The film was released worldwide on 18 March 2016 and received critical acclaim mainly for its direction and performances, especially of Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah and Fawad Khan. Made on a budget of ₹35 crore (US$5.2 million), the film earned over ₹152 crore (US$23 million) worldwide. At the 62nd Filmfare Awards, Kapoor & Sons won five awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Rishi Kapoor, Best Story and Best Screenplay. It also was nominated for Best Film.
Estranged brothers Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) and Rahul Kapoor (Fawad Khan) are compelled to return to their childhood home in Coonoor when their 90-year-old grandfather Amarjeet (Rishi Kapoor) suffers a heart attack. Rahul is a successful writer who appears to be the most mature in the family. Meanwhile, Arjun struggles to get his books published, resorting to working part-time as a bartender to make ends meet, while writing in his spare time. Their parents, Harsh (Rajat Kapoor) and Sunita Kapoor (Ratna Pathak Shah) favor Rahul more for being successful, which upsets Arjun. While the brothers struggle to get along, their parents also grapple with their troubled marriage. Harsh is discouraging of Sunita's wish to open a catering business and Harsh's past extra-marital affair is a sore spot in their relationship. Amarjeet reveals that his last wish is to take a family photo titled "Kapoor & Sons, since 1921".
At a party, Arjun meets Tia Malik (Alia Bhatt), and the two hit it off. Rahul and Tia also meet, and the two go out for dinner. However, Rahul is shocked when she spontaneously kisses him. Tia reveals to Arjun that she lost her parents at the age of thirteen and lives alone. Arjun too reveals that Rahul's bestseller novel's idea was similar to his but he never confronted his brother so as to not break the family apart. Tia tells her friend that she loves Arjun but regrets unnecessarily involving herself with Rahul.
The Kapoor family throws a party to celebrate Amarjeet's birthday. Arjun discovers that Tia and Rahul know each other and fears that Rahul and Tia have something between them, but Rahul clarifies that he is already in a committed relationship in London. Problems arise when the family finds out that Harsh invited Anu, the woman he had an affair with. A family argument ensues, ending the party. Harsh and Sunita later reminisce on how happy they were. Harsh apologizes for losing all their money.
The Kapoor family tries to fulfill Amarjeet's wish to take a family photo but are unsuccessful when secrets are revealed. Rahul finds out that his father was lying about having ended the affair, while Sunita discovers that the relationship Rahul has in London is actually with another man. Tia tells Arjun what happened between her and Rahul, calling it a mistake. Arjun finds out Rahul has been reading his script, and confronts him about stealing his first story. A shaken Sunita then reveals to Arjun that she was the one who gave Rahul his story, thinking Arjun had no interest in writing. Amidst all this, Harsh dies in a car accident. Rahul comes out as gay to Arjun and the two leave for London and New Jersey respectively.
After four months, the duo receive a video message from Amarjeet, in which he requests them to come back, as he is feeling alone. Sunita comes to terms with Rahul's homosexuality, the misunderstanding between Arjun and Tia is cleared and they get back together. The family finally takes the family photo Amarjeet wanted, where they place a cutout of Harsh in his memory.Rishi Kapoor as Amarjeet Kapoor
Ratna Pathak Shah as Sunita Kapoor
Rajat Kapoor as Harsh Kapoor
Sidharth Malhotra as Arjun Kapoor
Fawad Khan as Rahul Kapoor
Alia Bhatt as Tia Malik
Anahita Uberoi as Neetu Chachi
Vikram Kapadia as Shashi Chacha
Anuradha Chandan as Anu Aunty
Shanaia Kapoor as Alia
Pradeep Pradhan as Kishore (Tia's cook)
Fahim Shaikh as Boobly
Aalekh Kapoor as Sahil
Sukant Goyal as Wasim
Aakriti Dobhal as Bunkoo
Muskan Khanna Sharan as Preet
Elena Fernandes as Rahul Kapoor's Manager
Arbaaz Kadwani as Sharic
Arya Sharma as Zoey
Burjor Patel as Chowksy kaka
Chandrajit Ranavde as Makhija, broker
Ram Singh as muchchhad paanwaala
Rupa Kamath as Timmy maasi
Edward Sonnenblick as Dan
In early 2015, Karan Johar announced his next film, titled Kapoor & Sons, which will feature Fawad Khan with Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt as the lead roles. Johar said in an interview "We have a very stylish star cast." The movie revolves around two brothers played by Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra. Rishi Kapoor will be playing grandfather of the male leads. Karan Johar said in an interview, “Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) was a tough film to cast. There was a point when we almost didn’t make it. We kept it on the backburner for over a year. No one was willing to do Fawad Khan’s role. We went to six actors and after six rejections, I told Shakun Batra (director) that we should drop the idea and he started developing another screenplay."
The music for the film is composed by Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Tanishk Bagchi, Benny Dayal and Nucleya. The background score is given by Sameer Uddin. The lyrics are penned by Badshah, Kumaar, Manoj Muntashir, Dr. Devendra Kafir, and Abhiruchi Chand. Sony Music India have acquired the music rights of the film. Sameer Uddin won the Filmfare Award for Best Background Score at the 62nd Filmfare Awards.The film's first song "Kar Gayi Chull", a party song, was released on 17 February 2016. The second song "Bolna" was released on 24 February 2016. The full music album was released on 4 March 2016 by Sony Music India which consists of 5 songs.
Srijana Mitra Das from The Times of India gave it 4.0 stars & said, Kapoor & Sons's star is its story. An entirely real family full of uncomfortable secrets, awkward jealousies, & sharp pain where brothers steal, parents cheat, siblings suspect, & 'perfect bacchaas' don't have perfect love-lives. Bollywood Hungama gave the film 4 stars and wrote that the film "makes for an excellent movie that you must watch with your entire family. This film is Beautiful kar gayi chul!". Saibal Chatterjee from NDTV rated movie 3.5/5 & wrote, Kapoor And Sons is intense and incisive in its observation of human inadequacies but is always entertaining. Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express, gave 2 stars out of 5 stating, Sidharth brings to the table a loose-limbed pleasing vulnerability which he reveals slowly. Fawad plays his straight but awesome role. Namrata Joshi from The Hindu called it "the ultimate family film" and commented, "It is yet another film that has been brilliantly crafted and mapped out in terms of the writing, how the scenes slowly get built up towards a crescendo. It’s an onion peel narrative in which the relationships, revelations, secrets and lies, unfinished confidences, unresolved issues, betrayals and conflicts are unspooled layer by layer." Talking about the characters, she described Khan's role "charming and delightful", Malhotras' as "solid and vulnerable", Bhatt as "hyper and ditzy" while calling Kapoor's role as "disappinting and out of sync". Ananya Bhattacharya of India Today gave the film 3.5 stars and summarised the film as "madhouse drama" while stating, "Shakun Batra's Kapoor And Sons wins in being able to portray the quick fixes that every family has to employ sometime or the other. This is what shines through. Batra crafts a refreshing tale of family problems and the art of sweeping them under the carpet. She also praised Khan's role, while praising the Rajat Kapoor and Pathak's characters as "incomparable". She however applauded film's cinematography and music.
Surabhi Redkar form Koimoi gave the film 3.5 stars and mentioned, "Kapoor And Sons is a modern-age family drama. It does not shy away from being emotionally soppy yet convincingly lovable. You could laugh, cry and smile through this one!". Redkar praised the characters' realistic nature. Anna M.M. Vetticad of Firstpost summed up the film as "the best film of 2016 so far". She stated, "Kapoor & Sons is hilarious, heartwarming and heartbreaking rolled in one. It does not wear its social conscience on its sleeve, but make no mistake about this: it has one. This is a disarmingly entertaining, thoughtful film that evokes a fuzzy feeling of warmth. It left me with wet cheeks, a smile on my face and a chuckle welling up in my throat at the memory of Daadu".
Nirmalya Dutta of Daily News and Analysis described Khan's role as a gay male as "a big leap forward for India's LGBT movement," noting that in India, where it is illegal to be gay, "Khan had the guts and gumption to play this seminal role."
On opening day the film collected ₹6.85 crores. On second day, the film shown a bit growth in collection and collected ₹7.75 crores before its third day where it took benefit of Sunday and collected ₹11.75 crores taking its domestic weekend's net collection to ₹26.35 crores. With that the film stood at fourteenth number in the list of highest first weekend collecting Bollywood films of 2016. In next four days, the total net collection of film was ₹15.50 crores taking its first domestic week to ₹41.85 crores and became fifteenth highest first week net collecting Bollywood film of 2016. The film collected ₹73.29 crores in India and its grossing in India was 104.70 crores.
The film collected ₹17.91 crore (US$2.8 million) from North America, ₹11.66 crore (US$1.8 million) from UAE, ₹6.39 crore (US$1.0 million) from Pakistan, ₹5.28 crore (US$820,000) from UK, ₹1.73 crore (US$270,000) from Australia, ₹63 lakh (US$98,000) from New Zealand, ₹14 lakh (US$22,000) from Malaysia and ₹19 lakh (US$30,000) from Germany. The total overseas collection of film was ₹47.75 crore (US$7.4 million) and became fourth highest grossing Bollywood film in overseas of 2016 after Sultan, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Fan.