Rating: 3 stars
Director Anand Kumar is fascinated by the Northern under-belly. After the multi-starrer Zila Ghaziabad, he’s back with the rustic-flavoured Desi Kattey – this time again, he sets the action in the North. Unlike Zila Ghaziabad, a simple narrative about two rival underworld gangs of Ghaziabad, Desi Kattey has a much more inspiring tale to tell. The concept of a criminal turning into a gold-medalist shooting World Champion is noble and Anand’s style of execution is straightforward. Though at times, you do wish it could’ve been somewhat better.
Based in Mungera, a small village in UP’s Kanpur known as a cottage industry for country-made guns, Desi Kattey is about two young kids Pali (Akhil Kapur) and Gyani (Jay Bhanushali). Like other orphan kids of that village, devoid of any support system, they work as laborers in a gun manufacturing factory for survival. Having no exposure to education and an impressionable mind, they get taken up by the fascinating life of Judge Sahab (Ashutosh Rana), a dreaded local criminal.
One day, Pali and Gyani clash with the local goons which results in a massive firing. Major Rathore (Sunil Shetty), national coach of Indian Shooting Association is a part of the crowd that day, an eye witness to Pali and Gyani’s shooting skills. Next, he goads them to get into the shooting camp to represent India at the World Championship. But they refuse. Stars in their eyes, they want to join Judge Sahab.
While working for Judge, Pali and Gyani get arrested for the murder of an ACP. Rathore swings in time to bail them out and offers them a job. On reaching the camp, life takes a paradigm shift for the young men. They adapt themselves quickly into professional shooting. The state-level shooting competition is just a few days away. As luck would have it, the same evening, Pali and Gyani meet Judge who makes them an offer they can’t refuse. Pali decides to go along with Judge while Gyani finds it unethical to betray Rathore. The old friends part ways and the film takes a sharp turn from here – for the better, we must say.
Rathore prepares Gyani for national competitive shooting while Pali becomes the dreaded gangster under the supervision of Judge. The two friends get involved in a bloody face-off. In the course of events, Pali fires a bullet at Gyani’s palm to stop him from playing anymore. The guilt-ridden Pali spends the rest of the film making amends and yearning for redemption.
Desi Kattey scores on most parts of filmmaking, be it dialogue-baazi, screenplay, characterisation and casting. The background music helps, rather than distract, the narrative. Performances-wise, Akhil Kapur – in his first big starring role – shows lot of promise and if he chooses the right scripts, he’s in for a big inning. Acting is in his genes. Curious coincidence: he looks and sounds like cousin Akshaye Khanna. Jay Bhanushali does a good job. Of course, the ones that leave you most impressed are Ashutosh Rana and Sunil Shetty – the old horses who shine through the film.
Out of the seven odd films on offer this week, Desi Kattey is the big one – with a good mix of the old and new.
If you like your entertainment to be action-driven, look no further than this.