wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV/online (?)
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.Read more
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
Thumbs up, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...If you’re attuned to this sense of larky mayhem, Kaminey is a scream – a quasi-existential action-comedy that owes as much to the postmodern Tarantino oeuvre as the more classical gangland bloodbaths... full review
Thumbs up, by Roshni Mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...While he's mean as Charlie, he's totally cute as Guddu. And the amount of work it must have taken to swap between stuttering and stammering is only imaginable and is visible on screen... full review
Thumbs up, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...‘Kaminey’ will take sometime to impress you and to carry away with it but no sooner, you discover the charm, you are into the world of Vishal Bharadwaj’s story... full review
Thumbs up, by George, Pacem In Terris : ...There's a lovely scene between Sweety and Shahid on screen where she proclaims her love for him using the city names (read politically correct), Vishal can combine love and politics so subtly into the screen play... full review
Thumbs up, by Runumi G, Passion for Cinema : ...But the surprise packet comes in the form of Priyanka Chopra, who completely merges with the character of Sweetie, a non-glamorous girl from a traditional Marathi family in Mumbai, modern, yet simple and courageous... full review
Thumbs up, by Vasan Bala, Passion for Cinema : ...Finally a film which follows the dictate get in as late and get out as early and in doing so breaking all the other rubbish presets we were used to... full review
Thumbs up, by Neeraj Ghaywan, Passion for Cinema : ...Kaminey opens the narrative’s harbinger; it’s not the path you take that makes the difference but the path you choose not to tread.... full review
Thumbs up, SearchIndia.com : ...To waste any space on Priyanka Chopra who plays the love interest of one of the Shahids would be to waste bandwidth, electricity et al. So, let’s go green and ignore that abomination, who failed to distinguish herself in any way.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Masterful editing by Meghna Sen (Omkara) fits the challenging jig-saw together by the end, but not without leaving us insatiably thirsty throughout... full review
Thumbs up, by Manish Gaekwad, StarBoxOffice : ...In a film where Gandhi and Hitler are collaged together on a poster in Guddu’s hostel room, you can surmise the philosophy that went into the making of Kaminey. Kaminey is a term of endearment being used for both. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Neha Vishwanathan, Within / Without : ...Bengali mafia dons, spunky Maharashtrian girl, twins, a near perfect soundtrack, various dons, politicians, drugs, guns, money. And yet no sense of farce.... full review
So-So, by Debojit Ghatak, Indian Auteur : ...It is because while it is a kind of film he loves to watch, or even talk about, and perhaps even make, it is not his film, in the way that Makdee was.... full review
Thumbs down, by The Thirdman, Upper Stall : ...The supporting cast is full of fine actors, all of who do their bit efficiently and seem to be enjoying themselves but again get lost in the heady pace and overall dizzy scheme of the film. ... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Twins Charlie and Guddu/Sanjay (Shahid Kapoor) parted ways a long time ago. Charlie is employed by a bookie and Guddu is a simple NGO worker(?) who is in love with Sweety (Priyanka Chopra). Sweety is the local don, wannabe-politician's sister. The two worlds begin to meet but not in a very nice way.