"Kites", starring Hrithik Roshan and Mexican actor Barbara Mori, has caught the fancy of the American media, making it perhaps the most reviewed Bollywood film on opening day by so many US critics. The New York Times considered it "all completely loony, but the stunts are impressive, the photography crisp and the leads so adorably besotted that audiences might as well check their cynicism at the door."
"A lovers on-the-lam blast of pure pulp escapism. Directed by Anurag Basu with a finger in every genre jar, 'Kites' caroms from car chase to shootout, from rain dancing to bank robbing with unflagging energy," it said.
In Times' view Bollywood star "Roshan requires viewing uncut: writhing on the dance floor or just gazing into space, the man was made to drive women crazy, one movie at a time."
Calling it "A romantic adventure!", Los Angeles Times noted "the love story draws from westerns, musicals, film noir, chase thrillers with stunts so preposterous they verge on parody - and it gets away with everything because of Basu's visual bravura and unstinting passion and energy."
While the movie was seen as "An exhilarating escapist entertainment that plays out like a violent and floridly poetic allegory," the two top stars got noticed for their looks. "Mori has a sultry gorgeousness that at times recalls Ava Gardner. Roshan has the dashing, chiselled looks of a silent movie matinee idol."
To the New York Daily News it was "An engaging Bollywood tale! Melodrama, romance and action are cheerfully jumbled together ."
"You'll get more than your money's worth," said Newsday describing it as "A boldly old-fashioned, I'll-die-without-you, nobly self-sacrificing movie romance. Gogeously photographed. The story is the stuff Old Hollywood tear-jerkers are made of."
Variety magazine found it "Deliriously entertaining!" The film, it said, "owes more to Hollywood than Bollywood, though director Anurag Basu borrows plenty from both, aiming to give Indian song-and-dance pics the same sort of crossover success 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, did for Asian martial-arts movies."
"Indian star Hrithik Roshan makes a striking international debut in an ambitious Bollywood crossover film. Grand, action-packed love story set amid the garishness of Las Vegas," said The Hollywood Reporter.
"'Kites' flies! Entertaining and lovely to look at! It works perfectly well on its own terms," said the Film Journal.
"Roshan and Mori are as beautiful as human beings can be, and the love they depict is as high-flown as you'll find in a movie," said the San Franciso Chronicle suggesting, "Go in smirking, but by the time it's over, you'll believe."
Philadelphia Inquirer found it "Preposterously entertaining!" Chicago Newcity called it "a glory of delirium. Anything can, and does, happen. I long for an Amer-Indie movie with the same lunatic verve. As curry-dusted popcorn goes, 'Kites' is savoury distraction."