The sky is adorned with countless stars but, not of all them twinkle. At a personal level I feel, most of them are just to fill up the bare sky. But there comes a time in a year, when there comes a radiant planet shining bright amidst the sombre stars and leaves the masses and spectators in awe by its flamboyance. In an era where Bollywood prefers just urban locations of Delhi and Mumbai and many a times New York – London lush streets, Gollywood (The Gujarati Film Industry) torments the audience with dull rural locations. Location wouldn’t have been that big issue, if there was something else to compensate. But Gollywood so far has disappointed the audiences in all arenas, showing a cult male lead with a bulgy belly clad in ‘Kediya’ and the female in ‘Chaniya Choli’ regardless of the story or message of the film.
The time moved but Gollywood didn’t. In Bollywood, Basanti, Mala, Rupa etc. later turned to Basil, Malaika and Ronny respectively but Gollywood’s Radha just remained Radha irking the spectator’s senses in most of the Gujju film titles like “Radha Tara Vina Mane Gamtu Nathi” or “Radha odhi Main chundadi Tara Naam ni”. But suddenly there descends a totally unconventional path breaking Gujju flick titled “Kevi Rite Jaish” on the box office, just like a radiant planet amongst several somber stars in the sky of Gollywood.
I believe, Kevi Rite Jaish – an epoch making Gujarati film which has just arrived at the Cinema halls has raised the bar of Gujarati Cinema to a billion folds in all aspects – be it the coherent way of telling a brilliantly scripted story, be it the flawless cinematography captured over the horizon of urban Ahmedabad or be it the rejuvenating music (which again is completely different from those in old Gujju films, yet preserving the “Gujarati Asmita”). Not just these technical aspects of film making, but the elegant performances delivered with an aplomb by a well-maneuvered blend of veteran and new faces just can’t keep the audiences refrained from going gaga over the film.
Coming to the performances of the actors, they’ve been almost flawless. Everyone in the frame contributed to the plot as much as the leads did. Veterans like Rakesh Bedi, Tom Alter, Anang Desai, and Kenneth Desai deliver performance as high as expected by the audiences who have seen them over the years. Freshers too don’t disappoint at all. Divyang Thakkar, the male lead is brilliantly juxtaposed in Harish Patel’s character. He looks a typical Amdvadi Patel youth who’s too much into US stuff, ofcourse just due to his father. The expression he hurls towards the camera when he’s stumped seeing the NRI girl heralds the audience about his mystic performance which follows in the film ahead. Veronica Gautam as Ayushi Patel is not at all bad. She’s looks cute and delivers her part as given by the director. Even the supporting casts which play Harish’s friends have given their best and just add to the bonding developed between the white screen and the pushback chairs.
It will be really unfair if I end hurling these praises to “Kevi Rite Jaish” without mentioning about the music. All the tracks in the film are well composed and sung equally well but the ones which shine out are “Aa Safar” (sung by Parthiv Gohel and Aishwarya Majmudar) and the modified rock version of “Pankhida” (the famous Gujarati garba transfigured to a US-maniac’s version).
“Unconventional” is the apt epithet for “Kevi Rite Jaish” is what I feel. The reason being, director Abhishek Jain and story writer Anish Shah have kept the film totally devoid of cinematic clichés. In most of the Bollywood films where the hero majestically enters the frame on a stylish high cc bike, the lead in Kevi Rite Jaish crusades on the Amdavadi streets on a simple “Honda Activa” with the female lead sitting behind as much satiated as she would have been on a bike.
Another adjective which I think is appropriate to confer upon “Kevi Rite Jaish” is – COMPLETE. The film is an absolutely complete package of entertainment for audiences of all age groups. (YES! All age groups. I saw the film @ Cinepolis, Alpha One Mall, and the auditorium had kids, youths, mid-aged as well as SENIOR CITIZENS too in balanced numbers). The film is well composed with all elements of good cinema like – COMEDY, ROMANCE, EMOTIONS, and FAMILY DRAMA etc. And the credit for this goes to the director for carrying all these tastes along with the main agenda of the film which is “getting visa for US”. The hero romances with the heroine but again there has to be “US jau che” in that, small disputes in family but again revolving around “US jau che” and comedy ofcourse pertaining to “US jau che”. Not for a moment the film has disorientated from its subject and the director and the screenplay writer have to be lauded for this.
Lastly, if you’ve read the title of the article carefully, I’ve titled it as “Kevi Rite Jaish: A Gujarati and a Gujarati’s film”. Well a Gujarati film because of the dialogues being delivered in Gujarati, but a Gujarati’s film because of the way the film seamlessly bonds with every Gujarati seeing it. Had the director just wanted to make a film in Gujarati language, he would have chosen a city like Mumbai also where most of the films are shot and then narrate a story about a Patel there. But no, as I mentioned earlier, the cast of Kevi Rite Jaish has kept the film totally devoid of conventions. There was an unwritten rule in Indian cinema that a hero can take the heroine on a stride just to a “Khau Gali” in Mumbai or a “Chandni Chawk” in Delhi. But Kevi Rite Jaish has defied all these conventions in a magnificent manner. Director Abhishek Jain chooses Ahmedabad’s famous eating junction – “Manek Chawk” and leaves audience in a pleasant awe. Mention of staple Gujarati dishes like Khakhra-Thepla, just strengthens the connection which the film establishes with the audience just in a few minutes after its commencement.
The dialogues have been written with utter sensitivity with a tinge of wit which just strike point blank at the Gujju hearts. There are dialogues in Amdavadi slang which are well aimed at Gujarati youths. For instance, when Harish (the male lead) gets a call from his girlfriend his friends start teasing him and try to hamper the phone conversation, immediately then a frustrated Harish in response says, “Haa, aao, badha mali ne lai lo maari”. And needless to cite the youths in the theatre whistled like uncultured goons at this. But not their fault, as the dialogue writer’s arrow had hit the right target. We’ve heard a lot of mundane dialogues in Hindi cinema which a hero uses to express his love for his mother, but again the director hits a master-stroke by involving the gujju weakness – FOOD in the most emotional dialogue. For instance, in the end when Harish (the male lead) finds his mother at the airport and wants to tell her the reason for not boarding the flight to US, he says “Mummy tara khakhra ane Thepla na bhaar j etlo hato ke, eni saathe hu America kevi rite jai shaku”. I remember, at this amazing dialogue the audience in the theatre had three simultaneous reactions – their eyes wet, a smile of emotional joy and finally a hearty applaud.
To all those would want to now ask me about how much would I like to rate the film on 5; I would brazenly decline to do the honors, for I believe “Kevi Rite Jaish” is an unparalleled Gujarati ecstasy which is meant to be just savored and not rated boss!
P.S. An appeal to all brethren who even know Gujarati (and of course my fellow Amdavadis), this is a MUST-WATCH. If you miss it, you miss one of the best contemporaries ever made in not just Gujarati but Indian cinema!
Love & Regards,