Kai Po Che - Friendship wins!

Monday, 25 February 2013 08:36 Inam Abidi Amrohvi

Kai Po Che posterKai Po Che is a befitting tribute to the spirit of friendship.


Flashbacks if executed well, adds to the overall appeal of a movie. Kai Po Che has this and much more going for it.

When I first read 'The Three Mistakes of my Life' (by Chetan Bhagat), I told my wife that it's a good movie material. Based on Bhagat's novel, Kai Po Che is a simple story of three good friends, their dreams and aspirations. The movie set against the backdrop of the India-Australia cricket series (of 2001), Gujarat earthquake (2001) and the Gujarat riots (2002) revolves around two things that Indians are passionate about, cricket and religion.

It's a commendable effort, considering the director (Abhishek Kapoor) chose relatively new faces for such a story. The Indian film industry is showing a gradual shift to quality work sans big stars. Abhishek Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, and others, are the new breed of film makers who are bringing art house cinema to mainstream audiences. This has opened up opportunities for new talent from lesser known places.

Abhishek has brought in the same no-nonsense approach to this movie as he did in Rock On. The selection of actors playing the three friends is spot on. Sushant Singh Rajput (as Ishaan Bhatt), Amit Sadh (as Omkar Shastri), and Raj Kumar Yadav (as Govind Patel) have played their parts to absolute perfection. Their on screen camaraderie is the high point of the movie. The scene which unites two friends post a cricket match is quite touching. The film has many such sweet moments.

The Australia tour of India in 2001 is captured well and showcases how it breaks many barriers in India. The Kutch earthquake, and the riots of 2002, only serve to highlight individual predicaments of the main characters. This for me is the biggest achievement of the film. The director never loses focus on the real theme - friendship of the trio!

The supporting cast too deserves equal mention with the limited screen time they received. There's not a single loud character in the movie, which speaks about the effort gone into the detailing. Amrita Puri (as Vidya) entertains you with her dialogue delivery, Digvijay Deshmukh (as Ali) is engaging, and Manav Kaul (as Bittu Mama) puts up a restrained yet impressive performance.

Music (by Amit Trivedi) is soulful and utlises some lesser used musical instruments. Other than the gem 'Manja', 'Meethi Boliyaan' is a soothing number, in sync with the overall theme.

The background score (by Hitesh Sonik) impresses you right from the word go. It enhances the dramatic moments of the story without ever going overboard.

The vibrant Gujarat is captured well in the frames (cinematography by Anay Goswamy). It only adds to the authenticity of the story set in the state. The crisp editing (by Deepak Bhatia) ensures that the film has a run time of slightly over two hours.

The only element going against the movie is the sluggish pace in parts. It's here that the realistic portrayal bogs it down.

Kai Po Che deserves to be watched for the on screen chemistry shared between the male leads. There couldn't be a more befitting tribute to the spirit of friendship. As for Chetan Bhagat, this time everything seems to be working!


---Inam Abidi Amrohvi, Editor, The Other News