2 Average

Kaminey

Remember how a few years ago… a sensation in singing emerged… his ‘different’ voice gave rise to a huge fan base of maniacs who adored his nasal style? Kaminey is a slightly exaggerated version of such a sensation. People seem to be in love with it for unknown reasons but then, Vishal Bhardwaj too has his fans just like the singer had his.
Kaminey is nothing but a ‘pulp fiction’ of vague ideas, incomplete themes, familiar plots and half drawn characters. Bhardwaj tries hard to be India’s own Quentin Tarantino (some inspiration!) and thus it draws some, but dissuades others. Some good music could be the film’s only memorabilia but overall, the film tries hard to be a statement in cinema but turns out to be that punctuation that you end up erasing which even then manages to leave an obscure mark.
Lengthier than ‘Omkara’ but a bit more entertaining than Bhardwaj’s last ‘Blue Umbrella’, Kaminey draws its plot from countless Bollywood films including ‘Judwaa’ as well as Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’. Yes, the variety of inspiration for this film is startling and that is what leaves a normal viewer in a state of shock…. What exactly is Bhardwaj trying to do? What is he trying to convey? Is it a drama about twins pissed off at one another? Is it an unseen saga about the underworld? Is it the story of a man’s ambition to open his own booking window at the turf club or the other’s life charted out by the years? One may never find out ever but there are those who think he said a lot in the 2 ½ odd hours of stereotypical medley.
To the director’s credit, the movie has its tiny bits – the hotel room shootout scene which must be the most intense, the picturization of Dhan Te Tan with invigorating visuals and the Guddu-Sweety wedding ceremony clash before the intermission that involved the relentless beating up of Guddu and a high octane performance by Priyanka Chopra in her career best 2 mins on screen. Amole Gupte as Bhope Babu is a revelation with his performance. He is entertaining while being devilish at the game. Sadly, that’s about it.
The music reflects Bhardwaj’s core talent with Dhan Te Nan, his melodious rendition of the title song, Pehli Baar Mohabbat and the background score. Fatak looks more like Vijay’s entry in Don with Moriya Re and has some canny message about safe sex which is ignored by the protagonist for some odd reason.
Now, the highlight of the film that amused millions of Bhardwaj devotees – Charlie lisps while Guddu stammers!! Ohhh what funnnnn!!! Barring one dialogue (shown in promos), their verbal aberrations do not provide any comic relief. Don’t quite get the point… maybe it poses as a challenge to Shahid Kapoor’s acting capabilities that may get him a filmfare, screen, window, star or sun. There are moments that the movie builds up to but then fades away like a racing horse you just placed your bets on. Examples:
Right after Dhan Te Nan, Charlie is being chased by a speedy car on the abandoned streets on a rainy night but it turns out that he was chased by his friend for fun.
The Bengali partners who Charlie worked for, have an awesome bit on the screen in the beginning, only to disappear till the climax.
What the deuce is up with the ‘home science’ bit and Sweety’s pregnancy??!
Taashi appears to be a notorious criminal but we would’ve liked to see a more menacing side of his rather than his prolonged interaction with some underworld Nigerians….
The biggest letdown could be the exchange involving the two brothers in the local train…. Directors would die for such an opportunity to showcase some intense action around the lifeline of so many individuals in Bombay but Bhardwaj chose to relinquish it by making it just another scene that had so much potential.
Oh! and then Charlie running topless with those horses! Ah the potential for some different action sequence was just a figment of his imagination!
Charlie and Guddu choose different paths in their childhood years after Charlie’s failed attempt to save their father’s life. That’s it?? That was the foundation of their hatred??! Come on!! That’s just insulting the audience. Judwaa had a better flashback!
The climax, hugely entertaining for some, turns out to be as random as the climax in Priyadarshan’s comedy movies while Bhardwaj’s intention must have been to pay a tribute to Guy Ritchie and Tarantino’s films. Yes, a very Indian adaptation indeed….. as random as aliens dressed up as school teachers in our schools. He just wanted every character in the movie to be there, at the same time and make the police look like roof-top spectators enjoying a cricket match.
The problem with Kaminey is that it tries to spoof Bollywood stereotypes with its characters and plot involving drugs, mafia, police, politicians and ambitious protagonists while trying to showcase something completely different and intense. What it ends up being is a confused product that reminds you of certain movies while one’s yearning for that scene to be bigger than it actually was, ends up soaking wet. It builds up this false expectation that something grand and intense is about to happen that will prove why the movie is so hyped but then it just withers like it didn’t mean anything. You spend 2 ½ hours in the theater going through the unnecessary stammering and lisping to realize that Bhardwaj wanted to go beyond Anurag Kashyap, RGV and David Dhawan but ends up with this concoction that is Kamina by nature as it betrays one’s expectation.
Yes, the film is different....baah!

- 5.002 on a scale of 1-10.