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Kaminey August 18, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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As the end-credits rolled, I was thinking hard if Kaminey was the best Bollywood flick I saw in the last ?? years. I can’t figure out that number yet but if I had make my own top 10 list for the decade, I shouldn’t have much trouble sneaking this one in. Kaminey is just awesome – and this pure awesomeness can unarguably be attributed to the genius of Vishal Bhardwaj – who has concocted a hands down masterpiece.

If you notice, this is the first time that Bhardwaj moves his turf to a city. I’ve always thought that his previous films – no matter how good they were – lost a bit of appeal because of the milieu in which they were set. In interviews about this film, he has mentioned about the Tarantino and Guy Ritchie influences one is likely to find – I think he was being too humble. The beauty of Kaminey is the way it seamlessly subverts and pays tribute to so many genres both Indian and Foreign. It has been misleadingly promoted as a smart crime caper – one of the possible reasons a considerable portion of the audience haven’t really taken to it. Actually, it is a dark crime drama with multiple threads filled with black humor and when you least expect – is emotionally powerful. This is the reason it is hard to label the film.

The first thing which struck me about this movie was the inventiveness of every scene; it gives you an idea about the effort which went into conceiving this. The added technical brilliance – be it the cinematography (Tassaduq Hussain), the score and even the sound recording is something which takes this film to new heights. On top of everything, you have a superb ensemble cast who create memorable characters. Shahid Kapoor is lovable in both the roles – irrespective of how well the film does his “f”-words already seem to be a rage. Priyanka (who is the only female character in the movie to my recollection) gets a great part once again and she does full justice to it. Among the supporting cast, Amol Gupte is superb. Though early on he doesn’t have much to do but at the end of it turns out be the best performance of this enterprise. Tenzing Nima and Chandan Roy are a few of the other characters who make a strong impression.

Bhardwaj’s score has always been the best thing about his earlier films and Kaminey is no exception. This time he and Gulzar come up with the current rage “Dhan Te Nan” among others, which is used to maximum effect. My favorites are “Fatak” and the title track which incidentally come at the beginning and towards the end respectively. After watching the film when I thought writing about it here I wanted to begin by saying – How can one not love Kaminey!!! But looking around a bit made me realize I was too optimistic. For me this was one of those films which reminds why we all love cinema so much.


1. Shakir - September 7, 2009

“But looking around a bit made me realize I was too optimistic” … This line said it all …

For I was about to sleep in first half, but second half did wake me up. Yes, it was a good movie, but best movie in “??” years??? Give me a break!!! Shujath, you gotta justify superlatives better

2. Shujath - September 8, 2009

Hmm….now I can completely justify writing that line 🙂

Well all I can say is – somebody pleaseee comment to contradict Shakir!!!!

Akash - December 30, 2009

its for the intelligent minds, you might have one but you’re not using it. the action is amazing, the songs are amazing, the performances rock,and the direction is superb. you have to go deep inside it. Shujath, hopefully this wins Movie of the Year at Filmfare! 😉

3. vallabh - December 31, 2009

Lately, I have been hating the “Interval” breaks in Indian films. Kaminey has only made my hatred worse. It’s like when you are making love to someone… slowly stripping off the clothes, provoking the senses and setting-up the stage for The Act… and someone says, “Take a 10 minute break and come back to finish the rest.” Seriously though, the way I see it, Interval has not only been of pure commercial interest, but also, many times, it cripples a movie by setting a reference in itself for the audience to measure film’s integrity (rather than placing it outside in another film if need be). Imagine the waste of the creator’s energy that goes into analyzing how and where to split the film so they could satisfy audience. Movies are rather widely perceived to consist of three acts but not two. So, why split it into half?

Nevertheless, I loved Kaminey for the same reasons I enjoy Tarantino’s and Ritchie’s works. The elements of dark humor, witty dialogue, aggressive music and brilliant screenplay. I haven’t yet come across a better hindi movie of similar genre.

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