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Movie Review: Kai Po Che (Hindi) 167

Chetan Bhagat should be one happy man! This is the third of his books to make it to the big screen, after 'One Night @ the Call Center' turned into 'Hello' and 'Five Point Someone' lit the screens as '3 idiots'. This time it is 'The 3 Mistakes of My Life'.

The film begins in the present day setting where Govind Patel (Raj Kumar Yadav) makes a slick presentation on his academy 'Sabarmati Sports'. He then picks up Omi Shastri (Amit Sadh) from a prison and they drive towards a stadium. On the way, the film cuts back to 10 years in the past, to a story of three friends, the third one being cricket freak and otherwise lazy Ishaan Bhatt (Sushant Singh Rajput).

The trio, who are otherwise not gainfully employed full-time, start off a business. While Govind is the more calculative businessman, Omi brings in the bucks by way of support from a doting uncle Bittu Mama who is a local politician and is keen to see Omi joining the party. Ishaan is the emotionally driven one and coaches cricket, something he loves most and from his experience as a district level player.

The business takes wings quickly and they are about to expand too. In the meantime, Ishaan has identified a local talent Ali, a shy boy and the son of Omi's uncle's political rival. And with Govind teaching Maths to Ishaan's sister Vidya (Amrita Puri), sparks fly between them and a new romance develops, unbeknownst to Ishaan. Suddenly, things are set to change when an earthquake strikes and riots happen!

'Kai Po Che' which stands for a cry when a rival's kite is cut in a kite festival, has a very earthly charm with realistic characters. In a way, not having star power for its lead actors works well in the film's favor allowing the script to prevail. While its lead actors and especially Raj Kumar Yadav & Sushant Singh Rajput do well, probably the most powerful performance comes from Manav Kaul as Bittu Mama.

Edited with precision mostly seen in Hollywood, 'Kai Po Che' has a runtime of hardly over two hours and manages to capture a whole gamut of events, transformation of characters and still managing to leave an overwhelmingly heavy feeling in the end. Nowhere is time lost for songs as Amit Trivedi's soundtracks blend into the setting and the story. The song 'Manjha' is already popular and works as its soul.

Real life events, the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the 2002 riots that happened in the aftermath of the inhuman burning of pilgrims at Godhra where one of the key characters is shown to have lost his family in the fateful coach that was burnt. In what could be described as controversial, the film takes the liberty to portray one religious community as an aggressor and the other, mostly as a victim, thus playing it safe.

To sum up, 'Kai Po Che' is definitely recommended, irrespective of whether you watch it with friends or family. Let the hype around the movie not raise your expectations beyond what the movie can deliver. All that it has to offer is a drama that dwells on the lives of three friends and some events that seem to change their lives forever.

Rating 7/10: Must watch for a well told story and great editing
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