‘Kai Po Che’ review: A well-adapted on-screen version of Chetan Bhagat's novel!

Resham Sengar

‘Kai Po Che’, Abhishek Kapoor’s screen adaptation of popular author Chetan Bhagat’s third novel ‘The Three Mistakes of Life’ (2008), till now had all the said novelist’s fans, the critics and the film buffs in waiting. The film’s release today has put an end to the wait, albeit on a sweet note.

‘Kai Po Che’ in the Gujarati lingo is used as an expression of victory during kite flying. Hence, the film explores the theme of holding on to one’s dreams despite the odds faced in life and also celebrates friendship. For those who have not read the book, the story is about three friends namely Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput), Omkar (Amit Sadh) and Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav) who are thick friends based in the early 2000 Ahmedabad (Gujarat). Ishan is a care-free, naïve, cricket-loving young man but despised by his father for sitting idle at home all workless. His free-spirited demeanour is characterised by his clothing - Capri pants worn with a simple tee, flip-flops and disheveled hair. His stark opposite is Govind, who is more practical and someone who would always think ten times before making a leap. Omi, on the other hand, is introduced as a person for whom Ishaan’s is the final word. As the story moves on, Omi’s character goes through a sea change only to come to terms with his real self at the end.

Taking monetary support from Omi’s maternal uncle, the three friends open a sports academy cum sports goods shop to earn their living. When Ishaan meets a 12-year-old boy named Ali Hashmi and sees an immense untapped cricket potential in him, he takes the promising young sportsman under his wings. Thus, Ishaan gets the purpose of his life. He coaches the boy with utmost determination and an unrelenting faith. Sadly, things get sour between the friends when first, the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and then the 2002 post-Godhra riots leave a deep scar on their friendship with Ishaan taking a stand in support of Ali and his community, while Omi seething with anger over the death of his parents in the riots.

Of all the cast, with due respect to every actor in the film including the leads, Sushant Singh Rajput is a charmer in the film. This is his debut Hindi film but one thing is for sure that this man would be going places given the fact that he seems to be nothing less than a born actor. It was a good decision on his part to make a move from television to films because TV soaps anyway give very less scope to perform to the male actors. But this move to films on Sushant’s part would not have been worthwhile had he not landed with ‘Kai Po Che’ in his kitty. So, thanks to Abhishek Kapoor for zeroing in on Sushant and giving Bollywood a much needed breath of fresh air and good talent!

Amit Sadh and Raj Kumar Yadav have done their respective parts well. They appear believable, real and someone who the young male audience could relate to. Manav Kaul as Bittu Mama (Omi’s maternal uncle) has put in efforts to give strength to his character of political figure with shades of grey. And even Amrita Puri as Vidya (Ishaan’s sister) has done her job by balancing her part.

Keeping in tune with the Gujarati culture, Amit Trivedi - now also known as Bollywood’s one of the most preferred music directors - has created great music for the film. The numbers have been smartly put in the film without them deterring the pace of the movie. The shoot locations are well-chosen and there has not been a single stone left unturned to capture even the nitty-gritty of the book for the film’s screenplay. That is where the real beauty of ‘Kai Po Che’ lies – in the details!

Post the success of ‘Rock On’, Abhishek Kapoor has reiterated the fact that he can make good films. And on our part, we can’t wait to see Gattu (as he is fondly called) come up with his next celluloid marvel!

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