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Film Review: Kaminey

The Story:

Kaminey’ narrates the story of twins Charlie (Shahid Kapoor) and Guddu (Shahid Kapoor) who not only despise each other and have two different speech disorders, but also lead two very different lifestyles. Good boy Guddu manages a career in a small NGO firm as a trainee and dreams to climb the corporate ladder, while the street-smart, notorious Charlie fixes derby matches and dreams of making it big as a bookie through shortcuts and ‘chota shortcuts.’

They don’t cross paths for several years until one rainy night where Charlie gets caught up in a deadly get rich quick scheme with partner-in-crime Mikhail (Chandan Roy Sanyal), while henpecked Guddu discovers that his girlfriend Sweety (Priyanka Chopra) is pregnant. Their lives further converge as Charlie is chased by corrupt cops Lobo (Shiv Subrahmanyam) and Lele (Hrishikesh Joshi), while Guddu becomes the culprit of Sweety’s tyrant brother Sunil Bhope (Amole Gupte).

The dark comic ride continues as Charlie and Guddu run to protect themselves, their dreams and their love. They have a head on collision with gangsters, crooked cops and rogue politicians, but it’s the final face-off between Charlie and Guddu that reveals their defeat or victory in the big bad world.

The Cast:

Shahid Kapoor as Charlie – raw and rugged, he's the hot stud with a lisp who lives life at the edge. He makes a living by betting at the race course and dreams of becoming a high-roller, but once he is donned by bad luck, he can only survive by his wits.

Shahid Kapoor as Guddu – clean-shaven, he's frail in personality and stammers. He works as a trainee in a NGO firm in the city and aspires to become an elite member of the middle class.

Priyanka Chopra as Sweety – young and vivacious, she’s Guddu’s Marathi girlfriend turned wife. She’s got a fiery attitude and creates a scene wherever she goes. Her love for Guddu is strong that she is not intimidated by her gangster brother Bhope.

Amole Gupte as Bhope – Sweety’s brother and small time gangster turned rouge politician who bribes his own nephew and plots against Guddu for marrying Sweety.

Deb Mukherjee and Rajatva Dutta as Mujeeb and Shumon – the elder brothers of Mikhail, they are the most powerful bookies on the horse racing circuit.

Chandan Roy Sanyal as Mikhail – wild and highly doped out, Mikahil shares the dream of becoming a bookie with Charlie.

Tenzing Nima as Tashi – a Nepali drug lord, Tashi lives for money and kills for money. He can fool anyone with his kind persona but his dangerous intentions leave no room for sympathy.

Shiv Subrahmanyam and Hrishikesh Joshi as Lobo and Lele – the two corrupt Narcotics Officers who want in on all of the action and unintentionally unite Guddu and Charlie.

The Crew:

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala
Production House: UTV Motion Pictures
Distributor: UTV Motion Pictures
Music Label: T-Series
Screenplay: Vishal Bhardwaj, Sabrina Dhawan, Abhishek Chaubhey
Story: Vishal Bhardwaj
Cinematography: Tassaduq Hussain
Choreography: Raju Sundaram, Ahmed Khan
Music Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Lyricist: Gulzar
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Amole Gupte, Deb Mukherjee, Rajatva Dutta, Carlos Paca, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Tenzing Nima, Shiv Subrahmanyam, Hrishikesh Joshi

What Worked:

Shahid Kapoor is the true star of ‘Kaminey’. Not only does he put on a great lisp and stammering act, he also pulls off two distinct looks in the film – one in kurtas and loose shirts, and the other as a stubbly rebel dressed in fitted tees and denims. Shahid’s hard work to achieve this look definitely shows, especially in the scene where he is running bare-chested with the horses.

Priyanka Chopra is another surprise. Her character gives off some reality of life and her new avatar as a Marathi girl really works wonders for her acting career. With her flawless Marathi dialogue delivery, you can tell she has put her own touch to the character of Sweety.

Vishal Bhardwaj has donned many hats in ‘Kaminey’ – as director, story writer, screenplay, and music director. The script is strong and there is everything from action and romance to dark streets and rainy nights – all the right ingredients that bring art and commercialism into one gangster comedy.

The beginning of the film is a spectacle on its own. The flamboyant action continues with the face off scene between Guddu and Charlie to various other scenes featuring Amol Gupte and Tenzing, to the song ‘Dhan Te Nan’, all through the chaotic finale. The background theme ‘Go Charlie Go’ accents the brilliant cinematography by Tassaduq Hussain.

What Didn't:

The minor flaws of ‘Kaminey’ – the climax scene in the slums, which gives off an urban jungle war feeling, appears to drag with the endless shooting between the multiple gangs. The songs are not situational and don’t fit too well with the plot. Though ‘Dhan Te Nan’ is a fantastic track, it’s a bit of an eyesore to watch.

The Soundtrack:

Vishal Bhardwaj’s outstanding music in the soundtrack is sure to give you an adrenaline rush. ‘Dhan Te Nan’, sung by Sukhwinder Singh, Vishal Dadlani and Robert Omulo is the essence of ‘Kaminey’. Other tracks include the folksy ‘Fatak’, sung by Kailash Kher and Sukhwinder Singh, the romantic ‘Pehli Baar Mohabbat’, and ‘Raat Ke Dhai Baje’ sung by Sunidhi Chauhan. The title track ‘Kaminey’ sung by Vishal Bhardwaj is soulful.

Slated or Rated:

‘Kaminey’ is an entertaining mix of good, bad and everything in between. This gangster comedy is realistic, has a catchy soundtrack and an awesome ensemble cast to keep you laughing in the dark. Go see ‘Kaminey’ to find the ‘kaminey’ (scoundrel) in you!

Rating: 4.5/5



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