Review - Kaminey: run at good pace but swindle on details

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Though Kaminey is directed in style it's still a typical gangster plot and is superficially written too. The focus on details of the shallow characters is sorely missing. Punch is forced into dialogue delivery to mask the lame lines. However, Shahid-Priyanka do well.

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Wogma Review

The grainy texture, the stylish camerawork and finesse in the editing departments, do make it a different and enriching experience. Especially, if all you see is glitter and glamour of the Hindi film world. HOWEVER, this can't make-up for the lack of detail in the story and dialogue writing areas. And that's a huge let-down. Conclusion: I felt cheated by Kaminey.

Yes, most certainly there are a few plot points which make the audience think and work its way through the cause and effect. And that's brilliant because I love being treated as an intelligent audience. There was also an underlying, witty political commentary which was both funny and insightful.

But to counter them there are other plot points that have unexplained skips and jumps that can of course be explained by what I call Bolly-matic liberty. This also means that there is no 'twist' in the tale, everything goes as expected - as it has been happening over the last few decades. That's not acceptable in an action thriller. I wasn't able to give a discount to the fact that it has been done purposefully and offers appropriate tributes to Apna Desh and The Great Gambler.

Moreover, though the climax ties the ends alright, it does so forcefully. To use a friend's words, "the writer gave birth to a character, so he had to kill it."

Similarly, there are loads of characters that seem to exist just to increase the width of the plot, and add nothing to the depth. I liked the fact that they are all relatively small-timers in the crime-world. None of them was over-powering and each one was answerable to someone more powerful. The connections between them all worked too. But, each one had just one quirk to differentiate himself – some worked and some didn't. But they were all the same shade of black. Okay, except for the three main characters. I understand that one point the film was trying to make is that people in or related to the goon industry are all the same. Yet, finer details were missing. There wasn't anything that made you appreciate the writers' creativity.

Surely, this is one of Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra's best performances. Both of them are looking and performing better by the day. I have to confess, though I found Shahid extremely attractive, taking my eyes off Priyanka was an effort whenever she was on screen. She is charming and vulnerable, strong yet completely dependent on her lover's affection and support. The other cast were a bunch of caricatures that didn't make me care for them.

Despite all the negatives, the movie is a wholesome visual pleasure. We see a lot of handheld camerawork in non-Indian films and they usually tend to make me dizzy. I find myself complaining that the camera becomes the action choreographer in action thrillers abroad. Similar camerawork is used but I felt that the interval between cuts are just that beat longer to give me an orientation of who's hitting who, where and how. The establishing shots also add to the ambience.

A lot of my complaints could be because I don't want this in a Vishal Bharadwaj product. While walking out of the theater I wondered whether I'd be more accepting of any other lesser director. But, I remembered the first 30-45 minutes of the film, I was trying hard to like the film. It just wasn't working.

It's been a while since I've seen a high-profile, much-looked-forward-to, Hindi movie 3 days after its release. Much after most of the reviews are out. Though I read none of them, that the general reaction was highly positive was difficult to miss. Not to mention, the original anticipation associated with the film. I'm guilty of not being able to go in with a clean slate. But, despite giving the film benefit of doubt for my high expectations, the film lacked the steam needed for an action-packed thriller. Most glaring is the writing department, especially the dialogue and then character development. Those are the culprits which kept Kaminey from being a wholesome experience.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and loads
  • Language: A lot of colloquial language used. A couple of innuendos, talk of AIDS, pre-marital sex and abortion.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of love-making scenes. Not much skin show though.
  • Concept: That of the filth in the underworld. About the scoundrels that this world is filled with.
  • General Look and Feel: A dark hue is maintained through the film.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3
  • Story: 2.5
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 2.5
  • Dialogues: 2
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 4.5
  • Lyrics: 5

Kaminey - Movie Details

Kaminey - Trailer

Comments (9)

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Annkur:

To me it looked like Priyadarshan made something outside his domain of comedy...

But reason I like this as a entertainer, I ain't really a part of the audience who likes to see a matured love story (Luv aaj kal).. and I tell you there are tones like me (however you may classify us :P )

meetu:

@Ramen Oh come on! Dialogues were as lame as power is power! and some of the lamest possible. The supporting cast was one caricature after another, reminded me too much of the Guru in Sarkar - basically annoying. We differ in opinions. It's alright I guess.

@Annkur I absolutely agree that there are people who like plain entertainment. I want something more out of my films which might as well have been the germ for wogma. Doesn't mean it alienates anyone, if from my review you find you'll like what I didn't like, the decision is made for you. Enjoy the film! :)

@Mayur @Saurabh Knew someone would compare Love Aaj Kal ratings with this one and give me the pleasure of saying, "not comparable films, different genres, different aims."

@BA damn! I had a better interpretation of who killed Bhope's goons! Damn, this is spoilt for me, but it does explain how they reached Bhope's place given that every goon knows every other goons henchmen and addresses.

@Abhinav There you go! I didn't hate Kaminey though. It was alright. A visual pleasure.

@B.H.Harsh Finally! A comment that says exactly what reviews are all about. Its a perception. You like the perception, do what the film recommends. If you don't like it do the opposite. Simple!

@ Anoop Exactly!!

meetu:

@Anupam oh well...to each his own.

@Ravi O-kay

@Kunal Adnani eggjhactlee!

bhakti:

brilliant movie...........

meetu:

woah! Vishal dude...those are awesome observations. Though some of them sound far-fetched, but cool nevertheless.

meetu:

Yeah Dash, it's a shame, but i'm not sure it's specific to Indians. I've learnt to enjoy being called names, reading comments is much more fun that way. :)

Navin Modi:

I agree on comment about Priyanka Chopra.....it was really hard taking eyes off her.....every dialogue of her had a punch

TimELiebe:

Wow, we didn't make it more than twenty minutes into this movie! Normally all of us like Shahid Kapoor, but here's he's playing an unsympathetic gangster a little too well - and his co-stars excelled at being even more detestable!

This was like watching some barely literate hack trying to impersonate Quentin Tarantino's "quirky" dialogues - the leaden attempts at witty menace even came through the subtitles.

Once again, I salute you for having more fortitude than we did, Meetu....

meeta:

ha ha ha @TimELiebe :D :D pleasure is mine

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