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