Plot: The film portrays the journey of three friends as they discover cricket, religion and business in their respective fields. Set against the backdrop of religious politics, the story underlines the three mistakes made by Govind. The film is based on Chetan Bhagat's '3 Mistakes of My Life'
We all have grown watching youth-centric Hindi films that are set in a city. As always, we put some expectations in place and want to see chic visu...
We all have grown watching youth-centric Hindi films that are set in a city. As always, we put some expectations in place and want to see chic visuals and cool costumes on screen. That's an archetypal Bollywood-ish film for many. If there's a backdrop of a college and the actors studying there, it gives us many reasons to cherish. But, beating all the aforesaid myths to pulp is all about Kai Po Che - the term literally translates to â€œI have cut (the kite)â€ - a phrase used to display the jubilation that's a post-effect of making your opponent's kite flightless! The movie stays true to the the essence of the phrase and is a cut above the rest. The film is devoid of 'Love is in the air' hook-ups, tear-jerking break-ups and above all candy-floss visuals and songs. It's only the deft story-telling technique that refines an otherwise simplistic story.
Bollywood buddy movies. Dil Chahta Hai (2001) started it all; Zindagi Na Milega Dobara (2011) was the last example. Rang De Basanti (2006) i...
Bollywood buddy movies. Dil Chahta Hai (2001) started it all; Zindagi Na Milega Dobara (2011) was the last example. Rang De Basanti (2006) injected revolutionary passion into it but it was 3 Idiots (2009) that perfected it. Where does Kai Po Che stand? Should it even be compared? No it shouldn't be. As a standalone film, Kai Po Che works and it probably stands above all the films mentioned previously. Not because it is better but because of it has everything that the other films do: male bonding, youthful passion, personal turbulence and political responsibility. It approaches each of these aspects without any leftover influences of what came before and it does so without any big stars. It is a damn good film with three brilliant performances. I dare anyone to come out of the film without singing praises of any of the three boys.
Kai Po Che is about three friends - Govind, Ishaan and Omi. There are careers to be made, bonds to be shared and passions to be pursued. The boys do it together and the film centers around their successes and failures. Sushant Singh Rajput will be the one spoken about the most since he gets the best role and his effort can't be ignored. If you have any doubts about Amit Sadh, wait for the final half hour for his eyes to prove you wrong. My favorite actor in the film was undoubtedly Raj Kumar Yadav. Not only does he bring his restrained charm but also an effortless resilience. I couldn't help but notice the consistency of his accent in the film. There is a certain Gujrati phonetic that Raj Kumar captures exceedingly well. It isn't over the top and manages to find that thin line.
The boys share the same dreams but their paths turn out different. Their worlds are jolted at different occasions and their loyalties are tested. I was happy to see that this doesn't happen because of common love interests or the usual filmy nonsense. Although there is a love story as Ishaan's sister, Vidya (Amrita Puri) has no interest in mathematics but a great deal in biology. This sub-plot is tender and a breath of fresh air. The true drama lies elsewhere. The Godhra train incident and the Gujarat riot scenes are one of the film's strengths. It never becomes overtly sensational or unduly subtle about its political and religious underpinnings.
Kai Po Che is based on a book titled â€œThe 3 Mistakes of My Lifeâ€ but the film's title was changed to something that literally means 'I have cut' or "Gotcha" in Gujarati. It is a triumphant yell during a kite-flying contest. I haven't read Chetan Bhagat's novels and don't plan to. This not because of a snobbish sentiment but just because they haven't really interested me. When I saw Kai Po Che, it wanted to see a good story, which I received. How much of it can be credited to Bhagat? I wouldn't know. I read up about what the 3 mistakes were in the novel and how the final mistake was changed in the film. It later dawned on me the significance of title with the final act of the film. Kudos to the screenwriting team of Pubali Chaudhari, Supratik Sen and Abhishek Kapoor. The credit should indeed be given where it's due so I'd like to mention Amit Trivedi (and I will say this repeatedly with no shame), who is the best musician in our country today. I am addicted to the song â€œManjaâ€ and after seeing the film, I was stirred by how it encapsulates the spirit of the film.
I can't end my review without raising a particular concern I had while watching the film. There is something missing in Kai Po Che. There was no elevation that I got with 3 Idiots (Must. Not. Compare). If I describe Kai Po Che in the most unimaginative way possible, I would describe it as 3 Idiots for critics. This isn't meant as an attack on any group of moviegoers but just because I felt it was a less crowd-pleasing version but a better filmed story. It also doesn't help when the filmy version is done extremely well with tremendous amount of impact. When I came out of Kai Po Che, my brain was sufficiently pleased, so was my heart but one tiny part was left unmoved. This is a similar after taste I had when I saw Rock On (There I go again). I believe it's just the way Abhishek Kapoor sees camaraderie is not the way I see it. Personal nitpicking aside, Kai Po Che is better than his previous directorial venture. It is a film with a rousing spirit that deserves to be seen and felt.
Kai po che is one of the few instances where the movie is better than the book. I am not a huge fan of Chetan Bhagat anyway and from The 3 mistake...
Kai po che is one of the few instances where the movie is better than the book. I am not a huge fan of Chetan Bhagat anyway and from The 3 mistakes of my Life (on which this movie is based) I remember only 2 seminal scenes. Funnily, the movie downplays these two story-changing happenings and moves away from being just a situational movie to one that is about friendship and growing up.
Omi, Govind and Ishaan are thick friends who decide to open a sports store. Ishan is the cricketer, Govind the buisnessminded person and Omi, the priest's son who gets the money from his politician mama who gradually inducts him into this right wing Hindu party. Ishan find a protege in a young Muslim boy and when the Godhra riots strike, it puts the friendship to test. Alongside, is the romance, which brews between Govind and Ishan's sister, which is also part of their growing up.
The storytelling is brisk and yet takes time to build each character well. It gives you time to understand Govind's sensible outlook, Omi's drifty nature and Ishan's belief in sports, so that when it comes to the crunch each character's actions are natural.
The first half effectively sets the stage for the post interval part of the movie, which is totally action-packed. Save for one scene which was too reminiscent of Dil Chahta Hai, the movie is an original throughout and has a fresh feel about it.
The 3 guys are uniformly good. Sushant Singh Rajput debuts as Ishan and I loved him. He reminds me of Ranveer Singh but without the steroid feel. He is a good actor besides being very good eye candy (which is always needed). Amit Sadh as Omi has the easygoing look of a drifter and manages the transformation into a tortured soul well. Raj Kumar Yadav as Govind is the best performance of the three. He has worked in a great Gujrati accent and his acting is so nuanced that it's a joy to watch. All 3 have great chemistry together and helpeach other's performance.Manav Kaul as the politician Bittu mama is oily. Amrita Puri as Vidya could have been a bit spunkier considering that she takes the lead in the romance with Govind.
This is a great movie to watch. It has a good story, great pace and super performances. You will empathise, sympathise and become one with the characters. Don't miss this one.