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A smart caper—giddy, furiously paced, brash and great fun for most parts save the rather contrived feelgood end.


Starring: Shahid Kapur, Priyanka Chopra, Amol Gupte, Tenzing Nima, Chandan Roy Sanyal
Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj
Rating: ****

Unlike Maqbool or Omkara, there’s nothing hugely layered or thought-provoking about Kaminey. It wasn’t meant to be that way. Kaminey is essentially a smart caper—giddy, furiously paced, brash and great fun for most parts save the rather contrived feelgood end.

The tale is simple and offers no great surprises. Two estranged twins—one stammers (Guddu) and the other lisps (Charlie)—find their paths crossing one rainy Mumbai night and all hell breaks loose. Along with this, several other tales merge and converge. Drugs and guns, cops and dons, shootouts and chases are supplied in good measure. Bollywood gets married to Tarantino and things are rounded off with a bloody, wild wild west-inspired finale making Kaminey a strikingly anarchic, unusually energetic, quirky and frenetic film.

Vishal’s characters are amoral, inhabit the fringes but he creates a sense of sympathy for them and draws out the best even from non-professional actors. Most of the characters are comic-book simple but stay with you after the film is over. Priyanka is surprisingly believable as the girl-next-door who takes a lead in everything, be it initiating unprotected sex, organising her wedding or planning her honeymoon. Shahid grows up and acts convincingly as two very distinct individuals.

There are some truly funny, nudge-’n-wink wicked moments. Like the singsong confession of Guddu at the cop station, set to the tune of Kuch kuch hota hai. Or the poster of Mallika Sherawat on the toilet door with Apna Haath Jagannath written alongside.

And then Vishal takes you completely by surprise and throws in a quiet, emotional scene in the midst of all the mad action. Guddu talking about his love for the girl in school for whom he used to read out “Champak, Nandan, Bela-Bahadur” only to realise she was making fun of his speech problem. It’s a heart-aching moment but Vishal doesn’t allow the sensitivity to trip over into melodrama.

The best is Vishal’s unapologetic mix of lingos in a cosmopolitan Mumbai. Exchanges in Bengali and Marathi go without subtitles. We understand the gist, as we do in reality.

High Fives


1. Kaminey
2. Life Partner
3. Love Aaj Kal
4. Agyaat
5. Luck


1. District 9
2. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
3. The Time Traveller’s Wife
4. Julie & Julia
5. G-Force


1. Lo Intentamos (Espinoza Paz)
2. Loba (Shakira)
3. Ya Es Muy Tarde (La Arrolladora)
4. El Amor (El Bambino)
5. Causa Y Effecto (Paulina Rubio)

Courtesy: Film Information

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