Kai Po Che-a victory cry cutting away superficial barriers! Movie Review
ORE AST REW
Out of modern day Indian authors who have found easy adaptability of their stories into movies, the name of Chetan Bhagat would rank on the top. While “Slumdog Millionaire” may have drawn more international acclaim, the poignancy of a simpler theme in “Kai Po Che” heightens its dramatic content in no small way. Though not one of Chetan’s best-known novels, he could sufficiently motivate director Abhishek Kapoor of “Rock On” fame, to take on this story, effective as the latter is, in making successful films out of impressive narratives.
Plot: The actual name of the novel on which “Kai Po Che” is based is called Three Mistakes in My Life, and is about three friends, named Ishaan ("Ishh") played by Sushant Singh Rajput in the character of an ex-cricketer; Omkar (“Omi”), featuring Amit Sadh as a businessman, and finally, Rajkumar Rao, in the role of a techie called Govind ("Govi"). All of them are very keen cricket enthusiasts and start a cricket academy to hunt for promising talents, and discover in the process, a young lad called Ali, the role being played competently by Digvijay Deshmukh. Ali’s latent talent inspires Ishh to impart Ali special training. This happy chain of events gets rudely interrupted due to the Gujarat earthquake and the Godhra riots in the early 2000s. While Issh parts ways with Omi due to his sectarian religious stance during the earthquake relief; he breaks up with Govi, as the latter is having an affair with his sister Vidya, a role portrayed by Amrita Puri. Ishh and Govi patch up to protect Ali’s family during the riots from the attacks of Oli’s gangs. However, in a dramatic sequence of events Issh gets killed by Oli’s bullets, meant for Ali’s family. Fast forwarding ten years ahead, Oli is seen completing his prison term, while Govi and Vidya get married, with their son being named Ishaan, in fond remembrance of Ishh. Ali also emerges on the scene, now as a debutant Indian Test cricketer playing against Australia. Significantly, he thumps his first shot to the cover boundary, just as his Ishaan bhaiya would have liked him to play.
The performances of the three buddies -- Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar Yadav and Amit Sadh are really of an exceptional class, standing out against the sombre backdrop of death and destruction, and proving once again that a good film does not necessary need to have the big names in the cast. Indeed, Sushant as the principal character has lent good substance to his character, and Amrita Puri also acts well in a primarily romantic role. Abhishek Kapoor not only deserves kudos for selecting the story but developing it into a taut screenplay with Bhagat’s own and co-scripters Pubali Chaudhuri and Supratik Sen’s help. It has assisted in passing on the inherent message of the story remarkably well. Amit Trivedi’s music blends well with the Gujarati ambience, besides being extremely soothing to the ears. “Kai Po Che” in Gujarati means "I've cut" and is used more as an expression of victory during kite-flying contests. The drama in this film, however, talks of a victory of a different kind - one that is hard-earned and mingled with tears and remorse, but also conveys a sense of deep satisfaction.
Verdict: This is film sure to be recommended, being a combination of two success factors – a Chetan Bhagat story and an Abhishek Kapoor creation.