Madhur Bhandarkar's Corporate is just what he said it would be. It is about people who have corporate jobs and their lives. It's nothing new. We've heard it all — and those of us in the corporate world have seen it too.
So has the story on the rivalry between the Marwah and Sehgal groups of industries worked? Corporate is technically sound.
Madhur has presented the picture in a real way. There is a lot of business jargon, the meetings, the ambience of corporate life is very correct. And it is no commercial entertainer.
Corporate seems to be a more shallow version of Benegal's Kalyug
But the film lacks soul. There is too little emotion. Madhur's corporate personas are often cardboard cutouts, who look the part every which way, but do not seem to be people one can relate to.
The film explores hypocrisy amongst the elite, the corruption in the corridors of power, the 'succeed by hook or crook' mantra of some corporations. They are things we know and have seen in different formats in Hindi films, maybe not packaged like this.
However, Madhur's fans would be disappointed as he paints the picture but the film doesn't generate excitement or anticipation. It is predictable.
There is also a problem with the narration. The first half is too slow and the subtlety that he loves to show in human relationships is so subtle that you almost miss it. It's only the last 20-25 minutes that you really enjoy. For those who have seen Page 3, there are similarities in sequences and situations.
The story goes like this. Nishigandha (Bipasha Basu) works with the Sehgal group owned by Vinay Sehgal (Rajat Kapoor). She is divorced and finds solace in Ritesh (Kay Kay Menon), Sehgal's brother-in-law.
Just when the two plan to settle down after clinching a business deal, their dreams are shattered by Dharmesh Marwah (Raj Babbar) who puts the Sehgals in trouble. Nishi sacrifices her career to take the flak on behalf of her employers with an assurance that she will be bailed out.
Corporate is a performance-driven film with superb displays by all its actors, especially Bips, who probably gets the role of a lifetime. With little glamour, she shows that she can carry off a powerful role. Kay Kay is natural, but Rajat Kapoor steals the show with Bips, portraying the shrewdness in his character excellently.
However, Minissha and Sammir are wasted. Perhaps, Madhur could have focused a bit on their romance.
Many years ago, Shyam Benegal explored the psyche of business families through Kalyug, about warring dynasties with skill. Corporate seems to be a more shallow version of that.