Company (2002)


India UK/US DVD edition

India Shemaroo DVD edition

Text below written 2016-03-19


(Text below written after re-watching Company on the Shemaroo DVD)

Well, did i like the film as much when re-watching it 14 years later, after all, i've seen lots and lots of Bollywood film
during this decade and i've witnessed the Bollywood New Wave of filmmaking evolve since then ?

Sure, Company was still great but it didn't feel as refreshing now as then, and that's perfectly natural as the genre has
developed in Bollywood since 2002. You can't forget either that it was RGV who laid the rules to the genre with
Satya in 1998 and updated it with this film in 2002. Company did feel like a more commercial and slicker mainstream
take on his precursor. And Yes, naturally The Mother of them all is Brian De Palma's genre epic Scarface (and can
be seen in i.a. the scene where Chandu refuse to kill the children in the car, directly ripped from Scarface).

Ram Gopal Varma, Ramu's follow up to this epic gangster film Satya was the almost as good Company 4 years later,
but only almost and not as powerful as the grittier precursor. In Company Ramu definitely found his style of expression,
somewhat pompous with many fast cuts and a bombastic thunderous soundtrack with staccato choir voices.
And it worked pretty well .... Then .... and RGV became the hope for the renewal of the Bollywood film, but when
writing this more than a decade later i think (that's my thoughts and maybe not others) that he got so stuck with this style
of his as being almost parody sometimes. Even though his style is very recognizeable, that's for sure..

The film starts with a über cool James Bond-ish kitschy dance number during the titles where then Bollywood queen
(but today forgotten?) Urmila Matondkar makes a sensual guest appearance and tries to lure you with ... Come and
hug me ... and in the 3rd song/dance number we hear the HIT Khallas where the also HOT Isha Koppikar performs
and the song became so popular that she for ever after is called The Khallas Girl.

The Glamorous Isha, Ishaa or Eesha Koppikar/Koppikhar impressed me a lot 9 years later with her performance in
the gritty indie crime flick Shabri, but very unjustly this film passed below the radar. She's great in it

The Khallas Girl as Female revenger (see more on Bollywood 2)

The Story:

Malik (Ajay Devgan) and Chandrakant/Chandu (Vivek Oberoi) are underlings to an elderly Mumbai crime boss and
in this film we get to see how this duo ruthlessly takes over the outfit, The Company and becomes Masters of Mumbai.
Even though a brown-painted Oberoi really is good in this his film debut, I, when re-watching this a decade later have
to re-assess the performances and conclude that it's Ajay Devgan that impresses the most with his toned down and
stringent performance and he really show us how bloody good he can be when he wants it/or bothers.
(But there has been some lazy efforts with Masala Hamming in some films i've seen with him).

My Goddess Manisha Koirala (i'm a follower in the Manisha-Dil Se-Meghna church) has a small role as Malik's
gangster bitch moll Saroja, but she's good, what else, and also Antara Mali is good as Chandu's girlfriend Kanu.
But Mohan Lal's Masala type Super Cop could've been a lot better, he's kinda irritating in a smug way.
On the plus side: Most of the actors are good, the soundtrack rocks, the editing and pace are effective and fast,
there's a bit surprising end and there's a fine chase scene in Nairobi, Kenya.

On the minus side: the melodramatic vibes at the end doesn't work for me because the "duo" don't have any cine-
matographic greatness, they're NOT likeable but just 2 beasts, as in Scarface where Al Pacino's "beast" Tony
Montana has got some filmic Grandeur to him which make you root for him .... Hey, he's Al Pacino after all.
But i'm sure, if this film was re-made today, that an actor like Nawazuddin Siddiqui or Irrfan Khan would have
that Al Pacino Grandeur to them and make us root for the Killer (Siddiqui and Khan, 2 word class actors).

anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 hindi with english subs, song/dance numbers with subs too, and a gigantic nasty
Shemaroo logo messing up the screen in the lower right corner. Also the english subs disappeared 61-72 minute

The CD with the cool soundtrack

CD Original Soundtrack Indian T-Series

1. Khallas 5:08 (Asha Bosle, Sudesh Bhosle & Sapna Awasthi) 2. Tumse Kitna 4:28 (Altaf Raja)
3. Pyaar Pyar Mein 4:48 (Sonalli Vajpaye & Babul Supriyo) 4. Aankhon Mein
5:13 (Sowmya Raoh) 5. Khallas Remix 5:10 (Asha Bosle, Sudesh Bosle & Sapna Awasthi)
6. Ganda Hai 3:45 (Sandeep Chowta) 7. A Shot of Company (The Law and Order
Theme) 4:30 8. Malik's Soul -Instrumental 6:20

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(Text below written after watching Company on the Eros UK/US DVD in 2002)

OK! Forget about the kitsch and the romantic dancing with it's happy bumping. This is an intense and hailed by
critics an audiences alike crime-drama about how the gangster Malik (brilliantly played by Ajay Devgan) and his
buddy Chandu (Vivek Oberoi in a sensational film debut, the Marlon Brando of Bollywood ?) takes over the
Mumbau Gangster world. Already in the start during the titles sequence with Urmila Matondkar's guest performance
in 1 of only 2 dance numbers you understand that this film will be something beyond the usual Bollywood stuff.

The Super cool soundtrack, the acting from Devgan and Oberoi and the slick visual style makes Company the
best Bollywood film of 2002, for me that is, but many Bollywood filmlovers are thinking the same i'm sure.

I do love the romantic Bollywood films with it's beautiful and energetic song/dance numbers, but if there's some
film lovers out there that want to see something else than kitschy (well, many westerners think about these scenes
as kitsch anyway) dance numbers on some swiss alp field, then this film is highly recommended.
anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 hindi with english subs