Thursday, December 10, 2009


Movie Review : Kaminey
Language : Hindi
Released : 2009
Director : Vishal Bharadwaj
Starring : Shahid Kapur, Priyanka Chopra, Amol Gupte
My Rating : 7 out of 10

Vishal Bharadwaj does many things. He is a music composer, director and also writes screenplays and dialogues. To be honest, I have not been a big fan of his work, neither as director, nor as music composer. I thought Omkara was way over-rated and mediocre movie at the most. Fortunately, with Kaminey, he has changed the league and I can use the cliché "has arrived".

This is an interesting story of identical twins - both played by Shahid Kapur. Both have different speech problems. Charlie is a small-time criminal with big dreams. Guddu on the other hand is a simpleton, who is getting married to Sweety - sister of another criminal Bhope (Amol Gupte). Intersecting their story is yet another group of criminals and corrupt police officers. Well, the title is "Kaminey", so you should expect a lot of bad guys here.

Charlie accidently discovers a guitar filled with drugs and wants to score big with it. The corrupt police officers to whom this belongs, capture Guddu by mistake. So a trade is arranged to exchange Guddu and Charlie. What happens after is a heavy dose of crazy confusion.

I should correct that sentence. Even what happens before is crazy confusion. That's how the screenplay is by design. This style of narrative is not uncommon in Hollywood, but is definitely rare in Hindi movies. It requires the viewer to pay close attention and tie the lose ends. This becomes a fun challenge, but it demands a lot from the director and writer. It's a tightrope walk to keep it smart but to not overwhelm the viewer. Vishal Bharadwaj almost succeeds. Almost.

On the plus side, there is not a dull moment in the movie. There is enough whimsical dark humor throughout. It zips and zaps from one scene to another. Acting is very good. A lot will be said about Shahid Kapur, who has to show two very different personalities, and he deserves the praise. All other actors lend admirable support. The real one who deserves a special mention is Priyanka Chopra's portrayal of the fiery, mad-in-love Sweety. She doesn't get as much screen time, but she makes a disproportionately larger impact on the movie. 

There are some problems though. It's way too dark in many scenes to see clearly what's going on. The screenplay tries too hard to be smart and goes overboard. Maybe some scenes were simply deleted by the editor to save on running time. I don't know. For example, the scene in the beginning where the corrupt police officers are waiting in the hotel room after killing someone would only generate "Huh ?" from confused viewers. They could have removed Charlie's dream scenes and explained some more storyline. But I guess it's mandatory for an Indian hero to show off his body. And who killed Bhope's men when they accompanied Guddu at the end to get the stash ? How did the killers know they were there ? Or was it Charlie who killed them ? If the director wants to carry the movie on the road to smartness, he has to avoid such potholes in the plot. The riotous end has some funny moments, but it's another overdone cacophony.

I know that some of the songs are hit. But this is not my type of music. And I think Gulzar should really stop tarnishing his image as a lyricist. Retirement is not that unrespectable.

So I recommend this movie with some reservations. If you don't like dark movies, don't watch this. Even if you do, set your expectations appropriately. This is not a great film, but it's worth watching.

1 comment:

  1. Bhope's men were killed by the Bengali brothers. When Guddu went to search for the guitar, Mikhail's body was there but after he came back and found Bhoipe's men dead, they showed that the hammock was empty with no dead body. So obviously his brothers came there and took the body and killed the guys. See, you have to pay attention to understand it.


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