DVD cover of Company
|Directed by||Ram Gopal Varma|
|Produced by||C. Ashwini Dutt
Ram Gopal Varma
|Screenplay by||Jaideep Sahni|
|Music by||Sandeep Chowta|
|Edited by||Chandan Arora|
|Release date(s)||15 April 2002 (India)
14 October 2004 (Austin Film Festival)
|Running time||155 minutes|
Company (Hindi: कम्पनी) is a 2002 Indian crime-thriller film written and directed by Ram Gopal Varma and screenplay by Jaideep Sahni, starring Mohanlal, Ajay Devgan, Manisha Koirala, Vivek Oberoi, and Antara Mali. 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. The film received positive reviews from critics as well as audience and won six out of the eleven awards it was nominated for at the Filmfare Awards. The film was a blockbuster and got critical acclaim at the 2004 Austin Film Festival and New York Asian Film Festival  It is the second film in the Gangster (film series) and a sequel to the blockbuster Satya. It was followed by a sequel, D. Film critic Rajeev Masand has labeled it (along with its prequel Satya) one of the "most influential movies of the past ten years." 
The film highlights the economics behind running an Indian mafia organization. In the opening of the film, Ajay Devgan describes the modus operandi of underworld. He states "Despite anybody telling anything else, in this world everything is done for profit, so is this business. We don't pay taxes, neither do we keep accounts; For this work is done by inducing fear. Anybody can join us anytime, but can never resign. Whoever breaks our law, is broken by us. Here friendship, respect or honesty, the only real reason behind all these is same thing -- Profit". During murder / extortion scenes following, Ajay Devgan adds "profit happens -- like this, like this or like that".
The story revolves around a young man named Chandu (full name : Chandarkant Nagre) (played by Vivek Oberoi) joining the world of crime in the Mumbai underworld to "make it big" someday. Gradually he learns tricks of the trade and increases the gang's earnings and profits. This leads to his affinity with Malik (played by Ajay Devgan) who is the leader of the gang.
The film features one cold blooded murder scene wherein 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, so as to take the reins of underworld in his hands. In this stage of the film, Malik says a prominent dialogue " Saab ganda hai par dhanda hai ye" ( Thing are dirty but its business).
They include his rival gang leader and colleague under Aslam's umbrella Sharma, who was in a meeting with police inspector Rathod, also killed off. Inspector Rathod, who once tortured and abused Chandu in jail in early days, was also killed at Malik's permission.
However, both come at loggerheads during the execution of a contract killing. Here a slight influence of Scarface can be felt when the hero refuses to go ahead because the victim's children would also be killed - (Al Pacino shoots down his Bolivian partner's cold-blooded killing expert to stop the bomb explosion arranged by him and thus digs his own grave : 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 relaying on Chandu anymore, takes reins in his own hands and gives direct orders.
The rift between Chandu and Malik widens due to various misunderstandings. The Commissioner of Police, Sreenivasan IPS (Mohanlal) makes use of 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 the city 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 number of button men and lieutenants from both gangs were being killed. The war results in an intense chase sequence shot in Kenya where Malik hires hitmen to kill Chandu.
However 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.
The film reaches its climax when Chandu kills the politician (the mastermind of the contract killing) within the prison. At the same time, one of Chandu's aides named Koda Singh, who swore revenge to kill who went against his friend Chandu, shoots Malik point blank to death in Hong Kong.
This shows, 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. But, after the assassination Sreenivasan notified Chandu and Chandu became tremendously shocked at this news. So, possibly Chandu forgot to send a come back call to Koda.
Koda Singh was arrested by Hong Kong Police on that day. The film ends, showing Chandu spending the rest of his life in prison after being persuaded by the Police Commissioner to surrender.
- Mohanlal ... Srinivasan IPS
- Ajay Devgan ... Malik
- Manisha Koirala ... Saroja
- Vivek Oberoi ... Chandrakant (Chandu)
- Seema Biswas ... Ranibai
- Antara Mali ... Kannu
- Akash Khurana ... Vilas Pandit
- Mukesh Bhatt ... Akram Bhai / Akram Ali Ansari
- Madan Joshi ... Aslam bhai
- Bharat Dabholkar ... Home Minister Rahute
- Ganesh Yadav ... Yadav
- Ashraf Ul Haq ... Krishnan
- Akshay Verma ... Kenkare
- Vijay Raaz ... Koda Singh
- Manoj Goyal ... Mental Warsi
- Urmila Matondkar ... Special appearance
- Isha Koppikar ... Special appearance
- Rajpal Yadav ... Joseph
- Shabbir Masani ... David Khan
- Rajendra Sethi ... Saeed
- Pankaj Jha ... Anees
- Gopal K Singh ... Shurtis man
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 the movie 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 the film 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 the film a "thumbs-up" rating and said, "Watch Company for three reasons. Varma. Mohan Lal. Vivek Oberoi. Mohan Lal 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."
- Won, Critics' Award for Best Actor - Ajay Devgn
- Won, Critics' Award for Best Actress - Manisha Koirala
- Won, Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Vivek Oberoi
- Won, Best Debut - Vivek Oberoi
- Won, Best Dialogue - Jaideep Sahni
- Won, Best Editing - Chandan Arora
- Won, Best Story - Jaideep Sahni
- Nominated, Best Actor - Ajay Devgan
- Nominated, Best Actress - Manisha Koirala
- Nominated', Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Mohanlal
- Nominated, Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Antara Mali
- Nominated, Best Director - Ram Gopal Varma
- Nominated, Best Film
- Won, IIFA Best Supporting Actor Award - Mohanlal
- Won, Award for Technical Excellence - Best Action - Allan Amin
- Won, Best Editing - Chandan Arora
- Won, 2002:Best Actor Award - Ajay Devgn
- Won, 2002:Best supporting Actor Award - Mohan Lal
- Won, 2002:Star Screen Award Most Promising Newcomer - Male for Vivek Oberoi
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Studio album by Sandeep Chowta|
The soundtrack features 8 songs composed by Sandeep Chowta, with lyrics by Nitin Raikwar, Taabish Romani and Jaideep Sahni.
- "Khallas" (5:03) – Asha Bhosle, Sudesh Bhonsle, Sapna Awasthi
- "Tumse Kitna" (4:28) – Altaf Raja
- "Pyar Pyar Mein" (4:51) – Babul Supriyo, Sonali Vajpayee
- "A Shot of Company" (4:32) – Instrumental
- "Malik's Soul" (6:19) – Instrumental
- "Gandha Hai" (3:43) – Sandeep Chowta
- "Ankhon Mein" (5:13) – Sowmya Raoh
- "Khallas Remix" (5:11) – Asha Bhonsle, Sudesh Bhonsle
Resemblances with real-life D-Company events
Company is believed to be an almost-true story based on depictions of the D-Company split between Mumbai crime lords Dawood Ibrahim and Chotta Rajan. 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. After the split between Dawood and Rajan, Shetty was one of very few Hindus left in the mainstream D-Company. Here it can be stated that the fate of Shetty was correctly perceived in Company. 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. Ironically this real-life hit was carried out eight months after the release of Company which depicted a similar incident in the adopted storyline.
D (2005), directed by Vishram Sawant and produced by Ram Gopal Varma, is a prequel to Company. Like its predecessor, D is based on the real-life Mumbai underworld organization, the D-Company. The three Varma films Satya, Company and D are together considered an "Indian Gangster Trilogy".
It gained a prequel D and the fourth instalment in the series titled as Satya 2 is all set to release in 2013.
- David (2006-06-16). "The Films of Ram Gopal Varma - An Overview". Cinema Strikes Back. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
- Rajeev Masand (2008-07-18). "Masand's Verdict: Contract, mangled mess of Satya, Company". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- Rachel Dwyer (2005-05-30). "Behind The Scenes". Outlook Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- Aruti Nayar (2007-12-16). "Bollywood on the table". The Tribune. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- Alok Kumar (12 April 2002). "‘Company’ Review: An intense, gritty film with a dark message". Planet Bollywood.
- Arpan Panicker. ""Company" Review:". Full Hyderabad.
- N.K. Deoshi. ""Company" Film Review:". ApunkaChoice.com.
- Taran Adarsh (10 April 2002). "‘Company’ Review: High on hype and substance". Bollywood Hungama.
- Ziya us-Salam. "Review of the week: Company". IdleBrain.
- "Chotta Shakeel interviewed by Sheela Bhatt about assassination attempt on Chotta Rajan".
- "Chotta Shakeel interviewed tells Times of India "They only understands force, so let it be."".
- Charlie (2005-08-24). "D: Final film in Indian Gangster Trilogy a Must See". Cinema Strikes Back. Retrieved 2009-02-22.