Kai Po Che Movie Review by Indicine critic Joginder Tuteja.
Pure and unadulterated would be the right way to describe ‘Kai Po Che!’. A film that stays on to be an engaging watch right through it’s duration where there is no distinction per se between the first and the second half (a big deal indeed in the current scenario), ‘Kai Po Che!’ ensures that audience’s attention is undivided.
Most importantly, this Abhishek Kapoor directed film manages to score in narrating a story when to begin with, there is no definite story in the true sense. Instead, it could well be a film about the life and times of three friends who see a series of events that bring in series of emotions that range from joy, pathos, bonding, conflict and forgiveness. All of this also means that for those who are used to watching their flicks unfold in a quintessential Hindi film format, the film may not turn out to be conventionally entertaining.
Still, good credit must go to Abhishek and Chetan Bhagat who ensure that despite the film being episodic in its format, it never once takes the shape of an episodic narrative. Now this was ‘One mistake of Pankaj Kapur’s Life’ in ‘Mausam’ which actually had almost similar manner of unfolding. Reason being that ‘Kai Po Che!’ spans through 10 years and has its characters go through the events that had shook Gujarat as well as rest of the nation.
This means that for the three young men, Rajkumar Yadav, Amit Sadh and Sushant Singh Rajput (this is the order in which they are credited in the film), there are events like the horrifying earthquake and then the riots which can never be erased from history. In the middle of this all there is also this great Test match win of India over Australia that forms an integral part of the story.
However what surprises is to see a young budding cricketer forming an extremely important part of the film. Now while this does form an interesting part in the film, especially when the cricket sequences are on, one does wonder if this episode could have been shortened and more focus would have been on the three main protagonists.
Ditto is the case with the whole Sabarmati and the Godhra incidents that form a major part of the film’s second half. Again, each of the scenes is deftly executed and thankfully there is not much jingoism involved. Still, why reopen those chapters that have been a blot on India’s history? Of course it is the prerogative of a filmmaker and Abhishek has all the right reasons to narrate a story that he wishes. However when a film has been pitched to audience as a take of three friends, this angle seems a tad unwarranted.
Nevertheless, it is Abhishek’s handling of the medium that ensures that one doesn’t look away even once. Really, one can’t (and should not) pick one character over another in terms of importance, relevance of effectiveness. Whether it is Rajkumar, Sushant or Amit, each of them is just perfect for the part and is more than just a value add to the film.
Moreover, what works best for each of them is that there is a sense of being natural which is conveyed in every dialogue being delivered and every walk being taken. Ditto for Amrita Puri whose presence is felt right through the film. Also, the actor who plays Amit’s uncle is too good. Thankfully, he breaks the stereotype of a politician that one is used to seeing on screen. Technically too the film is top notch, right from the cinematography, background score, sound design and editing.
Commercially speaking, the film should do well at the box office, given its multiplex friendly content. This reasonably budgeted film has opened well at multiplexes and for the target audience there is decent meat to munch on. Though one can’t see the film creating unstoppable waves at the box office, its good opening as well as promise of decent sustenance at theatres would ensure that it not just sails through but also make decent profits.
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