Kaminey: The director is the real star

August 13, 2009

Sometimes you get the best insights from the most unexpected sources. Like my mother for instance — she isn’t much of a movie person but asked me how “Kaminey” was.

“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.


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Shilpa ji.. I do not know how do you watch a film. For me it was a complete waste of my money. This is some of what i feel
http://theroadlesstraveller.wordpress.co m/2009/08/14/kaminey-review/

Posted by wonderahul | Report as abusive

I loved Omkara from the first time I saw it and now that I have read your blog I am really looking forward to Kaminey.

Posted by Sakshi | Report as abusive

Well narrated. it has created interest in me to watch the movie. Omkara was excellent so the expectations are high.

Posted by Naren | Report as abusive

@ All…
Movies like these do generate a lot of attention..and rightly they must be..
If you have VB as directorwriterMusic Director and lyricist as Gulzaar saab and a collection of fine actors giving there best performance till date on Silver scree,expectation are bound to be on sky..
The only one thing which went wrong for this flick was this only VERY VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS.
No doubt that KAMINEY is good movies, but no a mind blowing excellent DHASOOO one..
Acting Direction Songs are EXCELLENT
but some times movie lost its grip, not able to hold on audience …
Worth one time watch …

Posted by akshat | Report as abusive

Looking forward to watching this movie. Thanks for the nice review. Please visit my blog at http://www.littlepieceofindya.com/wordpr ess_2_6_1

Posted by arvind | Report as abusive

Well said Shilpa, it is the worth spending over two hour on the film. A must watch movie for those who love Shahid Kapoor.

Posted by Devraj | Report as abusive

Totally Shahid Kapur movie and full paisa vasool. Though the end was not quit good, it could be far better but its trademark movie by Vishal Bhardwaj.

Posted by Dinesh Joshi | Report as abusive

Its a movie that weaves a magical web around you. As you take ur time to unentwine the web, u experience celluloid nirvana. Shahid Kapur ki jai ho!!! Watch out folks.Itz grt.

Posted by ved prakash pati | Report as abusive

Personally, I felt the movie has been over hyped, but well marketed. The hand held camera treatment was very shabby as compared to movies like ‘cloverfield’ or even ‘blair witch project’. The use of hand held camera is not so much of technology as it is a result of directing the camera itself. The bsudden blurs and the overall camera movments spoke more of self indulgence, than a carefully controlled result.

Vishal Bhardwaj outdid himself in Maqbool and Omkara. Blue umbrella was also nice, but with ‘Kaminey’ he has yet to achieve the big league. Quentin Tarantino he is definitely not.

Priyanka Chopra’s body language and expressions made her look like a top end model in a nau wari saree. She tried hard, but I could see her trying hard and thats the problem.

Shahid Kapoor did most of his stammering while looking off camera, mostly at the floor. I do not think he can ever look menacing or evil. He just does not have that face or presence.

Overall an average film. VB can do a lot better if he does not fill the film with ‘I’.

Posted by Nilesh Sardesai | Report as abusive

I just loved the movie but what we{ i.e. me and my friends} did not like was the cinematograpy. I know, through out it has been acclaimed as brilliant, but to me it looked as though it was being seen wearing dark sun glasses. I wish the movie was a little bright. This is not just my virw but most of them who did not like it was this being the reason. I know Vishal has made his moolah, he may not be bothered by this comment, but that what it is.

Posted by pooja | Report as abusive

hey shilpa i dont disagree that the movie is great what i missed is that he is to fast to accumulate all the character we derived of the best if could possible a little bit of conversation or a bit of more time not more than five min it could hav been a great movie still a great movie

Posted by Sanjay sharma | Report as abusive

hi kaminey film is superhit kareena have come to 1 number after this film

Posted by divya | Report as abusive

after kaminey film priyanka chopra have come to 1 number

Posted by neha | Report as abusive

i fouud this film quite interesting. the new concept i guess worked in this film. its a complete entertainment package. music is fantastic and the ending part is even more entertaining.all those who didnt like this movie are dumb. they just want a sas bahu type movie.

Posted by lucky binay | Report as abusive

Kaminey rocks!!! Fantastic performances, the screenplay has such details and nuances that only Vishal Bharadwaj could have brought to it…the music is awesome too. I think it’s one of the best movies of this decade easily. Smartly and sleekly made– it really involves you, from the start and the dark humour at certain points is so brilliant. I think any perceptive, thinking person would see what a gem of a movie it is….love it!

Posted by Misha | Report as abusive