How deft storytelling and technique can overcome a simplistic story
A soaring kite
If it’s a Hindi film about youth, it is usually about city-centric aspirations. Eye damage is not ruled out, with candyfloss visuals of fashion-suffused college campuses blasting every frame. In his new film Kai Po Che, Abhishek Kapoor, who made Rock On!! in 2008, moves far away from that formula.
Kapoor turns Chetan Bhagat’s best-seller, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, about three small-town men who have reached adulthood without having quite grown up, into a mature life-cycle drama. The three men have limited means, but they dream big. They are progressive in mind, but are trapped in their situations. Refreshingly, Kapoor convinces us their lives can make drama as engaging as that of well-dressed city animals.
It is a simplistic story, naive even, in trying to tackle some big questions. How does a Hindutva-espousing political party get young recruits, and then turn them into zealots? Can a college graduate be entirely oblivious to the implications of the social perceptions and political forces around him? Can cricket really be the cure to all our differences? The film skims over these questions. But it triumphs over the shallow story with well-executed cinematic detail.