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Kaante Official Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sanjay Gupta
Produced by Pritish Nandy Communications
Film Club Limited
Larry Mortoff
Sanjay Sippy
Written by Milap Zaveri (dialogues)
Screenplay by Sanjay Gupta
Starring Amitabh Bachchan
Sanjay Dutt
Sunil Shetty
Mahesh Manjrekar
Lucky Ali
Kumar Gaurav
Malaika Arora
Namrata Singh Gujral
Rati Agnihotri
Isha Koppikar
Music by Anand Raj Anand
Lucky Ali
Cinematography Kurt Brabbee
Edited by Bunty Nagi
White Feather Films,
PNC Films
Release dates
  • 20 December 2002 (2002-12-20)
Running time
154 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget ₹300-400 million[1][2][3]
Box office est.429.6 million (US$6.4 million)[1]

Kaante (Hindi: कांटे, English: Thorns) is a 2002 Indian action film directed by Sanjay Gupta and starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Lucky Ali, Kumar Gaurav, Namrata Singh Gujral, Rati Agnihotri, Malaika Arora and Isha Koppikar in the lead roles. The film's central plot is based on Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992), and also borrows plot points from The Usual Suspects (1995) and Heat (1995). Tarantino has been quoted as saying that Kaante is his favourite among the many rip-offs of his film.[4]

The film was a success at the box office with one week earnings of £1.9m (India) and total earnings of £622,000 and £268,507 in the United States and Britain respectively.[5]


The film is narrated by Mak (Lucky Ali). The six main characters are detained by the LAPD, and interrogated about stealing a truck full of laptops and its whereabouts. Their deep antipathy towards the police for arresting them without any evidence, just because the witnesses had seen a South Asian at the crime scene, grows into a daring plot. Sparked off by "Major" (Amitabh Bachchan) and seconded by "Ajju" (Sanjay Dutt), they all hatch a plan to rob the bank in which lie the fundings for the LAPD. In return, Ajju reveals that he stole the truck and splits the money with all.

Marc (Suniel Shetty) is a bouncer who hates that his girlfriend has to work as a club-dancer and wants to rescue her from the club owner Cyrus, by paying him the required money. He also has an ongoing spat with Ajju about his girlfriend. Major has a sick wife who he has to look after by supplying her with medicines and injections. Andy (Kumar Gaurav) is a software engineer having divorce and custody troubles, as his wife won't let him meet their child. Mak and Bali (Mahesh Manjrekar) are two drug-peddlers who live off the street selling and buying illicit drugs under a drug lord. They meet when Bali is being chased by some undercover policemen and meets Mak in alley where he is adjusting something in his car. He agrees to save him only if he splits his loot. They agree to work on this method from that time on.

They meet on a hotel roof-top where they construct their plan and arrange for arms, ammunition, vehicles and gadgets. They do some reconnaissance around the bank and two days before the robbery, Major surprises everyone by declaring that the robbery will take place the next day.

While the robbery happens as planned, they find a SWAT team waiting for them outside the bank. They are engaged in gunfight and Mak is hit by a bullet while saving Major. They all escape and meet at their hideout. They realize that someone might have informed the police, which could reach their hideout as well. Mak, who was hit, is not allowed to be taken to the hospital, and Major treats his wound with some alcohol. They all have verbal scuffles after which, Ajju, reveals that he has kidnapped the Police Chief. They interrogate him and learn that one of them is an undercover cop. This strikes terror among them and they decide to bring the stolen amount to their hideout. Major finds out that his wife has died. Ajju befriends Marc and tells him to elope with his girlfriend. When they return, they find Bali dead, killed by Mak for being inhuman in his interrogation of the Police Chief. Ajju reasons that Mak is the undercover cop, but Major disagrees because he believes Mak saved him during the gunfight at the bank. They all arrive at a Mexican stand-off, with Andy as the viewer. He retreats and runs away with the money. They all shoot at each other, after which Major apologizes to Mak for not saving him. In reply, Mak apologizes saying he was just doing his duty. Major realizes his mistake and shoots the already dying Mak in the head. Marc's girlfriend is shown waiting for him at the airport and Andy is shown at the end driving off the highway pursued by a Police helicopter. It is ascertained that he also died and all of them are, as narrated by Mak, to have met in hell.



The film was to star Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Kumar Gaurav, Shilpa Shetty and Lisa Ray initially.[6] Akshaye Khanna opted out of the project subsequently and was replaced by Lucky Ali,[7] while Malaika Arora stepped in Lisa Ray's shoes[8] and Namrata Singh Gujral was cast opposite Kumar Gaurav in lieu of Shilpa Shetty.[9]

The character of Renu Mathur (played by Namrata Singh Gujral) was the only role cast in Hollywood from the entire principal cast. All other principals including Amitabh Bachchan were flown in from Mumbai for the Hollywood shoot.[10]

The film was the first Bollywood film to be completely shot in Los Angeles.[11] The film's production team used Hollywood technicians.[11] The filming was completed in 31 days.[2] Rohit Roy (from Shootout at Lokhandwala and a popular television actor) makes an appearance in the song "Ishq Samandar".[12]


Kaante holds an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that rates films based on published reviews by critics, averaging a score of 6.4 out of 10 from 6 reviews.[13] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film three and a half stars our of five and stated, "Kaante takes a step forward in terms of content and technique. An apt example of progressive cinema that breaks the shackles of stereotype, the film has everything to woo the cinegoer: an impressive cast, grandiose look, an excellent second half, well executed stunts, popular music and eroticism in plenty".[14] Prem Panicker of Rediff criticized the film saying "A more taut script, a little less of indulgence in directing, a tad more ruthlessness in editing, and this film could have pulled off a badly needed box office heist."[15] A reviewer at Sify awarded the film three and a half stars out of five and wrote, "A film far ahead of its time in terms of execution, Kaante is a visual delight. And combined with good performances and superb action, it's a must-see this season."[16]

Derek Elley of Variety praised the direction and performances of the lead cast saying, "From the protags’ initial meeting, heavy on closeups, Gupta directs the film primarily as a character piece, with Bachchan, Dutt and semi-comic relief Manjrekar driving the drama with richly characterized roles. Shetty, a tightly wound actor at the best of times, strikes few sparks as the nightclub bouncer, and his scenes with Arora as the chanteuse are flat."[17] Dave Kehr of The New York Times reviewed the film writing, "A delirious Bollywood reimagining of Reservoir Dogs, complete with musical numbers, Sanjay Gupta's Kaante shifts as fluidly between cinematic idioms as it does between Hindi and English."[18] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times said, "there is a steadfast earnestness in director Sanjay Gupta's deluded attempt to equal or even better Hollywood on its own ground that is rather touching -- but not to the degree that it sustains the film's many tedious stretches."[19]


The music is composed by Lucky Ali, Anand Raj Anand and Vishal-Shekhar. Lyrics are penned by Dev Kohli, Lucky Ali and Vishal Dadlani.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Music Singer(s) Length
1. "Baby Baby"   Anand Raj Anand Sunidhi Chauhan  
2. "Chhod Na Re"   Vishal-Shekhar Udit Narayan, Sanjay Dutt, Sudesh Bhosle, Mahesh Manjrekar  
3. "Dil Kya Kare"   Anand Raj Anand Kumar Sanu & Kavita Krishnamurthy  
4. "Ishq Samundar"   Anand Raj Anand Sunidhi Chauhan, Anand Raj Anand  
5. "Maahi Ve"   Anand Raj Anand Sukhwinder Singh, Richa Sharma  
6. "Maut"   Lucky Ali Lucky Ali  
7. "Rama Re"   Anand Raj Anand Sanjay Dutt, Shaan, Zubeen Garg, Anand Raj Anand, Sudesh Bhosle  
8. "Socha Nahin Tha"   Anand Raj Anand Shaan, Zubeen Garg  
9. "Yaar Maangiyasi"   Anand Raj Anand Sonu Nigam  


  1. ^ a b "Kaante". Boxofficeindia.com. Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b Govil, Nitin (2015). Orienting Hollywood: A Century of Film Culture Between Los Angeles and Bombay. NYU Press. p. 64. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Unnithan, Sandeep (17 September 2001). "Indian films promise new thrills as filmmakers import state-of-the-art gizmos from Hollywood". India Today. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  4. ^ Bardwaj, Rangan. "Lights, Camera, Conversation – Wrought from Steal". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-08-03. 
  5. ^ "Kaante revives Bollywood". bbc.co.uk. 6 January 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Who is the surprise package of Kaante?". Rediff. 27 July 2002. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  7. ^ Subhash K Jha (3 April 2002). "A time to kill". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  8. ^ "Malaika in Kaante". Rediff. 8 October 2001. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  9. ^ Arti R (18 December 2002). "'Indian cinema is getting global'". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  10. ^ Kehr, Dave (20 December 2002). "Kaante (2002): Film Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  11. ^ a b "Kaante: A special". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  12. ^ "Kaante: Complete Cast and Crew details". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2011-07-22. 
  13. ^ "Kaante (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  14. ^ Adarsh, Taran (20 December 2002). "Kaante Review". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 3.5/5 stars
  15. ^ Panicker, Prem (19 December 2002). "Kaante pricks the bubble of hope". Rediff. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Ad-Lib. "Review: Kaante". Sify. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 3.5/5 stars
  17. ^ Elley, Derek (22 December 2002). "Review: 'Kaante'". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  18. ^ Kehr, Dave (20 December 2002). "Movie Review - - FILM REVIEW; Shot in Los Angeles, But Bombay All the Way". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  19. ^ Thomas, Kevin (20 December 2002). "'Kaante': On Hollywood's turf". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 

External links[edit]