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Kaminey: Movie Review!

August 14, 2009

Three years ago when Vishal Bharadwaj made “Omkara”, a lot of us couldn’t stop raving about his style. And now his latest film “Kaminey” catapults him to the league of pioneers of new wave cinema in India. Over the past few years, Hindi film industry has shown remarkable maturity in handling and narrating  new themes and stories, thanks to some incredibly talented directors like Anurag Kashyap, Neeraj Pandey, Dibakar Banerjee and others.  But “Kaminey” is unlike any other film we have seen for a long time in Hindi because it transcends the limitations like language, insipid content and more importantly lack of conviction among other things, that we usually associate with Cinema. It teases you with its intelligence and once you fall into its realm, there’s no looking back in this roller coaster.

“Kaminey” narrates the story of twins, who are living separate lives. One stammers and the other has a lisp. While they have their own perspective of what kind of lives they want, fate has different plans for them. On a particularly eventful day, the brothers bump into each other under some extraordinary set of events and then…..dhan tana……You have watch all that on big screen.

“Kaminey” is undoubtedly dark, funny and intelligent at the same time. No wonder, we are expected to carry our brains along while watching this movie because it’s like a jig-saw puzzle which isn’t easy to figure out instantly. The film has tremendous energy at the outset but its real strength is in the fact that all its characters brim with life and sharp intelligence. It makes you wonder how one can fiddle with a theme so mundane in Bollywood and come up with a perfectly sensible story. We are talking about Guns, Goons, Drugs, Corrupt Policemen, Fanatics. Hasn’t this set been the most mundane set of characters in all our films? Yet, under Vishal Bharadwaj’s direction all of them turn extremely unpredictable and continue to remain so till the very end. Some of the characters like Bhope, which Amol Gupte plays with striking ferocity or Tashi played by Tenzing Nima bring a certain charm to the role of an antagonist which has been missing in our films. Every dialogue uttered speaks volumes of their personality and not even once do they appear to be out of sync of their characters. Then there are other characters like Mikhail, Lobo, the Bengali brothers and a horde of others who give the film a distinct voice and personality. It’s for this reason one must watch and appreciate this film.

Shahid Kapur does remarkably well as Guddu, the kind-hearted guy who has a specific plan for his future. Guddu has a tough time dealing with his stammering problem and doubts the sincerity of his relationships  from time to time. Inferiority complex? Maybe. On the other hand, Shahid saves his best for the role of “Charlie”, the one with a lisp…oops…lifp! It takes time to understand his diction and once you get a hold of the lisp, it never ceases to amuse even in the most wretched situations. Priyanka Chopra is wonderful as Sweety, be it her Marathi slang or even her resolve to marry the guy she loves despite all odds. Amole Gupte as Bhope, whose love for Maharashtra echos the sentiments of several political leaders of Mumbai, is stunning! He’s funny and at the same time cruel to those who don’t heed to his words, take that scene where Mikhail and Bhope play a game of russian roulette. We know that someone’s going to die, yet the tragedy is morphed by both Bhope and Mikhail’s antics.

Like all his other films, Vishal Bharadwaj sets his story amidst some unsual locations. The backdrop is Mumbai this time and somehow the locales still look like Bombay. The film is not only dark in its content but also visually. Most of the scenes have a greyish tinge to them which is perfectly in sync with the mood of the film. Even most of the locales are the bylanes and slums of Mumbai. Kudos to the production unit for the effort they have put in. Another reason why this film is so slick is, Tassuduq Hussian. The cinematography under his agies reminds you of several Hollywood films and extremely helpful in capturing the emotions and mood of the characters who are on the run. The hand-held cinematography style adds a lot more life to this film and something which you can’t stop raving about. Vishal Bharadwaj who also wrote this film apart from composing the music, background score and direction excels beyond your imagination. The plot of “Kaminey” might look simple, but it’s very unpredictable and at times keeps you guessing about what’s going to happen next. “Dhan Tana…” and “Pheli Baar…” are beautifully composed. The background score is a huge asset! It’s one thing to narrate a film, but it’s altogether to narrate a complex story with a stroke of genius. That’s exactly where Vishal Bharadwaj succeeds, continuously. Maqbool and Omkara showed us what he can do with a set of talented actors, but with “Kaminey” he pushes the ante’ further in terms of entertaining as well as presenting a challenging film to the audience. I bow to our desi Quentin Tarantino! And there’s a huge influence of Guy Ritche’s style as well in Vishal’s style.

This film is highly recommended for everyone and I mean even those of you who love cheesy flicks. It hits you like a brick, reminding us how much of junk we have been watching all these days in the theaters. You don’t have to be a genius to appreciate this film, yet the film expects you to understand the major part of how and why on your own. Watch “Kaminey” because it respects your intelligence and films like these come once in a bluemoon.

Bottomline: The film is …a…aw…awefone! Ftunning! A must watch.

Rating: 5/5

P.S: Quite a few dialogues are in Marathi and few in Bengali. It would have been great if the film makers had subtitles for them too.

P.P.S: It’s not that this film is the greatest ever film made in Hindi. But watching the film makes you realise that it couldn’t have been better. Hence a rating of 5/5…:)

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For all the movie buffs and film makers in Hyderabad, here’s an interesting event on 23rd August…”Cut It Short”-Short Film Festival…read more @

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2009 4:43 pm

    I agree with every word in your review 🙂
    Kudos. Your review reflects my views too.
    Just a mention, let’s not forget Guy Ritchie for he also made gangster/drug based movies with dark humour like this.
    Bravo Vishal! Bravo!
    Bravo Shahid and Priyanka!
    Bravo Team! 🙂

  2. Hemanth permalink*
    August 14, 2009 5:07 pm

    @rajeev: Totally agree with you!..:)

  3. August 14, 2009 8:44 pm

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    V.K Gupta

  4. August 16, 2009 12:20 am

    woooooww very2 thanks to share 😛 i always came to visit ur blog

  5. kavya permalink
    August 17, 2009 10:07 am

    5/5!!!??!! in dat case i shud surely nt miss watchin dis movie.. i hope dis movie ll turn out to b a gud break fe shahid in bollywood 🙂

    • Hemanth permalink*
      August 17, 2009 2:21 pm

      @Kavya: Yeah!! I can’t stop raving about the acting and Cinematography…by the way, I have always been a huge fan of Vishal Bharadwaj’s movies….don’t miss this one!..:)

  6. August 17, 2009 1:51 pm


    U just make me jealous by watching these kinda brilliant movies on its first day of release.. :-/
    Hv to watch this one in the coming weekend..

    • Hemanth permalink*
      August 17, 2009 2:22 pm

      @Anantha: hehe…that’s the advantage of staying in Hyd! If you a movie buff…I wonder if any other city comes even close to the scene in Hyderabad…:)….Oh, btw…watch this flick! I think it has the best works of Cinematography we have seen in a long long time!..:)

      • August 18, 2009 9:57 am

        What’s so spcl abt movie screening in Hyd dude..? are the tickets cheaper? OR are there more number of theaters..?

        All I knw abt here in Bangalore is ticket costs are crazy in multiplexes man. I seriously can’t afford to watch all the movies I want with the current fair for the tickets. Bloody, some of the good and less popular films do not get screened in small theaters. Believe me, I have missed many movies just cos of ticket cost. Just to mention a few, Frozen (Dir: Shivaji Chandrabhushan ) and Blue Umbrella (incidentally a movie of Vishal Bharadwaj).. :-/

        • Hemanth permalink*
          August 18, 2009 12:14 pm

          @Anantha: Exactly!! There’s no differential pricing here…for all movies, all languages, all days…price remains Rs.100 in multiplexes…(The Imax screen is an exception, they charge Rs.200)…and the city has like more than 100 cinema halls and 6 multiplexes….that’s why I call it a movie buff’s paradise!

          Unfortunately, English and other foreign films are sometimes late to arrive! We probably wait for atleast 2 weeks before we see a English films, sometimes…
          I know how terrible it is in Bangalore…the whole point of spending 150+ bucks for useless flicks seems so pointless….btw, did I tell you that the local theatres in Hyderabad are pretty well maintained in most parts of the city and the highest ticker price is Rs.50 (was Rs.35, till 2007)!!..:D

          • August 18, 2009 1:24 pm

            Im fuming of jealousy… 🙂

  7. onefilmbuff permalink
    August 25, 2009 12:12 pm

    I totally agree about Hyd… sad part is i am going to leave Hyd soon and will move to Pune… Hey Hemanth as u know i like your blog and reviews…so would like to buy u 2 tickets…but not through Pay Pal…give me some address where i can send you the tickets…movie and theater is u r wish. I saw G.I.Joe and Kaminey last night(two movies in a row ;-))… G.I.Joe was a screaming for sequel typical action movie… the dialogues in this movie are a big let down…. Kaminey is a movie that i would like to watch again…i like u r review… i like the fact that u gave a well deserved praise to Vshal and also mentioned Guy Ritchie and Torontino whose style is surely evident in this movie… but i don’t think Vishal can yet be compared to Torontino… The film is very much inspired from crime genre movies of the 90’s like Pulp Fiction, Lock Stock and Two Smocking Barrels and Snatch among other movies… lot of scenes remind u of a lot of other dark, crime movies as well(but admirebly no rip off’s though)… This is the first movie of Vishal Bharadwaj i have seen and yes i think he is a fantastic director… will catch up with his other work soon… Performance of everyone was precise and perfect, Priyanka Chopra did steal the show in some scenes…but every one did a fantastic job… i hope bollywood makes few more movies like this..From the first time i heard the theme music of this movie it reminds me of the Pulp Fiction Theme..after watching the movie i can say that Kaminey took some inspiration from Pulp Fiction for sure…but i truly missed the nonlinear narration and a Samuel L Jackson’s charecter and his biblical dialogues….and when Tashi says Its An Act Of God…i couldn’t help but remeber Samuel L Jackson’s dialogue…i can go on with comparisions and inspirations but one thing for sure this is a certain achivement for Bollywood and i hope few more directors can get inspired and follow this path.

    • Hemanth permalink*
      August 25, 2009 12:23 pm

      @onefilmbuff: Hey…thanks a lot!! Lets continue this conversation over gtalk…my mail id is……:)

      • onefilmbuff permalink
        August 25, 2009 1:08 pm

        I am there in gtalk…ping me when u r online.

  8. August 25, 2009 1:53 pm


    Watched Kaminey last weekend. Kudos to all the 4 screenplay writers [including VB] for giving us a movie with such a well knit script. Brilliant cinematography (as u had told me before..).

    Bhope and Tashi were really amazing. PC as Sweetie proves yet again that she is a far better actress than many of her contemporaries. But I felt Shahid was just good. He seems to have done the job just right. I do not think he was brilliant. OK.. that’s my personal opinion. That also makes me think of an alternate who could have portrayed both Guddu and Charlie better than Shahid..! umm.. just a thought, nothing very serious though..

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