Kai Po Che, a film about cricket, love and politics set against a backdrop of sectarian violence and an earthquake, bowled over the crowd at last week’s Berlin Film Festival.
The film induced cheers and tears from a packed cinema on Thursday as it screened ahead of its worldwide release this week. Based on the best-selling Chetan Bhagat book The Three Mistakes of My Life, the film follows three young men as they set up a sport shop and cricket coaching academy. The film’s director Abhishek Kapoor said he wanted to shy away from the traditional Bollywood formula.
“I don’t think it’s a Bollywood film, it’s an Indian film,” said Kapoor.
He says he hoped the film’s format, which includes TV footage from the historic 2001 India-Australia test series and features a cameo by the Indian cricket star Ajay Jadeja, would appeal to a wider audience.
“The world over, people are interested in Indian film. But somehow Bollywood films don’t connect with people,” he said.
While the film touches on political and religious issues, ultimately it is about the bond between the leads.
“This is what India is about: cricket, politics, religion and movies. But actually this film is about friendship,” said Kapoor. “I think it is a very important story for India.”
Kai Po Che, produced by UTV Motion Pictures, releases in the UK and Worldwide on 22nd February 2012.