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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.

U Me Aur Hum April 13, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Hindi, Movies, Reviews.
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It’s just a few months back that Aamir Khan debuted as a director, naturally Ajay Devgan’s plunge into the director’s seat will undoubtedly have to bear the burden of high expectations and comparisons. But if you actually look at it…Ajay is only the third person in his family to direct. Remember “Hindustan Ki Kasam – A dream by Veeru Devgan”? the unanimous verdict for which was that it should have remained a dream. Then came brother Anil Devgan’s “Raju Chacha” – one of the most expensive flops of Bollywood which wasn’t outrightly a bad film but a good concept squandered away. With “U Me and Hum” one can easily conclude that Ajay has lived up to the standards set by his family and dared not to go beyond.

But you still have to appreciate the bold choice of the story – a lady suffering from Alzheimer’s and the painful daily struggles she and her husband have to come to terms with. But then you should also know that “sometimes the greatest journey between two people the story and the movie is the distance screenplay between them”. The first half of this flick is as bad as a first half can get. The absolutely pathetic and cringeworthy dialogue/situations/conversations that I encountered made me forget all the bad films I’ve seen in the last couple of years. Believe me….it really is that bad – and if you liked it and thought it was cute and mushy then God save you! (You might want to blame Devgan for this but then you might recall that in the opening credits this department was credited to a certain Ashwini Dhir – this is the guy who’s receiving brickbats since last week for his directorial debut “One Two Three” and even this week’s other release “Krazzy 4” receiving equally bad reviews is a product of his pen). Only before the interval the actual story begins and gives you a ray of hope. I wouldn’t say that the rest of the movie is great but because I’d been through the previous 80 minutes or so, it did look like a masterpiece compared to that. Again don’t get your hopes too high…the movie tries to make a point but when you expect to see the actualization of that it rather abruptly ends.

Ajay and Kajol (who look good together for the first time on screen) have put in really earnest performances and despite the maudlin sentimentality which creeps in at times they did effectively convey the agony and anguish of someone in a situation like theirs. There are also a couple of noteworthy moments – especially the ones where Kajol has a blackout in rather dangerous situations. The same cannot be said of the horrible supporting cast – mainly Karan Khanna, Isha Sharvani and Divya Dutta. The only other person who stands out in this movie is Vishal Bhardwaj with his mellifluous tunes – the title track and “Jeele Ishq Mein” (wonderfully rendered by Adnan Sami) are the best.

There are far more negatives than positives in this film but Ajay and Kajol still manage to give it a certain amount of respectability and they are purely the reason you might want to watch this one…better sleep through the first half and wake up just before the intermission – am sure you’ll then have a much better experience.