Saturday, February 23, 2013

Movie Review: Kai Po Che

Three young adults –a maths tuition teacher who dreams to make it big in the sports goods business, a cricket coach for the local sports club, and the nephew of a right wing politician – set out to carve an identity for themselves in Ahmedabad of the early 2000s. Their friendship is perfect, each having the other’s backs, until it is thrown in the cauldron of three life-changing events – the Gujarat earthquake, the Godhra train burning, and the bloody riots that followed.

KPC is the story of the human spirit, values and triumph against all odds. Amongst the tears and turmoil, among the tragedies and the deaths, KPC brings smiles and the hope that with time, everything will heal after all!

What works for KPC is the performance of its cast – with Rajkumar Yadav as the shy but focused maths teacher putting in a sterling performance, and showing that he is worth a lot more than Ragini’s lust, after all! His unsure moves with the love of his life, the sister of his best friend, his unwavering focus and practicality regarding their sports goods business, and his shyness and unwillingness to go wild with his friends is absolutely perfectly played out. Sushant Rajput is believable but unidimensional. Smriti as his sister and Yadav’s love interest is equal parts sweet and seductive, and really blossoms in the dandiya sequence.

The camera work, the screenplay, the technical treatment is brilliant, especially in the first half. The pace is scorching, dozens of stories interweaving seamlessly, and before you know it, it’s half time, and you are really looking forward to what’s coming up. But that’s when the movie starts faltering. The treatment of the earthquake, the Godhra incident and the riots is very pedestrian and the movie loses the finesse and subtlety of the first half. You start squirming in the seat, all the violence and death too much in your face. The end, while positive, doesn’t really bring the mood back to where it was after the first half.

Although unlikely to get the cult following of movies like DCH, ZNMD and RO, KPC is a one-time watch, and a very good one at that!

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