Kai Po Che’s Bromantic Trio Work Out All the Bollywood Trappings


Named for a Gujarati kite-competition cheer and based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel “The 3 Mistakes of My Life,” director Abhishek Kapoor’s glossy, innocuous drama Kai Po Che has all the Bollywood trappings: expensively lit Scope cinematography, a mild disposition and wall-to-wall musical fizz, though relatively no dancing, and not a single wet sari in sight. The story: Just after the turn of this century, in the northwestern Indian city of Ahmedabad, a bromantic trio of young cricket devotees ambitiously strives to build a sports shop/academy for kids. Govind (Raj Kumar Yadav) is the skittish, penny-pinching pushover who becomes romantically distracted by the younger sister of impulsive hothead Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput), a former high-school cricketing ace whose own allegiance to his friends deteriorates in his blindly optimistic nurturing of a Muslim kid prodigy. Omi (Amit Sadh) funds the enterprise by borrowing from his religious politico uncle, yielding severe consequences when he’s forced to give up his passions to play an uncomfortably public role in the family business. In the nearly two hours before the climax—when the real-life Hindu reprisals add savagery and tragedy—the dramatic stakes are so puny that every obstacle can be overcome with a simple work-it-out montage, a cheap device prevalent enough in this movie to start a drinking game.

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