Millennium Post

Quite a delightful watch

It took Bollywood quite a while to grow up enough to handle a book to movie adaptation and do it well. After Three Idiots, here is Kai Po Che. Well done but perhaps not all that well done after all.

Chetan Bhagat seems to have got at least one formula right in his flourishing career as a paperback star. He writes for Bollywood and in fact so much so that more often than not, his stories read like movie scripts. Especially after Five Point Someone; albeit One Night At A Call Center’s movie version was absolutely horrifying; as was the book. Sorry. It just was.

Kai Po Che coming with a tagline ‘brothers for life’ is another refreshing addition to some good films that celebrate bromance. Of course these three friends deal with bigger monsters than heartbreaks, heartaches, parental issues and commitment phobia. Unlike
Dil Chahata Hai
and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which are brilliant in their own rights, Kai Po Che came equipped with the capacity to shake up the back-slapping camaraderie and give friendship a real test. But sadly, it glosses over the weight. And perhaps safely so for the Bhuj earthquake and the Godhra riots are not stuff Bollywood floss is made of.

Three friends, Omi (Amit Sadh), Ishan (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Govind (Rajkumar Yadav), different in their own rights yet perfectly in sync, decide to open a cricket club and they chance upon child prodigy Ali. While Ishan takes Ali under his wing, the comfort bubble bursts as the city gets battered by the earthquake and then in time gets ravaged by communal riots. The triumvirate find themselves facing impossible odds as they try to hold their dream in place.

There is a bit of romance, a bit of the usual Bollywood drama but director Abhishek Kapoor makes sure he holds the reigns tight. After something as slick as Rock On, we don’t expect otherwise.

Kai Po Che
is the shout of joy when one kite cuts the thread of the other. It is a sense of raw happiness that every boy has known in childhood. And that is exactly what Kapoor manages to put his finger on perfectly. The games of marbles, the kites, cricket and romance in math tuition. Fresh, invigorating and a delight.

The lack of star power is what works best for the movie. The lesser known faces and ample talent scores. Big names would have taken away the magic. Each and every character is very well cast and fit their roles to a T. Rajkumar Yadav is the most impressive, he completely wipes off his past roles and almost wholly morphs in to Govind.

Fortunately, Kapoor takes away the cute from the movie especially in the little love story. And this is perhaps where the movie scores over the book. Bhagat’s sense of love is too saccharine and too gag-worthy for our liking and fortunately it also works for Kapoor.

But what leaves us a little unhappy is the lack of gravity in the serious strains of thought. Some issues remain unresolved and there is a feeling of want. This could be a premeditated decision on Kapoors’ part, he probably saved us a cliched commentary on communal violence and politics. Thank you for not taking sides.

Kai Po Che is quite a delight. Despite some minor loopholes it is a must watch.
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