Film Review: Kai Po Che
25th February 2013
I will be honest and admit that when I saw the first promos for Kai Po Che, it looked interesting but did not appeal to me that much. However after having seen the film in full, I can tell you that this is definitely a treat for your eyes! Kai Po Che is a genuinely emotional film which is set against the backdrop of Gujarat during the 2000s. Based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel ‘The Three Mistakes of my Life,’ it stars three virtually unknown actors by the names of Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar Yadav and Amit Sadh. The story is based on three close friends; Ishaan (Rajput); Govind (Yadav); and Omi (Sadh); who open a sports shop and academy. They later become deeply affected by both the earthquake and communal violence between Hindus and Muslims which transpires in Gujarat.
Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, Kai Po Che is filled with raw drama which is based on actual events. Though I have not read ‘The Three Mistakes of my Life,’ I was able to follow it from beginning to end without complications. This is largely due to the intelligence of Chetan Bhagat, who also produced the screenplay for the film. In addition, the fact that three new actors have been roped into play the leading roles is a positive thing, since this radically enhances the realism that is being depicted on-screen. Had they been superstars, perhaps Kai Po Che would not have had so much of an impact on me. Just seeing the various emotions which all three characters exude will leave you in a melancholic state. Though it is a serious film, it still has a bit of everything; from sports to comedy, as well as politics and romance between Govind and Ishaan’s younger sister Vidya (Amrita Puri).
Although all three actors performed splendidly, I was more enthralled by Sushant Singh Rajput and Raj Kumar Yadav. Both actors mesmerise you during certain moments in the film, which adds body to their characters. Both Amrita Puri and Amit Sadh deliver respectable performances, though they would have benefited if their characters had more depth to them. My only criticism of Kai Po Che would be that it was a little too short and the story is narrated within just two hours. Had it been extended to another half hour; then this would have enabled the director to add more detail to the film. Abhishek Kapoor would then be able to elaborate on the tragic effects which the real-life events had on Gujarat for those who are less aware. Having said this, it is nevertheless a brilliant crafted film and certainly much better compared to recently released films which are made on a big scale budget and which also contains a multi-star cast. These include Race 2 (2013) and Talaash (2012) which I did not relish as much compared with Kai Po Che. The cinematography by Anay Goswamy was exquisite and he manages to seamlessly capture well this particular facet of India. The music to the film is short but definitely sweet. Songs like ‘Manja’ and ‘Shubhaarambh’ are exceptionally composed by Amit Tridevi and contains strong Indian flavours, interspersed with small Western elements. This makes it all the more fruitful to hear!
Kai Po Che is a thought-provoking and moving film which intensely tests the friendship between the three young characters throughout. It is certainly out of the ordinary, but one which encompasses all the rights ingredients that makes a film of outstanding calibre!
Our Rating: 4/5 Stars