Movie Review – Kaminey

I have been an admirer of Vishal Bhardwaj’s films. Although I’ve not had the opportunity to view any of his masterpieces in its entirety, his choice of subjects has fascinated me. When I heard about his latest venture, a complete U-turn from his Shakespearean fillums, I must admit I was skeptical. My prejudice got further rooted when I heard that the movie featured our chocolate boy Shahid Kapur in a double-role. Instantly the cheesy double role dhinchak movies of the 90s flashed before my eyes and instantly I was turned off from Kaminey.

Dhan Te Nan, that’s all it took to change my perception about the movie. When the first review came out, I was hooked. And the reviews were consistently positive, proclaiming Bhardwaj’s venture the new benchmark for Hindi caper movies. I was intrigued and so I decided to catch the movie first day first show. However science and politics played their part and the movie eluded me for the entire weekend of its official release as multiplexes all over Maharashtra were shut in lieu of the swine flu pandemic scare.So I waited patiently till Monday afternoon and was I in for a treat!

Kaminey is a great movie from the word GO! Each scene, every moment, all the dialogues are engrossing. You can’t afford to let your guard down and pretend you’re at a David Dhawan film festival. The movie challenges your own wit and intelligence and rewards you for it every step of the way. Every celluloid moment has been injected for a reason and you can’t find any dead space throughout the movie. The dialogues are insanely witty and the cast is a perfect fit for the story! Even the glamorous Priyanka Chopra does immense justice to her portrayal of a smitten marathi mulgi.The main attraction is of course Shahid Kapur, with his excellent rendition of two diametrically opposite brothers, each with a different speech defect. His physicality for the tough sibling and his charm for the sober one come off flawlessly on screen. The surprise package however is the supporting cast, all of them relative unknowns, but actors par excellence! Watch out for the chameleonesque Bhope Bhau!

What is surprising is that Bhardwaj, a north Indian, has captured the true under-belly of the city of Mumbai. His choice of locations reflects his knowledge and understanding of the bustling metropolis and its people, a rare quality among directors. The camera movement and lighting truly render a dark and gritty feel to the thriller and emphasize on the reality and gravity of the situations the protagonists are thrown into. The cinematography is truly commendable in the climax scene.

I would be lying if I said that I loved all the tracks in the movie. Barring the rage, Dhan-Te-Nan, I wasn’t too kicked about the remaining songs. That is until I heard them in the movie, especially the title track. Bhardwaj has managed to get some really great songs into the movie which accentuate the story.

Critics got it right this time when they said that Kaminey is the new benchmark for Indian cinema. Bhardwaj took a rather simple plot and has managed, magnificently for that matter, to render it cinema worthy with notable performances, slick story-telling and great visuals. Definitely a Must Watch!

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