|Directed by||Ram Gopal Varma|
|Produced by||Ram Gopal Varma|
C. Ashwini Dutt
|Written by||Jaideep Sahni|
|Narrated by||Makrand Deshpande|
|Music by||Sandeep Chowta|
|Edited by||Chandan Arora|
|Budget||INR 7 crore|
|Box office||INR 25.02 crore|
Company is a 2002 Indian crime-thriller film directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The film stars Mohanlal, Ajay Devgn, Vivek Oberoi, Manisha Koirala, and Antara Mali in pivotal roles. It is a fictional exposé of the Mumbai underworld, loosely based on the Indian mafia organization D-Company, known to be run by Dawood Ibrahim. It is the second film in the Indian Gangster trilogy, and a sequel to the blockbuster Satya. Upon release, the film received positive reviews from critics as well as audience, having won seven Filmfare Awards; three IIFA Awards, and went on to become one of the highest grossing Bollywood film(s) of 2002.
The film highlights the infrastructure of the Indian mafia organization. Company received critical acclaim at the Austin Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, and the Fribourg International Film Festival. British director Danny Boyle cited the trilogy as influences on his Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008), for their "slick, often mesmerizing portrayals of the Mumbai underworld", their display of "brutality and urban violence", and their gritty realism.
The story revolves around a young man named Chandu (Chandrakant Nagre) (Vivek Oberoi) joining the world of crime in the Mumbai underworld to "make it big" someday. Gradually he learns the tricks of the trade and increases the gang's earnings and profits. This leads to his affinity with Malik (Ajay Devgn), the leader of the gang. The film features one cold-blooded murder scene in which Malik and Chandu kill Saeed and his brother Anis in the rear seat of the car on a chilling rainy day. Thereafter Malik goes on a bloody rampage killing all his opponents, to take the reins of underworld in his hands. In this stage, Malik says a prominent dialogue "Sab ganda hai par dhanda hai yeh" (It's all dirty, but it's business).
His rival gang leader and colleague under Aslam's umbrella Sharma, who was in a meeting with police inspector Rathod, is killed off. Inspector Rathod, who once tortured and abused Chandu in jail in early days, is killed at Malik's permission. However, both come at loggerheads during the execution of a contract killing. Chandu stops the deliberate vehicle crash and falls from Malik's favor. The contract was from a politician who tries to use Malik's gang to eliminate a front-runner, a contender for Home Minister's post. The assassination (a staged truck-car collision) takes place in spite of Chandu's emotional misdemeanor since Malik, not relying on Chandu anymore, gives direct orders. The rift between Chandu and Malik widens due to misunderstandings. The Commissioner of Police, Sreenivasan IPS (Mohanlal) uses the rift to bring the mafia under control. Chandu and Malik end up becoming bitter enemies. After Chandu's retaliation of the assassination of his lifelong friend of one of lieutenants Warsi, two factions of Mumbai's once most powerful gang 'Company' went to a full-scale war.
Malik and Chandu killed as many members of each opponent gangs as possible. Sreenivasan, as the police chief of murders due to the war, became criticized greatly. But he and his men knew this war ultimately is shortening the to-do list of his department. Big numbers of button men and lieutenants from the gangs were being killed. The war results in an intense chase sequence shot in Kenya where Malik hires hitmen to kill Chandu. Chandu survives, though he is injured severely. Sreenivasan convinces Chandu to come back to Mumbai and fight his war with Malik by helping the police bring the mafia under control.
In the climax, Chandu kills the politician (the mastermind of the contract killing) in prison. At the same time, one of Chandu's aides, Koda Singh, who swore revenge to kill who went against his friend Chandu, shoots Malik point blank to death in Hong Kong. Chandu and Malik came to a truce but Chandu never withdrew his order to Koda to kill Malik. It's not confirmed that whether Chandu has forgotten to withdraw his orders or deliberately kept that on. After the assassination, Sreenivasan notified Chandu and Chandu became tremendously shocked at this news. Koda Singh was arrested by suspicion by Hong Kong police on that day. The ends shows Chandu spending the rest of his life in prison after being persuaded by the Police Commissioner to surrender.
-Varma on the similarity between underworld and normal rivalry.
Director Ram Gopal Varma met a person named Haneef at a producer's house who had been in prison for five years in the 1993 Bombay bombings case. He was a close aid of gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Varma started talking to him out of curiousity and his "obsession with the criminal psyche", who told him how the underworld operated. During that time, the media was circulating the stories about the conflict between Ibrahim and Chota Rajan whom had a fallout and wanted to kill each other. Haneef told him that they still had respect for each other. Varma said that these lines of Haneef gave him the idea for Company. During his research for Satya (1998), Varma found out several things that he could not incorporate in one film since it was too much information, especially the police procedures. Varma said that he drew inspiration for the supporting characters and scenes in the film from the staff of his own production company. He said Haneef's take on the underworld war gave him a story while his research gave him the "atmosphere." He found a strong resemblence between the rivalries between criminals and normal office politics because he felt the "human nature is same everywhere." Haneef was shot dead a few months after Varma met him. Varma was also inspired by the September 2000 attack on Rajan in Bangkok, which was perceived as the intelligence agencies had put one gang against another. He later met several crime reporters, police officers and associates of gangsters. The film's screenplay was written by Jaideep Sahni.Company marked Malayalam actor Mohanlal's debut in Hindi cinema. He played the role of IPS Veerapalli Srinivasan, a character based on the former Police Commissioner of Mumbai, Dhanushkodi Sivanandhan. The role of Malik was first offered to Manoj Bajpayee who declined it due to date issues. The role eventually went to Ajay Devgn. Varma wanted to keep the character of the mafia boss calm and composed, which he based on Devgn's personality.Suresh Oberoi wanted to launch his son Vivek Oberoi in an Abbas-Mustan film but he he said that he "would like to go through my struggle". After that he met Varma for the film who said that he wanted to cast someone for a gangster living in a slum and Oberoi "look(s) too good for the role". Oberoi asked Varma for 15 days during which he stayed in the slums and slept on the floor. He also rubbed oils and creams on his body as well as sun-bathed daily to look darker for the role. He applied some mud on his face on the day of his meeting with Varma. He was eventually selected for his debut role of Chandu.Manisha Koirala was cast in the role of Saroja, a role which Varma described as very "atmospheric".Hemant Chaturvedi served as the director of photography, while Chandan Arora edited the film. The film was shot in the slums of Mumbai, Mombasa, Nairobi, Hong Kong and Switzerland. The film's prologue scene where some eagles are flying over the city, was shot later on after the entire film was shot. Varma had asked him cameraman to take few shots of the city to use them in edit as inserts. While he was taking shots, the eagles were flying at one place which were also shot. Varma saw the footage which reminded him of the opening scene of Mackenna's Gold (1969) and was "seized by the desire to somehow incorporate them in the film." So, instead of using it as exterior cuts, he used it for the opening to "create drama." Varma wrote a fake voice-over about eagles waiting for months for their pray. After his assistant informed him that eagles do not do that, he then tweaked it and added "very few people know that.." before the sentence for making it "profound-sounding".
Company received universal critical acclaim. Alok Kumar of Planet Bollywood gave the movie 9.5 stars out of 10, saying that "Varma has brought his audience yet another innovative and enjoyable film. Company should prove to be a sound investment of time and effort for all those involved."
Arpan Panicker of Full Hyderabad gave the movie an 8.0 rating (out of 10) and commented that "With powerful performances, especially from the three lead actors, Company turns out to be a masterpiece you won't forget in a hurry."
N.K. Deoshi of ApunkaChoice.com gave 4 out of 5 stars, calling Company "a sleek, fast-paced thriller replete with violence and authentic Mumbai lingo."
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave 3 stars out of 5, saying that "On the whole, COMPANY is amongst Ramgopal Varma's finest works. A stylishly narrated tale, the film will win plaudits and reap a rich harvest at the box-office for its hard-hitting content."
Ziya us-Salam of IdleBrain gave a "thumbs-up" rating and said, "Watch Company for three reasons. Varma. Mohanlal. Vivek Oberoi. Mohanlal in his maiden Hindi film venture, is a class act. As a South Indian cop, his accent comes in handy. Nothing overboard, everything poised about him. Limited dialogues limitless gestures. Then watch Company for Vivek Oberoi. A star son of sorts - character artiste Suresh Oberoi is his father - never once does he give you an impression that he is making his debut here. His gaunt frame, hollow cheek bones and restlessness go well with his role of a new entrant into the underworld who knows no fear, respects no reputations and lives only on some tacit principles." Director Ram Gopal Varma, apparently referred to Mohanlal as the Robert De Niro of Indian Cinema.
The film was released on a total of 295 screens. It grossed INR1.18 crore on the opening day and INR11.08 crore from worldwide in its first week, with INR6.01 crore from Indian box office alone. In Mumbai, the film opened with 100 percent occupancy, which fell to 87 percent in the second week with a steady collection in the subsequent weeks. The film's first week occupancy was 86 percent in Delhi, Punjab, Hyderabad, and Nagpur.Company grossed $190,000 in its first weekend at the overseas territories and made $250,000 in a week. The film grossed INR23.76 crore in its final run in India, with a total of INR25.02 crore worldwide against a budget of INR9.50 crore.
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Studio album by|
The soundtrack features 8 songs composed by Sandeep Chowta, with lyrics by Nitin Raikwar, Taabish Romani and Jaideep Sahni.
Company is believed to be an almost-true story based on depictions of the D-Company split between Mumbai criminals Chotta Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim. It's said that the recruitment of Chandu to Aslam Ali's gang by Mallik was almost identical to Chotta Rajan's introduction to Dawood after Rajan's mentor and boss Bada Rajan died in the early 1980s.
Company shows that Mallik's aide Yadav is interviewed by a journalist of Indian news channel Aaj Tak after their assassination attempt on Chandu in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of this interview is an identical depiction of a real-life interview that Dawood Ibrahim's aide Chotta Shakeel gave to Indian journalist Sheela Bhatt, after an assassination attempt on Chotta Rajan in Bangkok in 2000.
Company shows how the Hindi film industry went into trouble after violent split between Chandu and Mallik. Another interview of Chotta Shakeel which was given to the Times of India describes the intense circumstance inside the Mumbai film industry due to gang disputes. It appears that depiction of a dispute in Company — where fictional film star Naved Khan falls between Mallik's and Chandu's disputing gangs and becomes immensely confused — is a reference to a notable interview when Chotta Shakeel almost leaves a clarification of underworld's finance in Indian film industry.
The role of Vilas Pandit, the closest aide of Malik who appeared to be the consigliere of Malik's gang, is believed to be a depiction of real-life D-Company aide, counselor and Dawood Ibrahim's confidant Sharad Shetty. Company showed Vilas Pandit was shot to death by Chandu in Hong Kong when Pandit went to Chandu's place for an unprecedented meeting; Chandu misinterpreted his appearance as an attempted hit. Real-life D-Company counselor Sharad Shetty, too, was killed outside a Dubai nightclub, by a hit carried out by Chotta Rajan. This real-life hit was carried out eight months after the release of Company which depicted a similar incident in the adopted storyline.
It gained a prequel D, and the fourth installment in the series titled as Satya 2 was released in 2013.