When you make a movie about friends, you add a lot of moments to it. Abhishek Kapoor’s earlier production Rock On! had them. It was a well-constructed plot discussing each character sincerely and completely before even getting all of them together in one screen. Let’s excuse Aryan, his 2006 inept blow job. But his recent Kai Po Che, which according to several other reviewers is 2013’s best film, an ode to true friendship or even a well-crafted mass entertainer.
For me, it’s none of the above.
First, the beginning is vague. It’s even boring.
Secondly, be it Dil Chahta Hai, Three Idiots or the Indian version of Hangover, for Indian directors, the three-friends-recipe has become gastronomically fashionable. In Kai Po Che! as well, no surprises, there are three friends, Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav), Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Omi (Amit Sadh). Their stories are shot in the backdrop of a city like Ahmedabad, a city where the chinfest of cricket, politics and business run hand-in-hand. It’s easy to create a tale about three friends embroiled in this milieu. The familiarity of the history of Gujarat creates a flavor but does not leave a remarkable after-taste.
But what makes the plot’s slightly delectable is its itsy-bitsy Gujarati sweetness, in parts, its actors and beautiful locations and music.
The actors’ use of the local language adds to the local seasoning and a tang of blasphemous humor. Their inexperience in the reel world hardly shows. Performances by Raj Kumar Yadav and Amrita Puri (Vidya), Ishaan’s sister in the movie adaptation are note-worthy. Sushant Singh Rajput probably needs to work a bit more on his diction. He still mumbles, much like in his Pavitra Rishta days. In every frame, the beauty of places such as Porbandar, Sabarmati, Vadnagar and Diu is well-defined, elaborate and exquisite. Amit Trivedi’s Manja and Meethi Boliyan yet again do not fail to impress.
What fails to impress is the sheer absence of those moments.
Written by Shubhra Rishi.