Cinematic Excellence at its Best
By MovieTalkies.com, 17 August 2009
Another classic from the multi talented Vishal Bharadwaj, 'Kaminey' is a crime drama, which fits into no category of cinema but easily under the niche category which Vishal has created for himself. The type of cinema that Vishal makes cannot be related to, by one and all, so easily. He uses metaphoric instances in his movie, which if you are not alert enough, might just go amiss.
'Kaminey' is a story about twin brothers, Charlie and Guddu, both played by Shahid Kapur and it dwindles around their lives. And as all twin movies, we have a good guy and a bad guy, and to add masala at some point in time they have to be interchanged. Shahid Kapur excels in both roles, as the coy Guddu, who stammers, as well as Charlie who has the speech deficiency and pronounces S sounds with an F sound. Priyanka Chopra plays a typical gunda character Sweety and is in a relationship with Guddu and she calls the shots always. Priyanka incorporates the Marathi accent with great ease and looks like a simple Maharashtrian girl. Though she has very few scenes, she manages to steal the show from her co-stars whenever on screen.
There are many characters in the movie, and quite a few of them have made their debuts with 'Kaminey', however, the most memorable one is Bhope, played by Amole Gupte, who shows his acting prowess and potential facing the camera. Mikhail played by Chandan Roy Sanyal and Tashi played by Tenzing Nima are quite impressive as well. The film is mostly shot in the night, at most times during the rains and some of the most crucial scenes are shot at the side of the railway tracks. Hats off to Cinematographer Tassaduq Hussain who glorified a chawl , the slums and the railway tracks under dark clouds and the rainy skies, making it look so picturesque that you almost fell in love with Mumbai. Vishal has a knack of getting too close to reality, so be it the boy's hostel (where Guddu stays) and the lewd graffiti on the walls, or a dog just walking into the frame and staring at the couple (Guddu and Sweety) when they are discussing something as important as marriage, or the chawl where Bhope stays, the authenticity of real things in a common man's mundane life are kept so intact. Also the metaphoric instances used in the film, stump and baffles you at times but hits the right note more often. For instance, Shahid running behind a flying Rs.1000 note can be interpreted as the butterfly called happiness, behind which every human being runs or the quick interchanging of the corpse of Shahid's father replaced by Mikhail's (Chandan Roy Sanyal) smiling corpse. There is no effort (which seems deliberate) from Vishal's end to introduce any character in the movie. Almost each character is strong enough, even if they their roles are not so long. The film moves at a fast pace, though in the second half it gets a little slow and a lot confusing, you ought to be smart and concentrate to get it right, that who is doing what in the movie.
The songs are good, though look thrust in, most of the times according to the situation in the fast pace of the movie. Only 'Dhan Ta Nan' looks appropriately placed and instantly pumps up the tempo of the audience too whenever played in the background. The background scores are good and the editing by Meghna Manchanda Sen is quite slick and commendable. The most memorable scene of the movie is the dream sequence which plays in Charlie's mind quite often, a booking counter at the race course, a lavish lifestyle, a chic girlfriend, notes falling all over like maple leaves and a bare chested Shahid running with horses. The sequence is beautifully shot, and almost transports you to where the protagonist is. Shahid has probably just earned himself the title of the next sex symbol as his topless act in a towel is much more sexier than a Ranbir Kapoor in a towel or a butt flashing John Abraham.
The climax of the movie gets a little draggy and a bit too much to digest with all the good and bad guys gathered in a small chawl to fight out in true Bollywood Masala Ishtyle. The action, directed by Shyam kaushal is good. The dialogues are quite hilarious at most of the times as Vishal has tried to keep the language very natural and Bombaiyya style. Some scenes just stand out in the movie, like the one where Guddu tells Sweety at the petrol pump how people always took advantage of his innocence. A very well executed and well enacted scene. All throughout the movie the only one thing the viewer should have, that is concentration and an eye for detail to understand Vishal's perspective and where he is coming from, as one blink might mean one miss in this fast paced movie. The film is full of characters with grey or black shades and probably that's the reason why the movie comes across as a dark movie. One understands the motif behind the title 'Kaminey' only in the climax when Charlie tells his innocent brother Guddu "tu bohot seedha hai, tujhe nahi pata is duniya mein kitne kaminey hai", which probably can also be interpreted as a message to the audience. Except for a few loopholes during the climax, there is no room for complaints whatsoever with 'Kaminey', which can be termed as a 'New Age Cinema' or a new style of story telling. It is indeed cinematic excellence at its best.