Corporate is Madhur Bhandarkar’s expose on a behind the scenes functioning of the corporate world. Madhur aptly portrays the deceitfulness and underhand tactics behind the snazzy, suave and sophisticated demeanor of the corporate world and the people associated with it. In a world that may bring fame and fortune, one definitely has to pay a price but just how high a price is paid, Madhur delves into this aspect. Corporate is a social drama by Madhur Bhandarkar and its key players are Bipasha Basu (Nishigandha Das Gupta), Kay Kay Menon, Rajat Kapoor, Raj Babbar, Sammir Dattani and Minisha Lamba. The music has been done by Shamir Tandon.
Corporate has two main players the Sehgal Company headed by Vinay Sehgal (Rajat Kapoor) and the Marwah Company headed by Dharmesh Marwah (Raj Babbar). Both companies have their key players and Nishigandha (Bipasha) plays a major role in the Sehgal industry. Each company tries to gain an upper hand over the other be it in acquiring projects or tearing down the image of the other. The Marwah group gets an esteemed and much coveted project which pushes the Sehgal group to come up with an equally lucrative and high profile project. The Sehgal group comes up with a lucrative project but at the expense of their competitors. Nishi steals an idea from her competitors and uses it as leverage for her own company.
Nishi who holds her own in this ruthless war, and keeps up in pace with all the players steals the idea of a cola launch from their competitors. The cola is launched but the drink is somehow contaminated and this is when the Marwah’s decide to get back at the Sehgal’s for stealing their idea. The Marwah’s decide to expose the Sehgals and their contaminated soft drink. Now it’s a war and each side will go to any length to win the battle and tarnish the other’s image. Moral codes are broken, jealousy, power and greed emerge in the forefront and Nishi realizes that she is nothing more than a mere pawn in this murky game. Meanwhile Nishi’s relationship with her live in boyfriend too is going through turmoil. Politicians and other power hungry people all become a part of this war and join sides.
Which side will emerge as the winner and what will become of all the players in this ruthless game?
Madhur manages to explore the psyche of the corporate world and the people who are associated with it. Corporate reiterates the belief that behind power, money and glamour there is a lot of deceit, lies and an erosion of moral and ethical values. Corporate shows the extent to which people can stoop to for success, power and money; it has also explored the close connection between politics, the filmworld and the corporate world. It shows how sex and scandal are used to the advantage of the players of the game. Ultimately the corporate world war has an effect on the day to day functioning of common people and they are the ones to suffer. Corruption is a deep-rooted aspect in the corporate world and Madhur manages to portray this aspect quite clearly and convincingly.
In the pre-interval period the tactics of the corporate world may seem quite alien to someone who has never personally been a part of this world. However white collared professionals will clearly identify with many characters that are a part of the corporate world. The masses though may not be completely intrigued by the glitz and glamour of the corporate world. However the post interval part of the film has a lot of emotion, drama and a gripping climax that definitely captivates the interest of the audiences. But the constant use of corporate terminology which is a little too hi-fi for a general audience could have been worked upon in a better manner. Madhur has clearly also used some unnecessary fixtures from his previous successful films like the repetition of drivers and peons gossiping about the personal lives of their bosses. And it also comes across in certain places that perhaps the director has used sensationalism to add a touch of shock value to the film. Also the expose style execution is similar to the style of Madhur’s earlier films like Chandini Bar and Page 3. Unfortunately Madhur Bhandarkar’s expose also seems to highlight only the negative side of the corporate world and at times it seems like a fairly biased opinion.
The film is an average budget film that caters mainly to only a certain class of people. The main target of the film is definitely the multiplex audiences. Madhur Bhandarkar and Manoj the writers of the screenplay have done a fairly good job and Madhur carries the screenplay further with his honest and blatant style of execution. The music score is kept to a minimalist in keeping with the realistic portrayal of the subject matter. The qawalli ‘O Sikandar’ by Kailash Kher who makes a guest appearance with a picturisation on Payal Rohatgi is done well and fits into the narrative. But the song ‘Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai sounds similar to the music of page 3. Cinematography by Mahesh Limaye is average; the background score is aptly suited to the mood and feel of the story. Dialogues by Manoj are profound and sharp.
Bipasha Basu is the fore-runner amongst the actors who take center stage in this drama. She proves her acting mettle in Corporate, her look although simple spells sophistication and class. Her role which has grey shades definitely shows that the actress within her is ready to experiment with stronger roles. Madhur this time too manages to bring out that extra bit in his female protagonist. Bipasha as a powerful, sophisticated yet vulnerable woman makes a complete impact especially in the second half of the film. Kay Kay Menon too makes his presence felt in the film and his brooding nature and persona is arresting. Rajat Kapoor as Vinay Sehgal the head of the Sehgal company gives a good performance. For Raj Babbar who plays Dharmesh Marwah this is an apt opportunity to which he does complete justice. The other actors too who have strong characterizations are Harsh Chhaya, Sandeep Mehta and Vinay Apte. Lillete Dubey, Achint Kaur and Bharat Dhabolkar are just about average. Minisha Lamba and Sammir Dattani have a presence in the film but their presence does not have any scope.
Corporate definitely has a similar expose style execution as Page 3 and the film caters more to a certain segment of society. Although the film definitely has an interesting subject it only manages to give a one-sided perspective on the corporate world. Nonetheless it is worth watching for its different subject and good performances at least once. At the box-office though the film may just have an average or mediocre fair.