Company is the study of a supposedly fictitious gang that burgeons into a Mafia powerful enough to become a global network, and then falls when rifts occur within it. The powerful Mafia bit and the rift bit sound rather familiar in spite of the "All characters fictitious... any resemblance imaginary..." part. Hope the fall part is prophetic!
Malik (Ajay Devgan, who at last finds a role apart from the brooding lover one
that he fits right in) is the right hand man of Aslam bhai, who, for lack of a
better word, is a bhai (not to be confused with the Dubai-ka-chashma-cheen-ki-chaddi
one - we are serious here). Malik in turn hires Chandu (Vivek Oberoi, in a debut
as impressive as one could ask for) as his right hand man. Chandu, instead of
hiring a right hand man, gets married to Kannu (Antara Maali, with an impressive
portrayal of a role whose difficulty lies in the simplicity of the character).
Malik isn't married, but lives in with Saroja (Manisha Koirala, playing the only
character that isn't defined so well).
Now that the hiring and pairing part is over, the violence starts. Malik takes over the gang's activities and, using a series of murders and negotiations, elevates the 'gang' to a 'Company'. The work of establishing the Company goes on as deals in real estate go hand in hand with extortion and contract murders. Opponents and any others who happens to get in the way are knocked off. A couple of poor guys get shot just 'cos they are mistaken for some other 'targets'.
In the midst of this chaos enters Commissioner of Police Srinivasan (Mohan Lal in a role that "simbly wond be forgodden"!). Thick accent, pudgy face and a cute smile, not exactly the tough-as-nails cop one would expect. But he creates enough trouble for the Company for them to flee to Hong Kong, which they make their base. Business continues, and the Company gets more and more notorious.
Srinivasan gets a lucky break when Malik and Chandu have a disagreement caused by a series of events and a couple of misunderstandings. They part ways, and a few more misunderstandings later, are out for each other's blood. Both sides lose many men, and the movie draws to an end after some shocking twists and a climax that is the cinematic equivalent of a bucket of cold water... taa-daa!
The de-glorifying of violence has been attempted numerous times, but never has the execution been so stylish and shocking. Graphic violence is used as part of a faithful narrative, not for any sadistically voyeuristic tendencies. One can only gasp at the casual way that death is bartered by characters who have been brought to life by superb actors.
Smart dialogues put in to prove a point fit the characters like a suit from Saville
Row. The background music, by Sandeep Chowta, accentuates the tone of the scenes
(that "Ganda Hai Par Dhanda Hai" number finally makes sense!). With only
two songs, an item number by Urmila during the titles and one more by a sultry
Isha Koppikar twenty minutes into the movie, the narrative isn't disturbed. But
the master of the piece is Ram Gopal Verma, who has once more pulled it off! With
powerful performances, especially from the three lead actors, Company turns out
to be a masterpiece you won't forget in a hurry.