Kai Po Che (2013) *HQ*

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KAI PO CHE narrates the story of three friends and is based in the city of Ahmedabad. The plot sees a young boy in Ahmedabad named Govind [Rajkumar Yadav] dream of starting a business. To accommodate his friends Ishaan [Sushant Singh Rajput] and Omi’s [Amit Sadh] passion, cricket, they open a cricket goods and training shop.

However, each has a different motive: Govind’s goal is to make money; Ishaan desires to nurture Ali, a gifted batsman; Omi just wants to be with his friends. The events that transpire against the backdrop of all that occurred in the city during that time change the lives of each of the friends in very different ways.

Based on Chetan Bhagat’s The 3 Mistakes of My Life, in his second outing,Abhishek Kapoor raises the bar by giving us a thoroughly enjoyable film that showcases the strong emotions between the three protagonists who are boisterous, ballistic and at times plain bored.

The film captures their trials and tribulations in the post-college, pre-what-career-to-pursue period. They have two passions — cricket and their camaraderie. And two of them (Ishaan and Omi) also have concerned parents who want them to find direction quickly. They find temporary succour when they turn their passion for the sport into a business venture; opening a store selling sports equipment. The rebellious Ishaan (whose raison d’etre is cricket) sobers down a bit as he lands an opportunity to impart cricket coaching to the neighbourhood Muslim boy, Ali.

But the screenplay gathers momentum when tragedy strikes in the form of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the 2002 Godhra riots. Both these calamities expose the chinks in the armour of the friendship between the boys. They also throw open the can of worms that brought to light the tainted Hindu-Muslim hatred, one of the darkest chapters in the history of Gujarat.

There is also a nicely handled romantic track between Amrita Puri (Vidya) and Govind that adds a lovely touch to the proceedings. The performances of the three boys — Sushant Singh Rajput (Ishaan), Raj Kumar Yadav (Govind) and Amit Sadh (Omi) — are the finest one has seen. A special mention for Sushant who has the best role and manages to do full justice to it. Amrita Puri is very likeable. Amit Trivedi’s music is soulful, leaving you mesmerised.

Despite the disturbing backdrop of death, destruction and politics, Kai Po Che is very likeable. Between tears, you find yourself smiling, because it’s the story of friendship and human triumph above all else.

Note: You will not like this movie if slice-of-life films with intense emotions are not your cup of tea.

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