A meeting in progression. Participants range from corporate honchos and business tycoons to top-notch executives. The suave, decent looking and “sophisticated” class of people are negotiating over a lucrative deal; a deal that manages to highlight their true, “scandalous” inner selves- overtly ambitious, deceitful and unethical. That’s the essence of Madhur Bhandarkar’s Corporate. After delivering critically acclaimed films like Chandni Bar and Page3, Madhur adds yet another feather to his cap with Corporate, a moderately budgeted, multi-starrer social drama that exposes the truth behind the glitzy and glamorous corporate world and brings it before the commoners ,clearly and convincingly. Once again he explores a subject that has never been portrayed on the silver screen before, and that’s the biggest USP of his films.
The story essentially revolves around two soft drink giants- the Sehgal Company headed by Vinay Sehgal (Rajat Kapoor) and the Marwah group headed by Dharmesh Marwah (Raj Babbar)-and the way in which they use NGOs, politics and the media to their own advantage. Both companies have their own set of key executives. Nishigandha Das Gupta (Bipasha Basu), the protagonist, works for the Sehgals. She scandalously steals Marwahs’ plan of launching a mint-based soft drink, and the Sehgals launch it first. Their drink is launched but somehow, it is found to be containing pesticides. Taking advantage of the situation, the Marwahs take revenge by targeting the goodwill and reputation of their arch rivals. All that matters is profits, reputation and goodwill; ethics and emotions have no place in the “bad” world of business. Experiencing a déjà vu? (Well, the film is based on the cola war that raged between two soft drink giants in the country around two years back.)
Bipasha is stunning as Nishigandha, the enterprising though manipulative executive. Her look complements her character pretty well. Her power pact performance surely brings out the actor within her; she isn’t a glam doll anymore. Great going Bips! Kay Kay Menon as Nishi’s live-in boyfriend puts up a fairly good performance. Rajat Kapoor and Raj Babbar have done justice to their roles as the quiet, sophisticated gentlemen from the outside but ambitious monsters from the inside. Minnisha Lamba and Sammir Dattani have got miniscule roles. Lillete Dubey is just about average.
The music has been composed by Shamir Tandon. Out of the three tracks, O Sikander is a lively and peppy item song. Sung by Kailash Kher and Sapna Mukerji, the song does cast its magic on the audience. The song Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai, sung by Asha Bhosle, is also promising. However, the song Peele Peele Do Do Ghoont by Vasundhra Das and Sangeet Haldipur has got poor lyrics, sounds repetitive and is not at all classy.
The background score [Raju Singh] is in sync with the theme. Cinematography [Mahesh Limaye] is of standard. Dialogues [Aje Monga, Manoj Tyagi] are profound and sharp. Kudos to Madhur and Manoj Tyagi for the excellent screenplay. Madhur carries the screenplay further with his simple and honest style of execution. The film is packed with emotions and twists, post- interval. The story has been narrated fabulously. A fair amount of research has been carried out.
Usage of pure business terms and concepts in the board meetings and news conferences manage to develop the environment and tempo needed in a film like this. Terms such as first-mover advantage, PSUs and market share have been used extensively. If possible, the film should be made a part of the curriculum for +2 commerce and management students. Are the authorities listening?!
However, this also serves as a criticism because the regular audience may not understand such technical terms. The main target of the film was definitely the multiplex audiences. Also, the film highlights only the negative side of business, which makes it biased.
Nevertheless, the film scores high on its strong storyline and great performances.