By Joginder Tuteja
Film: "Kaminey"; Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Amol Gupte, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Tenzing Nima, Shiv Subrahmanyam, Hrishikesh Joshi; Director: Vishal Bharadwaj; Rating: ****
In "Kaminey", Shahid Kapoor has dared to pick a subject which would have looked impossible to execute when read on paper. With his outstanding performance in the film, Shahid joins the list of top actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan.
And yes, Shahid and Priyanka have a crackling on-screen chemsitry. After "Kaminey", audiences would be expecting a lot from him each time.
Director Vishal Bharadwaj has redefined filmmaking with "Kaminey". While making the film there was absolutely no reference point for Bharadwaj at least in Bollywood cinema. He picked from from Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino brands of cinema and adapted it perfectly to a Bollywood milieu.
Bharadwaj takes his audience into a world that has perhaps never been explored before on Indian screen. He keeps introducing characters for the first 30 minutes while making sure that the twin brothers (Shahid) aren't brought together in a single frame till way past the interval.
He also confuses his audience on purpose in at least a couple of sequences and tests their intelligence. There's the scene where two groups of three characters each are shown interacting amongst themselves and eventually it turns out that all of them were in the same room. Or the entire hotel sequence where a drug deal goes kaput. And then, of course, the eventiual coming together of all the 10 odd characters who are connected to one another.
Set in Mumbai, the film is mostly shot on real locations. The director's insistence on canning shots outdoors pays off as the backdrop becomes difficult to disentangle from the elements of this thriller.
So what one gets to see is a day in the life of two brothers who are on the run for different reasons. Guddu (Shahid) has seen a sudden marriage with Sweety, played by Priyanka Chopra who is excellent in her relatively short but meaningful and important role. He is now being followed by Sweety's brother (Amol Gupte).
Charlie (Shahid) has got hold of drugs worth Rs.10 crore and is now all set to sell them off to fulfil his long cherished dreams.
And in between, there are cops, gangsters, international drug mafia, narcotics department, a 'Jai Maharashtra' slogan-raising brother, an over-'coked' friend and his two mad Bengali brothers -- all of whom make sure that "Kaminey" turns out to be one joyride that keeps the excitement on till the credits start rolling.
The film starts off decently though one has to concentrate hard to get the point of the narrative. All of that starts making sense after 30 odd minutes, but you still feel that there could have been a little more meat to the proceedings.
However, the post interval portions make 'Kaminey' simply irresistible. Layer after layer unfolds, dark as well as humane side of people are put on display and finally comes an explosive climax that pretty much justifies the route that Bharadwaj takes in "Kaminey".
After watching the film, the first question that comes to the mind is - 'Why was the film granted an 'A' certificate?'
"Kaminey" is one of the few must watch films of 2009. From narrative to execution -- Bharadwaj shows that he knows the art of creating a new world of cinema and lays out a road ahead for many aspiring filmmakers.