Kai Po Che! (English:I have cut) is a 2013 Indian Hindi-language buddy drama film directed by Abhishek Kapoor and produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur, based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2008 novel The 3 Mistakes of My Life, with music by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Swanand Kirkire. Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao and Amit Sadh star as the three main protagonists while Amrita Puri plays the female lead. The film title Kai Po Che! is originally a Gujarati phrase that means “I have cut” which refers to Makar Sankranti (known as Uttarayan in Gujarat) where one of the competitors uses his kite to cut off another competitors’ kite and yells “Kai Po Che!”
Set in Ahmedabad in the early 2000s, the story revolves around three friends, Ishaan, (Sushant Singh), Omi (Amit Sadh) and Govind (Rajkummar Rao), who want to start their own sports shop and sports academy; the film also revolves around the 2001 Gujarat earthquake , 2002 Godhra train burning and the 2002 Gujarat Riots .The film tracks their deep friendship, and innocence tarnished by religious politics and communal hatred. Kai Po Che! had a world premiere at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival on 13 February 2013 where it was the first ever Indian film to feature in the World Panorama section.
Made on a budget of ₹300 million (US$4.2 million), Kai Po Che! was released worldwide on 22 February 2013 and met with acclaim from Indian reviewers, but mixed reviews internationally, with praise for the direction of Kapoor and the performances of Rao, Sadh, and Rajput. The film grossed ₹830 million (US$12 million) worldwide, becoming a critical as well as commercial success.
Kai Po Che! received six nominations at the 59th Filmfare Awards, including Best Director for Kapoor, Best Supporting Actor for Rao, Best Male Debut for Rajput, and Best Story. The film won two awards, including Best Screenplay for Kapoor and Best Background Score for Hitesh Sonik.
The film begins with Govind “Govi” Patel (Rajkumar Rao) in 2010 giving a presentation in a school about the services provided by his sports club. In a parallel scene, Omkar “Omi” Shastri (Amit Sadh) is released from prison. While halting at a restaurant mid-way, Govind and Omi recall their days back to the year 2000 with the life of their friend Ishaan.
10 years ago
In 2000, Ishaan “Ish” Bhatt (Sushant Singh Rajput) is an ex-district level cricketer who is a victim of politics in the cricketing selection fraternity, Omi is the nephew of a Hindu politician, Bittu, who funds his father’s temple and Govind is a geek with a penchant for business and numbers. Together they open a sports shop and an academy to train and promote talented budding cricketers. After toiling hard, they succeed in establishing it as a center for cricket among the local youth and start to incur profits.
Ishaan requests Govind to teach his sister Vidya “V” Bhatt (Amrita Puri) mathematics as her exams are coming up. Govind is reluctant at first but agrees eventually. Vidya and Govind gradually fall in love with each other. Omi discovers the same and warns Govind of the consequences, as Ishaan is very protective of his sister.
The three friends spot a budding cricketing talent in a local boy, Ali Hashmi (Digvijay Deshmukh), who has a rare talent, and Ishaan starts training him vigorously. Govind is ambitious and wants to expand the budding business by opening a shop in a mall being constructed in Navrangpura, an upcoming part of the city. With financial help coming from Omi’s maternal uncle, Bishakh “Bittu” Joshi (Manav Kaul), the trio secure the deal and set up shop in the mall. On 26 January 2001 , disaster strikes when a destructive earthquake hits Gujarat and the mall is destroyed. Govind is shattered as the amount of money they invested was very large and they are now loaded with a huge debt. Omi is reluctantly forced to work for Bittu’s right-wing party due to the money they owe him.
When relief camps of Bittu’s party declines to give Muslims shelter in troubled times, Ishaan and Omi quarrel over their politico-religious outlook and temporarily break off their friendship. They again reunite after India’s surprise win in the test match against Australia on 15 March 2001. Omi gets busy with religious politics and joins Bittu’s party. Ishaan and Govind, meanwhile, are busy with Ali and Vidya respectively. Tension arises in the political sphere when Bittu loses the elections in his constituency to his opponent. As a part of their campaigning, in 2002, Bittu sends pilgrims (kar sevaks) to Ayodhya to the Ram Temple. Omi’s parents were also among them. On the returning day, 27 February 2002, the shocking news of the Godhra train massacre reaches the people. Omi is shattered but Bittu convinces him to take revenge on the murderers of his parents.
Ishaan and Govind hide in Ali’s house, fearing the communal riots which were about to start. As expected, the violence starts by sunset, and the mob led by Bittu storms into the Muslim locality, killing each and every Muslim in sight. A fight ensues between Ali’s father Nasir (Asif Basra) and Bittu. Nasir stabs Bittu in defense and rushes to save Ali and take shelter in their attic. Omi, enraged at the death of his uncle Bittu, follows him with a gun. Meanwhile, Ishaan comes to know about Vidya and Govind’s relationship, when he reads Vidya’s text message in Govind’s mobile phone about her periods. Enraged, he starts thrashing Govind while Omi enters the premises with a gun in hand, desperate to find and kill Ali and Nasir. Ishaan and Govind break their own fighting and try to stop Omi as he desperately searches for Ali and Nasir. Omi finally aims and shoots at Ali. Ishaan in a bid to save Ali takes the bullet himself and consequently dies, leaving both his friends, father and Vidya devastated.
The film then goes back to where it started, with Omi being released from prison 8 years later. Govind and Vidya are married and have a son, whom they have named Ishaan after their late friend. Vidya forgives Omi when he breaks down in front of her. The film ends with a now grown up Ali (Tahir Raj Bhasin) debuting for the Indian cricket team against Australia. He plays his first shot by hitting the ball to the boundary with a cover drive just like Ishaan had taught him. Ishaan’s spirit smiles at Ali’s achievement, and fades away smiling.
Sushant Singh Rajput as Ishaan “Ish” Bhatt.
Amit Sadh as Omkar “Omi” Shastri
Rajkummar Rao as Govind “Govi” Patel
Amrita Puri as Vidya Bhatt
Digvijay Deshmukh as Young Ali
Asif Basra as Nasir Hashmi, Ali’s father
Manav Kaul as Bishakh “Bittu” Joshi, Omi’s uncle
Tahir Raj Bhasin as Ali (Special Appearance)
Ishaan Bhagat as Ishaan Patel in a special appearance
Dinesh Kumar as John
Ashish Kakkad as Vishwas
Ajay Jadeja in a cameo appearance as cricket commentator
Gaurav Kapur in a cameo appearance as cricket commentator