Rock On! was one of the few Bollywood movies that I’d love to watch over and over again. It had everything going for it, a heartfelt original story, delicious music and solid performances by the whole cast. While Abhishek Kapoor had set a milestone with Rock On! in 2008, the same level of enticement couldn’t be found in Kai Po Che. I am not comparing it with Rock On! as Kai Po Che has set its stage in 2000’s Ahmedabad and the plot seamlessly interconnected with the events of the year. So forget the flashy world of the rock music from Rock On! and welcome to Ahmedabad inhabited by the middle class populace of the time.
Based on Chetan’s Bhagat’s 3 Mistakes of my Life, Kai Po Che is a well directed piece of material, Abhishek takes his own sweet pace to tell the story of 3 friends, their perils and dreams. I found Chetan ruining his streak with 3 Mistakes of my Life after the very successful One Night at a Call Center and Five Point Someone. And unlike the very over-rated 3 Idiots, Kai Po Che stuck close to its source material and there comes the first flaw. Had it been simply ‘based’ on the book and re-written for screen, it would have appealed to me more but as the numbers at the box office indicates it just doesn’t matter now. As previously mentioned Abhishek takes his time to set these friends in their world of Cricket in the first half though towards the second half the narrative changes to much more tense one often tending to provide some truly unnerving sequences. Two thumbs up for that! It does stutter at times in the midway, the narrative reduced to a snails pace, but thankfully the 3rd act comes as a savior.
Its not without its charm though, the performances of all the three leads were beyond applaudable, their friendship convincingly and plausibly portrayed. Believe me when I say this is not Dil Chahta Hai the leads here are not seasoned actors like Amir/Akshay/Saif but they do an impressive job nonetheless. Raj Yadav having played supporting roles in some big budget flicks of the yesteryear (LSD, Shaitan, Talaash) could be considered the more of the veteran here and does an amazing job playing the first of the friends, Govind. Amit Sadh as Omi and finally Sushant Singh Rajput as Ishaan gave two of the best performances of the year so far, despite being the lesser known in Bollywood and known more at our homes, among our moms and sisters, playing leads in Hindi soaps. Looking forward to seeing these promising and budding artists in more to come.
As usual Amit Trivedi has done it once again. His magical touch in the music and score was much a worthy addition for Kai Po Che and gives it a new life. Immersion as it seems could not have been without Trivedi’s tunes. Especially the track ‘Manja’ which felt fresh and lively.
I found people raving how good it is. Yes I did find it entertaining but never toppling the likes of Rock On! or 3 Idiots. However have to give in to Abhishek Kapoor for this commendable effort on Kai Po Che and to emerge as a winner with some debut actors and not a single A-lister in the lead and especially without a co-written script either by Farhan Akhtar or Rajkumar Hirani. It just proves that Rock On! wasn’t just a fluke and makes him one of the best directors of this age.