Friday, August 14, 2009

Fuch Feriouf Fun!

Identical twins have been one of the formulas long used in Bollywood. But to take a cliché and to treat it in a way that it becomes a ‘genre’ film, now that’s quite an achievement. And that’s what Vishal Bhardwaj has done. Again! Much like the Koreans, who take a subject like revenge and create masterpieces out of it.

So there it is, a film about the good and the evil . And everything in between. A movie about love and deceit. About cultural differences and geographical divides. About crooks and gangsters, about freaks and opportunists. About characters with opposite beliefs but intertwined fates. About very little white and a little black, and a lot of grey.

The good being Guddu, a stammering NGO worker and the bad, Charlie, his identical twin, jo ‘Fa’ ko “Fa’ bolta hai. They both want to make it big in their life, they both have goals set for themselves. But the similarities end just there. They are as different as it can get. Guddu is an honest NGO worker, while Charlie is a small-time race course better. Both have and want nothing to do with each other but their fates collide and they end up in a situation where they only have each other to survive. What follows then is a rollercoaster ride that ends in an explosive climax. One of the best climaxes I have seen in the recent times.

Really good and convincing casting has been forever a strong point of Vishal Bhardwaj’s films. Kaminey keeps up with this trend. Shahid has portrayed both roles very effectively, but call it my bias or a problem, I look at him on the screen and just can’t help wondering ‘oh, he looks so much younger than anybody and everybody around him, younger than his heroine and even fresh faced Mikhail (brilliantly portrayed by Chandan Roy Sanyal). Priyanka Chopra is very believable as a marathi mulgi (Vishal bhardwaj supposedly had to woo Priyanka to do this role. Well, she should call him up every day and thank him.) Amol Gupte is so entertaining as a manipulative crook cum aspiring politician. The verbal duel between his character Bhope Bhau and Mikhail, played by Chandan is one of the best moments of this film. The others in the cast are very apt and nicely portrayed.

In keeping with the dark theme of the film, the sun hardly ever rises in Kaminey. Throughout the film, it is dark, muggy and brooding. The editing is top notch so is the camera work. But at times, the keep-the-camera-roving-all-over-the-place gets a bit too much. I know, that’s exactly what the intention was, in keeping with the delirious sequences, but then still it gets way too disorienting at times. The dialogues are crisp. Vishal and Gulzar have forever made brilliant music together, Kaminey is no exception. It’s a shame that hardly anyone else uses a gem like Suresh Wadekar.

Vishal Bhardwaj is a master of linear storytelling, he’s portrayed that in all his previous films. He forever has had really good material, whether it is adapting Shakesperean plays or a Ruskin bond story. But in Kaminey, there’s a shift from his style and is much ‘Tarantinosque’, if I may use the term. So yeah, it is no Maqbool, it is not even Omkara. But Kaminey is a great watch nonetheless. It might not be Vishal’s the best film, but whatever anybody else does, he does it so much better. He is arguably the best we have in the Bombay Film Industry and perhaps one of the best in the world.


Anirban Mahapatra said...

Hey Vims, nice read. However, I'd differ with you on a few points. I'm giving VB 10 on 10 for the technicalities, casting, music etc... he's done them to a T every time he's gone on the floor with a project. So no questions asked there. But I had a problem with the very 'Tarantinoesque' shift that you mention... an oblique adaptation of 'Jackie Brown'--- can I put it that way? Yes, he's done well to open up B-Wood cinema in a new direction, but somewhere down the line, I just couldn't help wondering if the overall effect that 'Kaminey' had on me was greater than the sum of its parts. Call me a harsh and super-objective critic, but I don't see people in the light of where they're coming from, but the league they are competing in. So while you might give him the thumbs up for doing what he's done as a B-Wood director, I'd probably nip back a few points for his not being able to rub shoulders with the people he's chosen to take on. That apart, was a good I-Day watch. Paisa Wasool.

Genius said...

am sure waiting & wanting to c this film. wish i had a movie lover like u to accompain me . . would be gr8 fun , but not 4 those sitting around us :P

sheehij said...

what are u talking about?
i wish i liked the film half as much as u did.. n believe me since i had read ur post before watching th film ..i did try to like it. but i gues i liked ur post more than the film anyway.
throughout the movie ..kept i missing somethign? thn again..lota ppl hv liked it etc ..i think il chk it out again..:p
but yea great casting, camera wrk, n music.

vimsical said...

@ Anirban: It is true, dude. Like i said, what you took wiith you after you watched his maqbool or omkara was far far more satisfying than this film. And this film was more Guy Richie than Tarantino. BUt yeah, like we both agree, fun watch it was.

@ Meenaz: People will not even know if i am in the hall. I take care to even switch off my phone while i am there and not talk at all while the film is one.

@ Sheehij:I know what you talking about. I was watching Hangover and 15 mins down the film i realised i was not laughing as hard as others. What the heck, i was hardly laughing. I kept wondering what's wrong...and what is it that i am missing! And it is not even like i am snooty about this thing. I love my perverse comedies. Jack Black is my god. Name a Jack Black or a Seth Rogen film i haven't watched and i'll do 50 benchpress. Hehehe...But Hangover just didn't do it for me

sheehij said...

yea for me hangover was good..but not like roll off my seat funny..but i did enjoy the no-brainer fun film..