Movie Review: Tamanchey

October 10, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The producers of “Tamanchey” (“Guns”) are being sued by a man who claims to have directed the film but hasn’t been credited for it. This is hardly new or surprising in an industry not known for respecting writers and directors. What’s really baffling is that someone would want to take credit for this appalling gangster film.

As on-the-run prisoners Munna and Babu, Nikhil Dwivedi and Richa Chadda seem to be competing to see who can come up with the most ridiculous line delivery. (Dwivedi’s faux Bhojpuri accent sounded like he spent an hour learning the language before launching into monologues)

They get plenty of help from visual director Navneet Behal, who seems determined to add to the ridiculousness quotient of the film. (The villain is about to stab Chadda with a knife, when someone calls him. He mutters “climax ke pehle hi breaking news aa gaya” (“breaking news, just before the climax”) and walks off, forgetting about the knife and Chadda).

This might look coherent if Behal was trying to pay homage to Emir Kusturica and his cinema of the absurd. Unfortunately, this film is as literal as films can get.

The story is straightforward – two convicts on the run meet and fall in love. The girl is a gangster’s moll, but that does not stop our hero from falling for her, even though, as he tells her, she is a woman who wears “jean pant” and drinks alcohol.

When Babu goes back to her gangster boyfriend, Munna follows her and the two carry on a clandestine romance right under the boyfriend’s nose.

The protagonists are supposed to share a passion so intense that they are willing to risk certain death if their relationship is discovered. But the intensity never really shows, thanks mostly to Dwivedi’s desperate attempts to sound like a tough guy with that Bhojpuri accent.

There are romps in the sack, among crates of tomatoes, in a deserted warehouse, and even in the middle of a bank robbery. These acts of passion come across as anything but, thanks to the lack of any chemistry between the two leads.

“Tamanchey” is a DOA film – one that doesn’t have any chance of redeeming itself or its cast. Thankfully, it also generates so much “so bad, it’s good” humour that your two hours in the theatre are not completely wasted.

(Follow Shilpa on Twitter at @shilpajay. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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