Movie Review: Kaminey

I am writing this by stealing some hours of work. Sandwiched between deadlines to meet, this post just cannot wait to get out of me. Yes, I loved Kaminey – to the core. I don’t know if its brilliant, but it does come close, very close. Here’s the thing. I am a Manipuri, born in Assam. Most of my friends are Bengali. And then I went to work in Pune. So, I am quite fluent in Bengali, and I know enough Marathi to ask my maid to cook Daal with Bengan ka Bharta. And I love listening to street Bengali – the kind that you get to hear at Siliguri or Bordhoman, or may be Howrah – stuff like – Budho boyoshe Phaazlaami [ Translation: You’re getting senile as you get older ]. And when I get all of this together under one roof, surrounded by a skimmed, sugar-free script with unforgettable characters , I smile in utter satisfaction. Yes, Kaminey is THAT good.


Without giving much away, Kaminey’s plot revolves around twin brothers – Charlie and Guddu [Shahid] who have nothing else in common, except their face. One is a wannabe bookie, a lisp, and sees hallucinating images of his own bookie counter. The other is a self-righteous, stammering NGO worker, spreading AIDS awareness. Guddu falls in love with Sweety [Priyanka] who is the younger sister of a gangster turned wannabe politician, Bhope Bhau. Enter other characters in this weird jigsaw – Tashi, Inspector Lele, Mikhail, The Bengali Brothers; and yes, the pieces fit together in a magnificient climax. Let’s not talk about that just yet. Its life, destiny -whateva, that makes all of them come face to face with each other, and in this comedy of errors, horrors and gun-bam bams, the plot is revealed – of why Charlie is what he is.

Vishal Bharadwaj’s writing is excellent. The Bengalis speak in Bengali – and not just some tailored line, awfully pronounced . It is non-compromised street stuff without the F-bomb [ or in Bengali the Ch-bomb]. And so is the case with Marathi. And the characterisation of each actor has been very well defined. The last time I remembered all of the supporting character names was I guess – Mr.India – Daaga, Teja, Calendar etc [ Of course, we know of Sholay, but that is quite obvious, and it was released before Mr.India]. The screenplay is non-linear, but the events unveil the layers in the fashion they should. And thank God, for not spoon-feeding us with the details, and trusting us with our brain.

The delectable ensemble created the much required onscreen magic.Bhope bhau is protrayed as the vada paav eating, Jai Maharashtra chanting, ever-threatening-with-a-smile ex-gangsta, now a politican, who is never OTT [ you know the kind who drop metaphors after metaphors, the stuff that Bolly often can’t resist resorting to].Mikhail is a coke-addict who knows the business through and through and gets a high thinking of Copacabana trance.The Bengalis are maniacs who know their snipers and love First Person Shooters. And Tashi, Lele, Lobo and the African brothers are just brilliantly used in the plot, and do not seem like some characters staright out of a comic strip.

The pop-culture references are a delight to spot. Much like the movie itself is playing a trivia quiz with its audience. Let’s see.
1.’Apna Haath Jagannath’ on the door of Guddu’s Chawl’s Loo.
2.Do Lafzo Ki Hai playing in the room of Franfiff
3.Duniya Mein..Logo Ko..[ Was it a sweet tribute to Panchamda?]
4.Spiderman…Fpiderman
5. The horse chasing – I donno why it reminds me of Zanjeer
6. Maharashtra vs. UP as an Election agenda [ Yes, that IS a pop-culture]
..I’ll update this list when I watch it on DVD.

The whole world of Kaminey created in front of my eyes, spell magic. And yet it doesn’t seem anything different or unreal. Mumbai drenched in rain, Chawls, crowded Local trains and dark alleys in the night – all have been recreated to perfection. Excellent cinematography, and brownie points to unchoreographed fights, dances.

I know this is a brilliant movie for Shahid and Priyanka. And they definitely did not disappoint. Guddu and Charlie are poles apart – in personal beliefs and motives. And Sweety is the fearless tigress of sorts. Yes, Priyanka outdoes any of her previous works with this one. But Bhope Bhau steals the show for me. He knows how to have fun with the Ghoda in his hand. He giggles in an infectious way, and every line he speaks, comes across as a line from a certain Bhope Bhau that you’d expect having massive hoardings on the Chowk, wearing a white kurta and a fanatic supporter of the Mee-Marathi campaign. His cunningness is reflected in ways like he refers to getting his sister married to a builder’s son, just to raise election funds, and even bribe his nephew to keep him silent. And in such small details is what this movie made me tickle. Right before the climax, when Sweety starts blank-firing, Bhope guesses if his nephew has told Sweety, and he looks at the balcony to find the little boy to be munching a chocolate. No words spoken, but the message is conveyed. Bravo Vishal.

Lastly, Gulzar’s lyrics and Vishal’s music glides on this thrilling joy-ride. The lyrics are extra-ordinary, and someday I will do a music review of this. But for now, let me just not stop dancing to Dhan Te Nan. WARNING: Watching Dhan Te Nan might cause you a rare infection called – Shakemybootiosis. Sukhwinder’s vocals are piercing, and the picturisation of that song could not have been more apt. Not only does it serve as a major point in the movie, but it also appears at major junctions of the movie.

Yes, the climax was very Lock-Stock-ish when all characters collide, and there is wham bam. But even during the climax, as the bodies pile-up, the characters refuse to fade away. Not at least from my mind. Kaminey is a must watch of this year, and it is my favorite to sweep all the awards – or should it be Dev D. Now I’m pretty damn confused.

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18 thoughts to “Movie Review: Kaminey”

  1. Ppl shouting abt awards tht devD or this wud sweepaway, bt i know tht F£@€ing FF wud giv away many awards to sum Yashraj or typical bolly movie. (read MNK,DBH etc) Never have i’ve seen if it has encouragd sumthing ‘new’ by giving it awards.
    .-= Darshit’s last blog ..:Sikandar : Movie Review =-.

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    Sujoy Reply:

    MNK is releasing next year, and I’d be seriously upset ifDil Bole Hadippa wins any awards.

    I just dont get how potboilers and cheap popcorn movies get through to the nominations.

    Its goin 2b a tuff fight between Shahid and Abhay Deol for the Best Actor. Piggy Chops already is a front runner with the mulgi -Sweety.

    But best villain/comedian should go to Amole Gupte. He is the star of the movie. And so is Mikhail !!!!!

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  2. Wow! Thanks for the movie review. Very interesting. No Bollywood movie has really caught my eye this year but I may change my mind 🙂 Thanks for explaining a bit about your background, I like. I will FB or Tweet you something about a Bengali movie soon.
    .-= Nicki’s last blog ..:Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu – Gautham Menon does it again! =-.

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    Am I right, if I say that the Bengali movie you’re talking about is ‘Shob Choritro Kalponik’ starring Bips and Proshenjit, directed by Rituparno Ghosh.

    I am waiting to watch it. Apparently, like other Mr.Ghosh movies, this one has been termed as overtly self-indulgent and kinda the ‘art for arts sake’ kinda movie.
    But I will decide it for myself.

    Do watch Kaminey Nicki. This ones awesome

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  3. Kaminey is definitely amongst the very best this year. I would add Delhi6 to the list too (I know many would disagree with me, but that’s my honest view). Let’s wait till December, I’m pretty sure there’ll be other good movies too.

    But this Vifhal Bhardwaj film rocks! Flawless!
    .-= Bhargav Saikia’s last blog ..:Quick Thoughts: Kaminey, Sikandar, Life Partner =-.

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    Sujoy Reply:

    Really? Delhi6. I know I liked it too…but there are way too many contenders. Truth be told, I liked 99 more than Delhi6. My liking for Delhi6 is limited to its visuals and music rather than its story and execution.

    U r right, let’s wait for a few months more.

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  4. To me…the movie is a must watch only for the hype.
    otherwise…its just an okay movie…and the movie has too many characters to be able to provide space for all of them.
    It is just a oKay movie with a capital “K”.

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    Kai re Baba….you don’t need to give space for all of them…the characters survive in our memories for even the little act they do…

    I think the Bengali brothers and Mikhail, Tashi and Bhope Bhau were brilliantly cast and have left a very lasting impression.

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  5. Lovely review. Loved the way you mentioned the pop references in the movie.

    But, I’d like to add one more which u forgot.

    Guddu @ the police station
    Hum Hai Do Bhai, Bhai hai Judwaa, Isi liye chehre se Ek jaise hote hai
    ‘Wo Hai Haraami, Kutta Kamina, Kare wo bharu main, Bachpan se hota hai

    Inspector Lele
    Agar teri Unglee..ek khoke ki ho, to tera panja..kitne ka hota hai 😛
    ..Guddu..P..pp..Paanch

    Lele:..Dono??
    Guddu..D..D..Dus….
    Lele: ..Bahane karke le gayee Dil

    Loved it

    Also loved how Mikhail renames himself as Tope Bhau.

    [Reply]

    Sujoy Reply:

    Thanks Anshuman for the valuable addition to the list. Just a bit to tired to update the list.
    That’s an awesome shout out to all the Kaminey lovahs. Who can remember all the whacky lines? C’mon people. Shout it out here.!!!

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  6. I lurved it too (but you already know that) and I am vacillating between Dev D and Kaminey for Best Film (as well as Best Director, Best Actor and Best Music) of 2009. And you know, 3 Idiots hasn’t even released yet! The only thing that tips the balance in favor of Dev D for me, is that it was released long ago and it still stays with me while Kaminey is fading a bit (in comparison). Also, from a directorial and editing standpoint, Dev D was superior I think. But Best Actor should go to Shahid for sure 😀

    All in all, whichever film wins, it’s been a great year for Bollywood and we still have many more months to go 😀 As for Best Actress, Priyanka all the way, baby! No other actress this year has even had a meaty role, leave alone performed well.
    .-= pitu’s last blog ..:A lil bit o’ this n that =-.

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    Sujoy Reply:

    Best Actor: Shahid

    Best Film: Dev D

    Best Director: Vishal…just look at the canvas of characters he has painted together with such finesse…brilliant…

    and you are quite right about 3 Idiots ..m so looking fwd to that…

    Priyanka as Sweety was brilliant…the marathi was pitch perfect and also I loved the way she took the mashaal and went..Aaa naa..Aaa

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    Sujoy Reply:

    Of course, so far..Best Supporting role goes to Amole Gupte for Bhope Bhau

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    pitu Reply:

    Ya agreed with Best Supporting role for Amole. BTW hum log itne confidently bol rahe hain and you know FF is gonna give all these to Dil Bole Hadippa ;-D
    .-= pitu’s last blog ..:A lil bit o’ this n that =-.

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    Sujoy Reply:

    Now that My Name is Khan has been pushed to next year, all the laurels are for sure gonna be showered on Hadippa…ugh, It wud so much suck if Shahid gets the Best Actor for Dil Bole Hadippa…btw…Filmfare awards is held at YashRaj Studios *hint hint*

  7. Read your review, And I would say exactly what you did on my post about kaminey here >>http://abhinav86.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-kaminey-hindi.html#comments

    To each his own.

    Seriously man, I don’t find it that good. Period.

    As far as Cloverfield and Blair witch is concerned, I have watched them both long back. But that in a different genre altogether. Those are PRESENTED as footage from handy-cam of diff people. So it has to be shaky to do justice to the script.

    In this however, all the shakes, made my head ache. I wouldn’t want to watch it again, EVER.

    [Reply]

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