Kaminey poster


wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)

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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Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
Running time: 130 minutes
Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime
More Movie Info

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

39 reviewers(?) - 32 yays 5 so-so 2 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...Priyanka also outdoes herself as Sweety. Shrill in anger, squeaky with relief, or tremulous with emotion – she does it all well.... full review

Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...The movie however turns out to be quite long, especially the first half. The pace in the second half shifts gears really well. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Blogeswari, Blogeswari : ...Charlie’s fpoonerisms sound quite funny and you actually look forward to them... full review

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 Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...he songs could have been placed better... full review

Thumbs up, desi hits : ...The script is strong and there is everything from action and romance to dark streets and rainy nights... full review

Thumbs up, by Deepa Garimella, fullhyd.com : ...It's as much about the much-celebrated devil in the detail, as about the multi-faceted artiste in him that lets him compose chartbusters... full review

Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...Even when there is a flashback, it's not to bore, but to add value. Each scene is a treat.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The non-linear screenplay is filled with unfamiliar twists and confusing turns that are likely to baffle you along the way... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...Let's say, KAMINEY is bold, stark, funny and unpredictable and that's what works in its favour... full review

Thumbs up, indiatimes : ...Vishal Bharwadwaj applies a complete different language of cinema to make the film look fascinating... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...The pace is quick, so quick that you probably would’t be able to grasp the film fully on first viewing. A second watch is highly recommended.... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...the most memorable one is Bhope, played by Amole Gupte, who shows his acting prowess and potential facing the camera... full review

Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Be warned: there are stretches of Kaminey that will thoroughly confuse you, starting with the first fifteen minutes... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Now Running.com : ... He also confuses his audience on purpose in at least a couple of sequences and tests their intelligence.... 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 Sourabh, Passion for Cinema : ...Omkara was more of Vishal’s film than Kaminey is... full review

Thumbs up, by Sethu Madhavan, Passion for Cinema : ...The cast has a curious mix of known names, debutants and people from other streams of cinema all coming together on screen here... 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, by Irene Nexica, Planet Bollywood : ...Old Guitar, New Strings... full review

Thumbs up, by Gohar Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...The sequences after the interval to the climax, Vishal unwrap the things, which simply gets your eyes fixed on the screen. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...And Vishal generously gives each character their time in the spotlight... 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 Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Kaminey mostly draws its powers from the brilliant music score (Vishal Bhardwaj) and the innovative cinematography (Tassaduq Hussain)... 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 Khalid Mohamed, aslibaat.com : ...True art as well as entertainment must toss up surprises, originality and fun to name just a few elements. Here instead you have cliches... full review

So-So, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...But somewhere in the 2nd half, I thought they lagged in between and things slowed down... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...I suspect only a music-composer who’s also a director could synchronise this so well on screen... 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

So-So, by Great Bong, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind : ...the new “formula” of the 2000s, an “international” looking movie with a true Bollywood heart.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mr. Inketi, Mr. Inketis Weblog : ...this film tries too hard to be a Hollywood-wannabe gangsta film and in the process forgets the basics of Bollywood entertainment.... 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

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 0 yays 0 so-so 1 nays

Nay! Thumbs Down, by TimELiebe : Not a Single Relatable Character in the Entire Movie....

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

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.

What Worked

  • The fact that the songs didn't play as complete start-to-end songs as in the audio CD. They are spread through the film and are not necessarily played completely as you hear them on the audio CD.
  • The theme that "fatak" is about.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • How did the Bangla brother's find out where the rest of the cast of the film were engaged in a war?

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):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (9)

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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 )

@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!!

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

@Ravi O-kay

@Kunal Adnani eggjhactlee!

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

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

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. :)

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

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....

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

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