Company (2002)


Company (2002)
Cast: Ajay Devgan, Manisha Koirala, Vivek Oberoi
Director: Ram Gopal Verma
Music Director: Sandeep Chowta
Nutshell: “based on fact” thriller is a top notch expose of the underworld – thrilling!


Ram Gopal Verma treads familiar territory again with Company, a film based on the underworld. But whereas Satya had an earthy feel to it, dealing more with the common man sucked into this vortex of crime, Company deals with the upper level or ostensibly so. Malik bhai (Ajay Devgun) is the lynch pin of Aslam Bhai’s gang. Aslam Bhai, old and decrepit yet commanding respect, leans heavily on Malik who with time assumes control of his nefarious activities. He takes on Chandu (Vivek Oberoi) as he begins to expand and finds in him, a rather gauche but hardened lieutenant. The commissioner of Police Srinivasan (Mohanlal), transferred from the ISP to deal with the worsening crime situation in Mumbai, strives to find evidence which will lead to the arrest of Malik and his gang. Through a leak in the corrupt police force, Malik and Chandu escape to Hing Kong with their respective ladies (Manisha and Antara Mali) in tow. But business does not stop, in fact with the help of the most powerful toy today, mobile phones, the duo are able to carry on thier business almost as usual.

Malik is a man who is devoid of emotion when it comes to business. Business is business and nothing should impede this. However, Chandu, instructed to kill a minister, calls off the hit when he finds that his two young children are also with him. Furious, Malik confirms the hit and Chandu is brought to task for his taking the decision to call off the “supari”. Chandu and Malik part company and in a frenzied state of confusion, Malik’s right hand man Pandit (Akash Khurana) is killed by Chandu. Hence starts the war between the two vowing to decimate the other.

Ram Gopal Verma’s film is an electrifying expose of the underworld, set against a pulsating soundtrack flashing images of extortion and murder, fear and savagery. The pace is relentless and the tragedy of everyday life mirrored in the corruption that seethes at layer of society. The underlying feeling is one of shock and extreme sadness as the tale unfolds to its explosive and unexpected finale.

Devgun underplays his role and given that his is the less showy of the roles, he gives what must be one of his career best performances. Manisha as his moll has a small role but fits the character, giving it a dignity and warmth without the cliches that surround roles for women. Vivek Oberoi makes an explosive debut with tremendous screen presence and a complete natural before the character. He lives the role of Chandu and gives a brilliant performance. Antara Mali in a brief role is also excellent. Sandeep Chowta’s music fits the scene perfectly. This is a mesmerising film, better than anything on view at the moment.