Wednesday, August 26, 2009

IIPM NEWS - Theater of the tangential

A dark and comic brew that turns a familiar plot on its head

Chaotic. Convoluted. Crazy. “Kaminey” makes no bones about being all three at the same time. At times darkly comic, and comically dark in others Vishal Bharadwaj will force you to think through his thriller which deals with the most clichéd of Hindi film plot devices – the twins. Vishal’s unconventional interpretation of Bollywood’s favourite plot trick (twins), its most popular villains (corrupt cops and drug smugglers) and an evergreen romance angle (an impossible love, a pregnancy and eloping) bursts on to the screen in a smattering of amazing camera angles (never mind the shakiness, but you’ll love the urgency and energy), witty dialogue, well-crafted music and twists and turns that you’d need a rewind of, if you’re not paying attention.

Charlie (Shahid Kapur) dreams of being a big shot in the world of horse racing and bookmaking, but a fixed race sees his dream go sour. While in pursuit of the people who fixed the race, Charlie stumbles on to some cocaine and sees it as his ticket to get back what he lost. Meanwhile, his twin, Guddu, has impregnated Sweety (Priyanka Chopra), the sister of a goon cum wannabe politician Bhope (Amol Gupte) and the couple have decided to elope. The paths of the two brothers cross, and inevitably their pursuers’ as well and of course, all hell breaks loose. Vishal revels in bringing the ironic situations to life on the screen (check out the scene where there’s a fight going on with ‘Do Lafzon Ki’ from ‘‘The Great Gambler’’ playing in the background) and almost all of them find the mark of shaking you out of your comfort zone. How many times have you heard the heroine shout to the hero ‘Toh kya rape kiya hai maine tumhara?’ (Have I raped you, then?) before?

Shahid Kapur does a great balancing job of portraying two contrasting twins, and his stammer and lisps make for some of the best lines in the film. After writing “Taare Zameen Par”, Amol Gupte makes a credible screen debut with the right mix of quirkiness and menace for his character. And finally, the scene stealer is Priyanka Chopra as the aggressive, assertive and purposefully hammy Marathi ‘mulgi’ puts in a heartfelt performance. “Kaminey” is not a linear watch, and hence may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those looking to take the tangential road less traveled, watch it, and don’t leave your brains back home.

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