Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani – Review

First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, ambulance recipe with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, buy UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, cardiology on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new end

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, viagra approved with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, discount UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, denture on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior,

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, cardiologist with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, cialis sale UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior,

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, allergy with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, and with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, sale UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, bronchi with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, implant with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, side effects with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, dysentery UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing’ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, population health with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, visit UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful years.

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing‘ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it …Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, viagra buy with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful years.

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing‘ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it. Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, here with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, more about UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, sildenafil on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful years.

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing‘ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it. Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, viagra with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, angina UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, surgery on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful years.

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing‘ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it. Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!
First a background confession time: I am not a Chetan Bhagat fan; I read his first two novels but I found his writing style so abominably bland that it put me off forever. I reckon he is quite a hit with the youngsters; and that’s the audience the film wants to latch on to. That’s why his name is prominent on the posters, caries with the blurbs also proclaiming ‘from makers of Rang De Basanti’ a supposedly ‘cult film’ (though for sure, pharm UTV has produced many more since then).

(I made a lame half-hearted attempt at seeking Three Mistakes of My Life, on which this film is based, at the Amazon Kindle stores a few weeks ago, but since it’s not seemingly not available there, I left it).

I am also not too well-versed with Abhishek Kapoor’s sole directorial venture: Rock On, having missed it in theaters, and watched it in fragments on TV (I saw its biggest chunk just today when it was aired on some channel; and found it a fake film in intent: a true blue Hindi melodrama masquerading as something seemingly ‘different’)

So coming back to Kai Po Che – with no overt interest in any of its makers, and not knowing the plotline or the characters, I had a key advantage of approaching it with an open mind. I was so clueless about the basic plot that I had no inkling as to whose ‘three mistakes’ the title refers to – though the film doesn’t really help to spell it out clearly.

Kai Po Che is about three friends, two of whom (Govind & Ishaan) have clear cut ambitions, and the third (Omi) is quite a drifter. And it’s this drifter who gravitates towards something rather unfortunate and propels the plot to its murky denouement. While Govind is the narrator, and Omi leads it to its conclusion, it’s actually Ishaan who is the main hero, a live-wire energetic crackling character, the axis on which the film revolves. As are three important historical events: the Jan 26 Bhuj earthquake, India-Australia cricket series & the infamous Gujarat riots.

I believe the film does not faithfully stick to the book, which is good. From what I have read about the book’s plot, I feel the new ending is far superior in underlying the overall senselessness of all that happened in those two fateful years.

Such bromance films have a set template: open with mild guitar strums to a montage of successful/doomed heroes, often separated, with their expressions shouting out that they have ‘the past’; start a journey and then recede into a flashback to reveal the real plot. KPC follows the template to the T.

Where it actually departs from the usual is the story’s main body. It’s not so much about their friendship and how it begins which is kind of given and assumed, as much as it is the disintegration of the same. We start with cracks already becoming visible. Govind is ‘pataoing‘ Ishaan’s father for a cheque to start off a sports store; right then, Ishaan begins a fight with some unwanted suitor to his sister. The exasperated father who finds his son’s hotheadedness useless, calls off the deal. Blame game amongst the friend erupts.

At first the cracks are rapidly band-aided together ( replete with shots of them travelling off on a rather adventerous trip, jumping off old forts into the deep sea – a blend of Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti!).

However, as time turns into more serious events, the chasm just keeps widening. The events around them throw their friendship in a tumultuous spin, with every shifting fault lines and equations : e.g. one moment Govind is defending Ishaan’s anger in front of Omi, and the next he is mad at Ishaan for being reckless in squandering their meagre income. These kaleidoscopic shifts lend a multihued texture to the film.

Every character is well written, with their acts rooted in their persona, background and ambitions: for Govind, it’s his love for money and the desperate need to be a successful entrepeneur, even forging a shaky partnership with his two best friends in the sports shop; for Omi, the need to stick around with his friends, yet be indebted to his maternal uncle, who is a local politician and pays for their start up, though not without insidiously demanding his own pound of flesh; and Ishaan, with his passion for cricket, and the compulsion to prove that he can be successful in what he is good at and foisting his own dreams on Ali, the boy prodigy with herculean talent he has inadvertantly discovered- and the boy’s religion will play an important role!

The film’s pace is brilliantly fluid (and I always have to mention this). Abhishek Kapoor’s direction is extremely deft and mature. There are several quieter moments (for example, the romance between Govind and Ishaan’s little sister Vidya is sensitively played out). The screenplay is very well written garnished with believable dialogues, peppered with some Gujarati (just enough to set the milieu, without it getting uncomfortable for those who don’t grasp the language). The script involves the audience. Perhaps, it’s brightest point is the palpable climax, which sucks you in (and here, not knowing the story helped a big deal!). The two blows to Ishaan – learning about his sister’s affair with his best friend, and Omi’s crossover to the other side, is a tense filled moment. Crisp. Curt. Cutting.

The film left me a bit disturbed, with a sense of a deep void, and a personal loss.

Manipulative? Yes. But that’s the beauty of Hindi cinema, why would I not like it? I am sure many people will immediately junk that scene where the peeved father refuses to give his son ‘aashirwaad’ at the railway station and then just when the train is about to pull off relents and calls his son back for a big hug!

The cinematography is absolutely ravishing. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is adequate. Amit Trivedi’s music is sparse (just 3 songs, and all of them in the first half, with ‘Manja’ being the bestest, also repeated in the second half).

The weak moments? Not many. Perhaps a bit dry patches here and there, especially in the first half. And of course, at times the feeling – oh, this is so ‘new age cinema grammar’ and the overtly smugness as if to say ‘ see-this-is a quality product away from the 100-crore grosser-bad-ass-films-and-we-are-so-realistic’ (even though most of us wouldn’t have gone on such trips jumping off forts/cliffs ever; even the ‘straight six sixers’ by Ali, however much a prodigy he be, is a bit too much)

The film, like all good politically correct people, steers clear off the Godhra incident (fleetingly told via a news item) but dwells on the other riots, but thankfully stays neutral, makes no statements, and immediately zooms onto the micro world of the protagonists.

And now for the best thing in this film – the superlative performances. Amit Sadh as Omi is superb; and Raj Kumar Yadav (after the seedy, lusty Ragini MMS) is just pitch-perfect as the most responsible friend.

And Sushant Singh Rajput is absolutely a cracker – not many have been able to cross from TV to cinema (and for good reasons!) But Rajput surely is different – he has an awesome screen-presence, and perfectly nails it. Ishaan’s raw lean energy, his anger, his frustration, his enjoyment, his non-judgemental friendship, his convictions, make him immensely likeable despite all his flaws and quirks. A mindblowing debut!

Amrita Puri adds her own sweet charm – a deep anchor to both her brother and her boyfriend.

Overall – Do watch it!

(Contains spoilers)

I loved Ayan Mukherjee’s first film – Wake Up Sid. It’s a magnificent coming-of-age film, site embellished with scoops of quieter moments that make the film introspective yet not dull; and some superlative performances. So I approached YJHD with huge expectations.

WUS was essentially a small film; neat & compact in its design; and a linear but taut timeline and was essentially without any ‘stars’ (Ranbir at that point was very new!) Perhaps, Wake Up Sid’s surprise success guaranteed Ayaan Mukherjee a bigger budget and a wider canvas, and to incorporate it in YJHD the film stumbles & wobbles.

There are a few recurring motifs in both films : Seeking one’s goal, and reconciling it with one’s loved ones; the father-son conflict that can be best described as ‘generational gap’ or perhaps, better as simply ‘ideological differences’, without any malice and filled with brimming love; friendships turned sour and eventually sweetened by passing time (as said in the movie ‘Thoda waqt do, sab theek ho jaayega’); and the central theme about two individuals who are neither right nor wrong, but just different to each other. Of course, passion for photography is another returning refrain.

However, where the film falters is its wider timeline, geography and canvas – all those perfect locations, flawless dresses, and also the need to incorporate an ‘item song’ (Madhuri Dixit, no less!). Blowing up a photo meant for a smaller bit size will only heighten its pixelated flaws.

Hence, too much gloss and loss of detailing ( why would a so called studious girl like Naina who is so burdened by her studies and her parents’ expectations flaunt perfectly waxed legs in skimpy shorts? Pity, Ayaan resorts to the age-old Bollywood cliché that a ‘studious girl’ means wearing a pair of ugly specs! Or, how did they all manage to finance such an elaborate trip in all those designer clothes? I fondly harked back to the scene in WUS where Ranbir couldn’t even pay for a pizza dressed in a normal crumpled T-shirt! And then Ranbir’s entire so-called ‘journalistic career’ is swept aside in a few hasty montages where all he does is wave about his camera!)

No doubt the whole gamut of gloss & glamor is very eye-pleasing, but it also smothers the film’s soul, which thankfully is very much throbbing & making its presence felt in its own charming but muted way. Especially in the second half.

The first half is wholly devoted to the Manali trip, where Naina (Deepika) and Bunny (Ranbir) meet, and gradually get attracted to each other. They are accompanied by two of their best friends Aditi (Kalki) & Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor). Aditi has a soft corner for Avi, who doesn’t seem to realize it. In this section, we befriend all the 4 lead characters … especially how their aspirational goals will clash. Bunny is a nomad at heart, and wants to roam the world (and carries an empty scrap book which he wishes to fulfill with his experience); Naina is the rooted one, caught between a wish to break her chains and her inherent sense of practicality. She falls for Bunny but doesn’t express it.

This section also has a short but superbly etched track featuring his father (Faruque Sheikh in an excellent cameo!) and his stepmom (Tanvi Azmi).

Eight years later they meet at Aditi’s marriage – no, not to Avi, who has spiralled downwards to being some sort of a loser, but to a man who looks silly, and is perhaps silly, but as Aditi says ‘with some people you just want to be with’ !

It’s in this section that Ayan’s writing gets razor sharp, and Hussain Dalal’s dialogues very interesting. Here Ayan leaves the geographical widespread, and is now contained in a wedding home, and hence gets his chance to take us into a wider tour of his characters! Perhaps a small canvas is his forte, and he should stick to that!

In this section there are some shining gems: ‘We grew up very fast’ laments Aditi at one stage, shining the torch on what I believe is a complain we all at some point of time carry. The characters for sure do. Here, Bunny & Naina reunite, rediscover each other. And reconcile with each other ( ‘You are not right, we are just different – says the hero; and a few scenes later she asserts ‘You are not wrong, we are just different’ – a mirror dialogue that I just loved!)

Since I am simultaneously reading Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed, there is somewhat similarity between the two …in the sense of a bottomless vacuum that lies beneath the successful facade.

The film’s technical aspects are all first-rate. Attractive costumes (lots of brand placements), amazing cinematography and fairly competent editing.

Pritam’s background score is very good (especially that piece when they are at the mountain peak is absolutely sensational!). His songs are good too, esp Badtamiz dil, Balam pichkari and Re Kabira.

I firmly believe Ranbir Kapoor cannot do anything wrong, and here Bunny is a character made for him, so he is outstanding. Deepika, though, was a very pleasant surprise. And both Kalki & Aditya hold their own fort strongly.

In a way, I empathized & understood Bunny; the character touched a chord inside me – that gnawing urge to follow one’s dreams; to explore the unchartered territory; to not be bound in one place; to not be tied down; to eat at new places; to stay at fresh cities; to see new sights. But as his father says, not all have the guts to pay the price for it. Because it all comes at a heavy emotional cost. Bunny had those guts.

I walked back from the theatre at 2 in the night thinking about Bunny – in the city that never sleeps – cars swept by in their manic rush; a couple sat having tea from a roadside vendor, a few stood around the cigarette stall; a cricket-match was on in one society under faux-spotlights; beggars slept precariously on the road-divider; autos slowed down and then seeing my disinterest sped away ; I reached home, put my laundry for washing (neglected due to my tour); cleared some loose junk lying here and there; kept the rubbish can outside the door for it to be picked up early morning; popped a beer; and sat to write this review. The night outside is heavily quiet; the humidity is oppressive; a drop slithers down the beer can; I like this space; this time with myself; this is my bargain …. random sights random views, but something within despairingly clawed trying to find a hook, a wall- I guess it was just an attempt to patch an incomprehensible hole with a jagged collage of sights & sounds. Much like Bunny. But very unlike him. For I haven’t paid that price. Yet.

In all – An interesting film, if only it had been much smaller in its canvas.

DO WATCH IT.

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Comments

  1. Ekta says:

    Saw the movie last night….loved the songs,Ranbir & Deepika. Thankfully they kept drama quotient low (which never happens in a KJo movie)…I know it ia Ayan’s movie…cuz of this I enjoyed more.