‘Katti Batti’is a coming of age romance directed byNikhil Advani. This may be marked as Nikhil’s return to form after Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’. ‘Katti Batti’ starsImran KhanandKangana Ranautin lead roles. It is the first time that Imran and Kangana have been paired on the screen together.

First things first,the real star of ‘Katti Batti’isMukesh Chhabrawho never appears on the screen but is the person behind casting. Mukesh steers the ship of‘Katti Batti’into right direction by giving us an impeccable ensemble - the fantastic lot of young and old stars.

Even the smallest of roles in this refreshingly endearing romantic drama have been delegated to talented actors - with almost an eye for who will fit in that role to pull it with adequate amount of eccentricity to sway the audiences.

Wait, but there’s more to this partly humorous and largely thoughtful drama - the screenplay. I want to laudAnshul Singhalfor setting the mood right for such an emotionally delicate and though-provoking movie. Anshul tries to sprinkle chunks of humour here and there in the movie to keep a tautpace. It is also overjoying to see how Anshul didn’t exaggerate the dramatization of romance, only to keep it crisp and subtle.

The movie is a love story between Payal and Maddy, who are poles apart in terms of personality.

It is surprising that these characters don’t appear together on the screen for over 30 minutes in a 135 minute long movie. In the tingling romance betweenKanganaandImran,Nikhilaccomplishes something close to a marvel - the kind of shivers-down-the-spine, pulse-quickening serendipity that’s veryspecial.

Imranbrilliantly carries the entire movie on his shoulders.

In his usual chocolate boy avatar, Imran completely steals the first half with an honest performance that is bound to get noticed by all and sundry. Finally, Imran is back in the business.

Kangana, in a connecting role, makes us feel the creeping horror of love and the fear surrounding it. This role may not be at par with‘Queen’or‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’, but is emotionally disturbing.

It is harrowing to see her on the screen this time. The most effective element of her exquisitely written characteris 'her face' - even when she has no dialogues to offer she will make you cry.

Kanganais the link that joins the lines, binds the proceedings, steams the narrative and simmers the audiences with her expressions. This is the primary reason why I called her performance as a‘connecting role’. Her expressions in the car will leave you spellbound, whenImranchases her towards the end. And, the centrepiece climatic sequence between Kangana and Imran will chill you to the bone.

The songs are brilliantly written and composed. The splendid picturisation of ‘Sau Aasoon’, ‘Lip to Lip’ and ‘Sarfira’ will make you crave for more.

On the other hand, the lyrics of the reprise of ‘Ove Jaaniya’ in the ending credits will make you feel the emotional heft the characters have been through.

'Katti Batti'is an honest movie that offers subtle humour with emotionally charged narrative that will linger in your memory for long. It is strikingly moving to see how faithfully Nikhil has translated this heart-wrenching piece of writingon the screen with poise.