Attending the family gathering of Kapoors in Coonoor, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, requires a strong stomach to digest and an ability to withstand two hours of bickering matches and heartbreaking moments.

Following lines of Philip Larkin spring to my mind after coming out of this feisty feast:

“Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.”

Human beings are trapped in a body confined by their own existence. There’s no way out. It’s not just our body that is trapped in a prison, but the environs around us are also a prison. Our inability to break free from others’ thoughts and perceptions is exhausting.

It is a curse that deepens like a coastal shelf. No matter how wonderful our reality is, our minds are always trapped in depravity. Director Shakun Batra tries to break through this stereotype and makes us feel the creeping horror of love and loss running in our veins.

“Kapoor and Sons” is an intricate story about social expectations and tacit desires. Batra, as the director, stages the characters’ troubled lives with a dash of saccharinity, a pinch of eccentricity and few drops of sublimity.

The screenplay revolves around betrayals, familial resentments and dark secrets. The writers Ayesha Devitre Dhillon and Batra have mounted an emotionally complex Film that remains faithful to its genre. Batra and Dhillon maintain the film's temperature at a controlled simmer and proficiently bring it to the boil.

The dialogue is so deftly penned that even the dining table squabbles seem totally unscripted, which makes the experience richly rewarding, though challenging to endure.

Fawad Khan utterly dominates “Kapoor and Sons” with his charismatic screen presence. Batra explores the actor’s strikingly mysterious ability to arouse both horror and pity at his character’s flaws.

Khan turns out to be Batra’s top player, loading Rahul with an ability to look vulnerable on the screen.

Khan's a formidable artist, an actor par excellence. He serves "Kapoor and Sons" well and honestly throughout.

Ratna Pathak Shah is the best she has been in years. Shah gives a darkly delicious performance that is a guarantee that you’re going to get a poignant hangover in this brilliant film.

As for Rajat Kapoor, he steals the thunder with yet another atmospheric and impeccable performance that depicts depths of agony, anger and remorse building within him. Marvelous!

With Kapoor and Shah in top form, “Kapoor and Sons” builds a mood of mournful romance that never lets go.

It's difficult to decide between Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra for supporting honours: seeing them portray such substantial roles is a sheer pleasure. Malhotra’s Arjun is a deceptively complex person, wandering around in the guise of simplicity. That is by all means an achievement for Malhotra to have accomplished what his character demanded. On the other hand, Bhatt dives into Tia's spirit so comfortably that she almost wins your attention without asking for it.

Rishi Kapoor is wonderful in a film that rests on his shoulders completely. He uplifts the narrative with his endearing performance as the head of Kapoor clan.

Overall, “Kapoor and Sons” provides tentative, touching romance and ample humour. It is a life affirming and sublimely uplifting experience that evokes both nostalgia and sadness.

You end up leaving the cinema reluctantly, as if taking off a warm fur coat when it’s still chilly inside on a fine winter night.