May 24, 2014

Review: Kai po che! (2013)

Kai po che! which means "I've have cut the kite" refers to Makar Sankranti, a Hindu festival celebrating the harvest. Participants fly colourful kites with strings designed to cut other kites down from the skies. Its depiction in Kai po che! is but a single part of the friendship depicted between its three main characters.

Like Kahaani which I watched recently, Kai po che! is not your typical Bollywood movie full of songs and dancing. I kept waiting for such a scene to pop up but the closest I got was a short dancing scene between Govind and his love interest. A song-dance routine can be nice from time to time but these routines in Bollywood cinema usually just ignore the story and bloat the film. I can't say that Kai po che! is innocent of being bloated though because it relies too heavily on long montages to develop the story.


Genre: drama, sport
Directed by: Abhishek Kapoor
Produced by: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ronnie Screwvala, Ajay Rai, etc.
Written by: Abhishek Kapoor, Supratik Sen, Chetan Bhagat, etc.
Music by: Amit Trivedi
Running time: 127 minutes
Production company: UTV Motion Pictures
Distributed by: MVP Entertainment, UTV Motion Pictures, Video Palace House of Distribution
Country: India
Language: Hindi
Budget: $4,900,000
Box office: $10,000,000 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh, Rajkummar Rao, Amrita Puri, Digvijay Deshmukh, Asif Basra, Chitranjan Thakur, Manav Kaul, Bakul Syal, Rohit Bhatnagar, Manish Chawla, Ishaan  



The film is about three friends and their attempts at running their own sports business. Ishaan, Omkar and Govind are able to get their hands on a small retail location on the grounds of a temple to open a sports equipment and training store. They are only able to do this by getting money from Omkar's uncle Bittoo with strings attached. Ishaan becomes obsessed with training a talented boy he discovered to be the best cricket player he can be, Govind gets involved with the younger sister of Ishaan and Omkar is sucked deeper into his uncle's service.


Yes, there's a lot going on in Kai po che! but it's easy to follow. There is an over-reliance on using montages as I said to get through moments of difficulty which kind of discredits these moments as actually being difficult at all. This is only really for the early crises and I can't help but say that these moments are still enjoyable all the same. This is all due to the infectious acting from the three main actors who make their friendship totally believable. These guys look like they've known each other their whole lives and it's because of them Kai po che! works.

For a sport movie though, there isn't very much time dedicated to actually showing matches. The almighty montage takes that away and it's too bad. The cricket matches turn out unexciting as a result when they could have and should have been more.

The reason for this is the large focus on political/religious issues that ignite over the course of the film. The story gets really really heavy and this presents a test for the friendships of Ishaan, Omkar and Govind. There is maybe a slight descent into melodrama at this point but Kai po che! still manages to be entertaining.

Cinematography is pretty, camera movements are sure and well structured and it looks like Abhishek Kapoor knows what he's doing as a director. Kai po che! at times looks like a music video in how its edited but it makes for an interesting style if you ask me. The score is pretty solid and hits the right notes at the right time without excessively taking over.

Kai po che! is an honest film that rides the backs of its main actors. If it didn't have Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh, Kai po che! would just be an alright, montagy melodrama. It gets away from that and tells an entertaining story with nice visuals to boot. One thing's for sure, I've been lucky with my recent Bollywood forays.



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