Kaante (Translation: Thorns) is a 2002 Indian Hindi action-thriller film, directed by Sanjay Gupta, written by Milap Zaveri, and starring an ensemble cast including Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Lucky Ali, Mahesh Manjrekar, Kumar Gaurav, Namrata Singh Gujral, Rati Agnihotri, Malaika Arora and Isha Koppikar.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Sanjay Gupta|
|Produced by||Pritish Nandy Communications|
Film Club Limited
|Written by||Milap Zaveri|
|Screenplay by||Sanjay Gupta|
Namrata Singh Gujral
|Music by||Anand Raj Anand|
|Edited by||Bunty Nagi|
White Feather Films,
|Budget||₹300 million ($6 million)|
|Box office||est. ₹430 million ($9 million)|
Kaante was heavily inspired by Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992), as well as the film that inspired Reservoir Dogs, Ringo Lam's City on Fire (1987). According to Tarantino, Kaante is his favorite among the many films that were heavily inspired by his work.
The film was a success at the box office, with first-week earnings of £1.8 million in India, nearly $1 million in the United States, and £268,507 in Britain. The film's final worldwide gross was ₹430 million ($9 million), including ₹331.2 million in India and $2.05 million overseas.
In Los Angeles, six criminals, all of Indian origin, are detained by the Police, and interrogated about stealing a truck full of laptops and its whereabouts. Their deep antipathy towards the police for arresting them without any evidence, just because the witnesses had seen an Indian at the crime scene, grows into a daring plot. Sparked off by "Ajju" (Sanjay Dutt) and seconded by "Major" (Amitabh Bachchan), they all hatch a plan to rob the bank in which lie the fundings for the Los Angeles Police Department. In return, Ajju reveals that he stole the truck and splits the steal with everyone else.
Marc (Suniel Shetty) is a bouncer who hates that his girlfriend has to work as a club-dancer and wants to rescue her from the club owner Cyrus (Gulshan Grover), by paying him the required money. He also has an ongoing spat with Ajju about his girlfriend. Major has a sick wife who he has to look after by supplying her with medicines and injections. Andy (Kumar Gaurav) is a software engineer having divorce and custody troubles, as his wife won't let him meet their child. Bali (Mahesh Manjrekar) and Mak (Lucky Ali) are two drug-peddlers who live off the street selling and buying illicit drugs under a drug lord. They meet when Bali is being chased by some undercover policemen and meets Mak in an alley where he is adjusting something in his car. He agrees to save him only if he splits his loot. They agree to work on this method from that time on.
All six meet on a hotel roof-top where they construct their plan and arrange for arms, ammunition, vehicles and gadgets. They do some reconnaissance around the bank and two days before the robbery, Major surprises everyone by declaring that the robbery will take place the next day.
While the robbery happens as planned, they find a SWAT team waiting for them outside the bank. They are engaged in gunfight and Mak is hit by a bullet while saving Major. They all escape and meet at their hideout. They realise that someone might have informed the police, which could reach their hideout as well. Mak, who was hit, is not allowed to be taken to the hospital, and Major treats his wound with some alcohol. They all have verbal scuffles after which, Ajju, reveals that he has kidnapped the Police Chief. They interrogate him and learn that one of them is an undercover cop. This strikes terror among them and they decide to bring the stolen amount to their hideout. Major finds out that his wife has died. Ajju befriends Marc and tells him to elope with his girlfriend. When they return, they find Bali dead, killed by Mak for being inhuman in his interrogation of the Police Chief. Ajju reasons that Mak is the undercover cop, but Major disagrees because he believes Mak saved him during the gunfight at the bank. They all arrive at a Mexican stand-off, with Andy as the viewer. He retreats and runs away with the money. They all shoot at each other, after which Major apologizes to Mak for not saving him. In reply, Mak apologizes saying he was just doing his duty. Major realises his mistake and shoots the already dying Mak in the head. Marc's girlfriend is shown waiting for him at the airport and Andy is shown at the end driving off the highway pursued by a Police helicopter, leaving the end to the discretion of audience followed by ending credits.
- Sanjay Dutt as Ajju
- Amitabh Bachchan as Major
- Suniel Shetty as Marc
- Mahesh Manjrekar as Bali
- Kumar Gaurav as Andy
- Lucky Ali as Mak
- Malaika Arora as Lisa
- Ranjit Chowdhry as McQuarrie's Partner
- Sanjay Sippy as Mr. Adler
- Rati Agnihotri as Major's Wife
- Gulshan Grover as Cyrus
- Jeff Davis as Det. McQuarrie
- Isha Koppikar in a Special Appearance in song, "Ishq Samundar"
- Rohit Roy in a Special Appearance in song, "Ishq Samundar"
The film was to star Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Kumar Gaurav, Shilpa Shetty and Lisa Ray initially. Akshaye Khanna opted out of the project subsequently and was replaced by Lucky Ali, while Malaika Arora stepped in Lisa Ray's shoes and Namrata Singh Gujral was cast opposite Kumar Gaurav in lieu of Shilpa Shetty.
The character of Renu Mathur (played by Namrata Singh Gujral) was the only role cast in Hollywood from the entire principal cast. All other principals including Amitabh Bachchan were flown in from Mumbai for the Hollywood shoot. Sunny Deol was offered Kumar Gaurav's role at one point.
The film was the first Bollywood film to be completely shot in Los Angeles. The film's production team used Hollywood technicians. The filming was completed in 31 days. Rohit Roy (from Shootout at Lokhandwala and a popular television actor) makes an appearance in the song "Ishq Samandar".
Kaante holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that rates films based on published reviews by critics, averaging a score of 6.4 out of 10 from 6 reviews. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film three and a half stars out of five and stated, "Kaante takes a step forward in terms of content and technique. An apt example of progressive cinema that breaks the shackles of stereotype, the film has everything to woo the cinegoer: an impressive cast, grandiose look, an excellent second half, well executed stunts, popular music and eroticism in plenty". Prem Panicker of Rediff criticized the film saying "A more taut script, a little less of indulgence in directing, a tad more ruthlessness in editing, and this film could have pulled off a badly needed box office heist." A reviewer at Sify awarded the film three and a half stars out of five and wrote, "A film far ahead of its time in terms of execution, Kaante is a visual delight. And combined with good performances and superb action, it's a must-see this season."
Derek Elley of Variety praised the direction and performances of the lead cast saying, "From the protags’ initial meeting, heavy on closeups, Gupta directs the film primarily as a character piece, with Bachchan, Dutt and semi-comic relief Manjrekar driving the drama with richly characterized roles. Shetty, a tightly wound actor at the best of times, strikes few sparks as the nightclub bouncer, and his scenes with Arora as the chanteuse are flat." Dave Kehr of The New York Times reviewed the film writing, "A delirious Bollywood reimagining of Reservoir Dogs, complete with musical numbers, Sanjay Gupta's Kaante shifts as fluidly between cinematic idioms as it does between Hindi and English." Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times said, "there is a steadfast earnestness in director Sanjay Gupta's deluded attempt to equal or even better Hollywood on its own ground that is rather touching -- but not to the degree that it sustains the film's many tedious stretches."
Quentin Tarantino cited Kaante as his favourite among the many films that were heavily inspired by his work. He praised the film's character-building for going beyond what he was able to do with Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino stated: "Here I am, watching a film that I've directed and then it goes into each character's background. And I'm like, 'Whoa'. For, I always write backgrounds and stuff and it always gets chopped off during the edit. And so I was amazed on seeing this. I felt, this isn't Reservoir Dogs. But then it goes into the warehouse scene and I am like, 'Wow, it's back to Reservoir Dogs'. Isn't it amazing!" He also praised Amitabh Bachchan's performance. Tarantino later screened Kaante at his New Beverly Cinema alongside Reservoir Dogs and City on Fire.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
The music is composed by Anand Raj Anand, Vishal-Shekhar and Lucky Ali. Lyrics are penned by Dev Kohli and Vishal Dadlani. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, with around 18,00,000 units sold, this film's soundtrack addalbum was the year's fourth highest-selling. Tracks like 'Maahi ve' and 'Rama re' are still popular.
|1.||"Baby Baby"||Anand Raj Anand||Sunidhi Chauhan|
|2.||"Chhod Na Re"||Vishal-Shekhar||Udit Narayan, Sanjay Dutt, Sudesh Bhosle, Mahesh Manjrekar|
|3.||"Dil Kya Kare"||Anand Raj Anand||Kumar Sanu & Kavita Krishnamurthy|
|4.||"Ishq Samundar"||Anand Raj Anand||Sunidhi Chauhan, Anand Raj Anand|
|5.||"Maahi Ve"||Anand Raj Anand||Zubeen Garg, Sukhwinder Singh, Richa Sharma|
|6.||"Maut"||Lucky Ali||Lucky Ali|
|7.||"Rama Re"||Anand Raj Anand||Sanjay Dutt, Shaan, Zubeen Garg, Anand Raj Anand, Sudesh Bhosle|
|8.||"Socha Nahin Tha"||Anand Raj Anand||Shaan|
|9.||"Yaar Maangiyasi"||Anand Raj Anand||Sonu Nigam|
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