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Kaminey no genius, but worth a munch

Vishal Bhardwaj
Shahid Kapoor,Priyanka Chopra,Sweety Amol Gupte,Sunil Shekhar Bhope
Vishal Bhardwaj
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You`d suspect that a tale of twins, usually treated as timid family viewing by our films, couldn`t fit in with a raw crime drama.

But Kaminey turns this belief on its head and gives you an edgy version of the sibling story.

Also see: Images, videos & the latest news on Kaminey | Read Taran Adarsh's review of Kaminey

The curious title makes sense as the film progresses.

Charlie (Shahid) works for three Bengali brothers who bet on horses. He does the lowly work for them, meaning sniffing out double-crossers and taking bloody revenge. All three brothers, ragingly ruthless, are full of quirks. Charlie calls them mental, and you empathize.

His twin brother Guddu works for an NGO (this stark black and white characterisation is a bit straitjacketed) and is involved with feisty Sweety (Priyanka) who gets pregnant. It’s only after she breaks the news, that he learns she’s Bhope Bhau (Amol Gupte, of Tare Zameen Par fame) sister. Bhau, a Marathi hardliner who is in business of politics, cannot have his sister marry a Sharma. So he’s gunning for Guddu’s blood.

As is inevitable, the twins get mistaken for each other and fall in each other’s lives. What happens next? That’s the fun part.

There are many memorable scenes in the film: the one where Guddu stammers miserably when being questioned by the cops, and has to sing his explanation to avoid the interruption; where Sweety rescues Guddu on a scooty right after they get hitched; when Charlie sings Spiderman (Fiderman) with his drunk boss.

Kaminey wittingly or otherwise pays homage to several crime drama lords – gang boss Tashi (Tenzing Nima) singing tenderly on stage for his wife and child has the flavour of Godfather; the nurse and injection seem straight out of Kill Bill and the dark humour popping up unexpectedly has us thinking back to Tarantino.

Writer- Director-Composer Vishal Bharadwaj births a script with such a twisted screenplay, you`d liken it to a puzzle. His casting eye is also worth applauding. Shahid gives an effortless rendering of the two polar opposite brothers and is brilliant as both. This film is likely to catapult him to a space where he is now star and acclaimed actor.

Priyanka is marvellous as the girl-in-love who pretends to stammer to win Guddu’s heart and rescues him on more than one occasion.

Masterful editing by Meghna Sen (Omkara) fits the challenging jig-saw together by the end, but not without leaving us insatiably thirsty throughout. The film finally tumbles towards the climax-- full of emotion, sacrifice and violence, it’s part commercial masala; part stylistic coolth. Be warned though, the trip to the unravelling is fraught with some trying moments where you might find yourself impatient and confused.

Those who’ve tasted the work of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino may enjoy Kaminey without labelling it as being spectacularly genius.

As crime dramas go, the film is supremely clever, complex and funny. Worth a munch.

Verdict: Three-and-a-half stars


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