I haven’t felt like this after watching a film in a long time. Actually, there are a few films in the last two years that have really made me happy – Manorma – Six Feet Under, Gulaal, Dev D, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and now – Kaminey.
There are some films that you know – even as you’re watching them for the first time, that you want to get the DVD, and listen to the Director’s cut, and pause the film and have a closer look at some of the scenes. This is definitely one of those films for me.
This is a dark film. However, the pace of the film is so breathless that the darkness doesn’t pull you down or engulf you. It’s a brilliant balance between the sparseness of a story, and a million characters. Don’t even dream of drinking water while watching the film, if you dare to go to the loo for a wee during the film, even if for two minutes, you’ll miss the plot.
What’s amazing is that the story takes on a more ancient formula, and has an element of the retro. Once in a while the screen is invaded by violence with music from the 70s, moving in perfect tandem. Within the formula of twin brothers (Shahid Kapoor), Sweety (Priyanka Chopra) shines. I’ve hardly seen her act before, so to see her with an expression on her face, and taking on a definitely “different” but “within the formula” role is fantastic. Not to mention the number of villains played by relatively unknown actors. It adds an incredible freshness and unpredictability to the course of evil and cruelty.
Bengali mafia dons, spunky Maharashtrian girl, twins, a near perfect soundtrack, various dons, politicians, drugs, guns, money. And yet no sense of farce. Nothing that tries to laugh at itself. No separate comedy track. There is humour but it’s all wired into the film so intricately that there’s nothing like a funny moment. Just a random laugh at the irony and out of nervousness.
I always thought Shahid Kapoor could act, but the best bit about this film was the voiceovers that he does. You see a glimpse of Pankaj Kapoor somewhere. As for the music, I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said before. While I love Dhan Te Naan like nuts and can’t stop humming it, I am equally struck by Fatak and the title track of Kaminey. In fact, the song Kaminey is so melancholic that it sort of punches me in the gut once in a while.
Which takes me to the point where I think Vishal Bharadwaj is an absolute genius. I loved Maqbool, Omkara and even his children’s film – Blue Umbrella – all of which had dark shades and irony thrown in for good measure. Plus, the man sings brilliantly. And composes like a dream. What more could you want?