Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Kaminey: The director is the real star
“Is it like ‘Omkara’? Because I didn’t like that movie at all at first, but now that I think about it, I think it’s a great film,” she said.
And that’s when it struck me. It’s the same thing with “Kaminey“, except that you don’t dislike the movie at first watch. You just realise how brilliant it is a few hours after you’ve watched the film and then ruminate over it.
On the face of it, director Vishal Bhardwaj gives you a fast-paced, thrilling caper film littered with twists at every turn. So gripping are the happenings on screen that it’s only later you have time to marvel at the director’s attention to detail, his mastery over the craft and also the immense skill it must have taken to shoot a film like this in real time locations.
In what can be termed a highly unconventional double role (especially by Bollywood standards) Shahid Kapur plays Guddu and Charlie, twins whose life philosophies are so different they hate the sight of each other.
Guddu is the “decent” one, getting an education while working at an NGO. Charlie, on the other hand, is a gambler who hedges bets at the race track and lives life on the edge.
Guddu is in love with Sweety Bhope (Priyanka Chopra), who discovers she is pregnant. (Watch out for this scene, especially because it comes at the end of a song where Guddu is preaching safe sex to sex workers).
She convinces Guddu they should get married because if not, her gangster-turned- politician brother Bhau Bhope (played brilliantly by Amole Gupte) will kill him.
Meanwhile, Charlie gets involved, albeit unwittingly, with two corrupt cops who are chasing a precious kitty that somehow lands in Charlie’s hands. Unknowingly, the destinies of the two brothers get intertwined. They face each other and in doing so, provide for some of the film’s most gripping moments.
To reveal any more would be both inappropriate and impossible to narrate. This has to be seen on screen. A special mention for Shahid Kapur who plays the two characters with skill that comes from years of acting, especially the detail of the speech defects both characters have. Priyanka Chopra is excellent too, but this is clearly a Shahid Kapur film.
But the real star is Vishal Bhardwaj; whether it is the music of the film or the story and of course the direction, you have to hand it to the man He tells you a myriad stories in this film and yet brings it all together to tell a cohesive tale. Hats off.