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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Kai Po Che

The focus is not on Modi, Godhra, or the quake, but the implications of political eve­nts in the personal space.

Kai Po Che
Kai Po Che
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Starring: Raj Kumar Yadav, Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh, Amrita Puri, Digvijay Deshmukh, Manav Kaul
Directed by Abhishek Kapoor
Rating: ***

Judge it on the parameter of the time-honou­red cliches of Hindi cinema—there are eno­ugh strewn in Kai Po Che to rile and irritate you. In fact, broad brushstrokes hit you right from the start—the quintessentially Bollywoodian ‘coming out of the jail’ sequence—to the ‘tie up all the loose strands’ ‘all’s well that ends well’ resolution. From the lust and longing in the dandiyas to the ‘Hindu’ saffron and the ‘Muslim’ green. But somewh­ere Abhishek Kap­o­or’s film manages to find its own distinct voice bey­ond these general simplifications. Primarily, because it builds well on the relationship of its three lead characters.

Yes, it is about spo­nta­neity, fun, jokes, irre­ver­ence and banter—quite like a DCH, RDB or Rock On. But there’s substantially more. Through Govind-Ishan-Omi, the film affectingly portrays what for many of us was one of life’s most central experiences: of friendships torn asunder by ideologies, of negotiating friendships while keeping politics at bay and standing by your non-negotiable beliefs while keeping friendships at a distance.

Things unfold against the backdrop of contemporary Gujarat. Altho­ugh names and parties are not mentioned outright, it’s hard not to figure things out—unless one is Goodbye Lenin’s coma-struck Mother. Kapoor is not concerned with hardcore...

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