"Corporate" â€“ Black and White with shades of greyâ€¦
"Corporate" is yet another hard hitting film (after "Page 3" and "Satta") from Madhur Bhandarkar that exposes you to the facts and figures that are generated in typically closed boardrooms of corporate houses and their nexus with the Government of India. Madhur Bhandarkar has done fair justice to an extent to a very technical and difficult subject. "Corporate" though, is still a bit far from being a perfect product. As it is, realistic cinema is meant for the classes and multiplex audience, and making a film on such a subject has further reduced its exposure, making it an even riskier venture. The story revolves around the clash between 2 business houses, the Sehgal group of Companies & Marwah Group of Industries. The Sehgal group is headed by Vinay Sehgal (Rajat Kapoor), which belongs to the modern generation of professional entrepreneurs; whereas the Marwah group is headed by Dharmesh Marwah (Raj Babbar), which belongs to the old family style of business operations. The first half of the movie tackles the role of the politicians in awarding foreign institutional tie-ups and disinvestment tenders involving these above mentioned business houses along with a few in the foray. These catfights really expose the levels to which these blue collared, so called professionals can stoop down to under the pretext of business, profits and growth. Ethics have no value and backstabbing is the rule of the game, all in the name of business and hunger for position, status and money.
Vinat Sehgal has a group of managers that comprise of Harsh Chayya, Nishigandha (Bipasha Basu), and Ritesh, his brother-in-law who is also romantically involved with Nishiganda. Bipasha has got the role of her lifetime where she portrays a strong, independent businesswoman who has no qualms taking advantage of her sexuality to con the CEO of the Marwah group. The diversity in Bipasha's character goes to portray that behind an uncompromising, unethical, ruthless corporate businesswoman also breathes a heart that is blindfolded and vulnerable.
Madhur Bhandharkar has tried to touch upon many issues like the rigging of awards, sexual exploitation, Bollywood's nexus with corporate houses, infidelity among CEOs and highly placed executives, motives behind NGO funding, the role of media, the importance of astrology and godmen, and the role of IPO's and share brokers. After bundling all these issues in just a 2.5 hours long movie, he manages to develop only a few of them, having to spare time for songs as well.
With a subject that could have done without songs, they were probably included only to make the film more commercially viable. "Corporate" has a heavy hangover of Madhur Bhandarkar's previous cracker "Page 3", right from the music, to peon/driver gossips, and style of presentation. The hangover is all the more surprising since it comes from a director who claims to be experimental and innovative. There is good continuity in the movie the screenplay is well placed. Bipasha Basu proves that she is an actress one can bank upon. Madhur Bhandharkar has done a great job in casting his characters. Rajat Kapoor is fantastic and his natural personality does half the job, making it simple enough for him to get into the skin of the character. Both Raj Babbar and Harsh Chayya have done a good job. Vinay Apte as the corrupt minister, a new face in Bollywood, is gifted for such roles. Minissha Lambha and Sameer Dattani don't have much scope, while Payal Rohatgi's dance is poorly choreographed. Kay Kay Menon has yet again proven that he can carry such roles effortlessly.
Overall, this movie is worth a view only if you have a penchant for some serious cinema. Chandni Bar and Page 3 had the glamour quotient to attract the hoi polloi but Corporate is black and white with shades of grey.