You can either be sentimental or bitter about the movies, but you can rarely charm people by being both at once. Unfortunately, the people behind the Indian moviemaking comedy “RK/RKAY” took that risk, and wound up making a mawkish, inert fantasy about a filmmaker whose protagonist escapes his movie within the movie. Writer/director Rajat Kapoor stars as both RK, a past-his-prime filmmaker, and Mahboob, a guileless refugee from a 1950s-style melodrama. RK and Mahboob have a few heart-to-hearts and teach each other how to live better … in theory, at least.
In “RK/RKAY,” Kapoor often seems as tired and bemused as his popsicle protagonists, all of whom have opinions, but none of whom know what to do with them. I really wanted to root for “RK/RKAY”—it’s a real-life labor of love, having been crowdfunded for less than $500,000—but I can’t honestly recommend a movie whose creators’ acknowledged influences include “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” but whose tone-deaf dialogue and blasé filmmaking resemble “Hollywood Ending.”