Chetan Bhagat's 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life', has got a fantastic,fresh lease of life on celluloid.
Adapted brilliantly by a team of four:Abhishek Kapoor, Pubali Chaudhary, Supratik Sen, Chetan Bhagat; Kai Po Che stands out in its casting and plot.
Comparisons with two films are inevitable here. Bhagat's 'Five Point Someone',was made into the super hit, "3 Idiots”,a tale of friendship set in an IIT campus. Kai Po Che (which means a victory yell in kite flying)is also a friendship story but has a bigger canvas of politics,cricket and historical events.Since this tackles issues of religion and political hatred,it is much more moving and powerful in its plot.
Director Abhishek Kapoor has also made a film on friendship,'Rock On', which though an engaging watch,now pales in comparison with Kai Po Che.
The film is plot heavy,based in Ahmedabad and revolves around three friends and a 10 year old whose lives are turned around by cricket,Gujarat earthquake and Godhra riots. Ishan (Sushant Singh Rajput) is a failed cricketer who wants to achieve his dreams by coaching children.He gets together with his friends,Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav)and Omi(Amit Sadh) and starts a small sports shop along with a coaching institute, with the help of Omi's mamaji (Manav Kaul),a politician.He spots a ten year old, Ali who has an exceptional gift with the bat and the ball.Everything suddenly falls apart as the earthquake in 2001 and Godhra riots in 2002 overtake their city and Mamaji's politics come into play.
Reasons to watch Kai Po Che are multifold:beautiful cinematography(Anay Goswami), great sound and background score(Hitesh Sonik ),fabulous music (Amit Trivedi )powerful lyrics,especially “Manja” (Swanand Kirkire),clever edit (Deepa Bhatia)-deft for a multitrack story like this and above all,wonderful, heartwarming performances by one and all.The central locations - temple and the sports ground in Gujarat,integral to the plot are very well used.So are some playful moments with the game of marbles which are bound to bring back memories for those who grew up honing their aim.
Sushant Singh,who has done secondary roles in television,makes a surprisingly strong mark with both his acting and screen presence.Amit Sadh,also a television actor who shot to fame with the first season of Big Boss,makes a decent debut on the big screen with the most pivotal role of Omi whose decisions affect everyone he loves.His characterisation in its underwriting,displays fine crafting in the screenplay.
Raj Kumar Yadav as Govind,the Baniya friend and simpleton seduced by his friend's sister,steals the show.His shy and nervous body language and earnest and flustered reactions to everything happening around him,add a great deal of humour to the otherwise dark story.His clumsy romantic scenes with his best friend's sister, played to perfection by Amrita Puri (Ayesha fame) are very well written and performed.
Every other supporting actor including Ali,his father and Manav Kaul add authencity to their roles.
The best thing to look out for is the way events are orchestrated around a particular India Australia 5 day test match in 2001,a delightful work of cinematic drama.Another powerful sequence that stays in the mind is the tension filled climax which is particularly well shot, edited and performed.
Kai Po Che is a must watch for its gripping plot,direction and performances.The entire team makes no mistake here.