with a glimpse into some authentic account of friends, crushes and roommates. But, in my personal assessment, I found that certain segments of the film lack stimulation and vitality, and its frivolous approach to humour is rather excruciating to endure. While not all comedic films may resonate well with viewers, this particular film can succeed in creating a relatable and enjoyable experience for teenagers and young adults. Compared to his previous films, ‘Ki Kowa, Dosti’ is a weak effort from Kenny Basumatary, but it still works as a light-hearted comedy, despite its shortcomings.

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About Kalpa Jyoti Bhuyan


The writer is a MA Political Science student of Gauhati University. He did his graduation from Cotton University. Apart from writing, he is a movie enthusiast.


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