Sitting alone in a cavernous theatre, feeling a lot like the sole survivor of the apocalypse; questioning why I fervently hope to ignite the Western audience to the Bollywood genre; possibly, it is time to give up the battle that has not even brushed the pyrrhic stage.
“Kai Po Che” (A reference to kite flying; a winner “cuts” the string of an opponent’s kite), takes place in Ahmedabad, India, a kite flying capital of the world; the film is a metaphor for life, its vicissitudes, destruction of dreams, friendship. Three young men in 2001 actualize their vision of starting a training school for future cricketers; an addictive sport throughout the commonwealth and a prevalent theme in Bollywood movies (“Laagan” 2001 being the most explanatory).
This is a fine film for neophytes; devoid of the sickening silliness, pervasive in traditional Bollywood fare; a love affair of genuine proportions and complexities; devastating consequences of the catastrophic Gujarat earthquake in 2001; Hindu/Muslim riots in 2002, resulting in massive carnage and loss of life. But the heart of the film pulsates with the lives/ issues of complex, talented, aspiring, idealistic men; young men coming to terms with the “sticky wickets” perpetually blocking their achievements; roadblocks of monumental proportions to surmount or crumble beneath; lacking obsequious platitudes, “Kai Po Che”, embraces reality and scores a winning goal!
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!