Release Date : Feb 22,2013
Kai Po Che
Review by : Kaushik L M
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Production: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Cast: Amit Sadh, Amrita Puri, Raj Kumar Yadav, Sushant Singh Rajput
Direction: Abhishek Kapoor
Screenplay: Abhishek Kapoor, Chetan Bhagat, Pubali Chaudhari, Supratik Sen
Story: Abhishek Kapoor
Music: Amit Trivedi
Background score: Amit Trivedi
Cinematography: Anay Goswamy
Dialogues: Abhishek Kapoor
Editing: Deepak Bhatia
Distribution: UTV Motion Pictures

Chetan Bhagat’s books are much in demand among Bollywood filmmakers for they are believed to lend themselves easily for on-screen adaptation. Bollywood’s biggest blockbuster 3 Idiots is the best example of how Bhagat’s book can be turned into a wholesome Bollywood template entertainer.

Kai Po Che is the latest to be adapted from one of Bhagat’s books, ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life’. This book talked about three close friends, Govind, Ishaan and Omi, in the city of Ahmedabad and being set around the turn of the millennium, happenings, like the Gujarat communal riots in 2002 and the earthquake in 2001, were also woven into the narrative. Cricket was also a big part of the scheme of things and the epic India – Australia series in 2001 proved to be crucial to the lives of the three friends. 

Kai Po Che is a faithful adaptation of the book and it is basically the twists and turns that happen in the lives of the three friends with the above said incidents also playing their own crucial roles in their destiny. With a lot of Bollywood pop-culture elements like bromance, cricket and politics, Kai Po Che turns out to be a wholesome potboiler with a feel-good finale.

The fresh actors go a long way in making the movie work with the handsome debutant Sushant Singh Rajput having all the makings of a solid hero. He wears his heart on his sleeve and makes the impulsive Ishaan a very likable chap. Raj Kumar Yadav has shined in the past as a character actor in movies like Talaash and Shaitaan. He proves his worth yet again and his shy, hesitant romance with the effervescent Amrita Puri (as Ishaan’s sister Vidya) is charming and understated. Amit Sadh as Omi has an emotionally heavy role and he pulls it off as well. Digvijay Deshmukh as the young cricketing prodigy Ali, who smashes 4s and 6s on the leg side, is quite natural.

Though bonding between friends has been shown extensively in movies like Dil Chahta Hai and Rang De Basanti, Kai Po Che also has its own share of likable bromance sequences shown through the songs.

The movie is heavily lifted by the cinematography and music score by Anay Goswamy and Amit Trivedi respectively. The look of the film is truly international and it brims with bright and energetic colors. Anay's work in the Gujarat riots sequence gives the necessary tension and grip to the proceedings. Amit Trivedi is a master at giving soft and poignant songs and the three songs in Kai Po Che are sure to find a place on playlists all over.

The movie gives an impression of slightly meandering at places probably because we already know what is going to happen thanks to the book. And though the cricket coaching scenes have been done well, we somehow get a feeling that our movies can never authentically show what cricket is all about. The VFX is obvious in these scenes and we also have Ajay Jadeja making a cameo appearance as a commentator and calling a cover drive ‘classy’ when it obviously doesn’t seem so.

But such slight lulls aside, Abhishek Kapoor has given a worthy follow-up to his almost cult-like Rock On. Kai Po Che, though not an original work, has its heart at the right place, is technically strong and has a fresh cast which delivers.

Verdict: A nice feel good trip to the theaters and a faithful adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s source material.