Dhan Te Nan. Vishal Bhardwaj pays homage to cinema of yore and that’s reason enough to go out and grab tickets for one of the most keenly anticipated films of our times. A few monsoons ago, Farah Khan paid homage to the cinema of 1970s with OM SHANTI OM. Now Bhardwaj picks up characters that we have witnessed on the Hindi screen before, but executes it like Tarantino and Guy Ritchie do. He creates a film that’s so different from movies we’ve witnessed thus far. Let’s say, KAMINEY is bold, stark, funny and unpredictable and that’s what works in its favour. There’re two more reasons: Shahid Kapoor and of course, ‘Dhan Te Nan’. Okay, we’ve seen Shahid pitching in a sincere act in his earlier films, but KAMINEY should catapult him to superstardom. His double role in KAMINEY is exemplary. There’s another star in KAMINEY and that’s ‘Dhan Te Nan’. Your heart starts beating faster every time you hear this in the background or also when Shahid breaks into the song. The track is as big a craze as ‘Jumma Chumma’ [HUM], ‘Ek Do Teen’ [TEZAAB] and ‘Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai’ [KHAL-NAYAK] and will contribute enormously in attracting viewers in hordes. Having said that, I wish to add that KAMINEY is not the usual masala film. Sure, it’s a well-made film, but there’s no spoon feeding here. One has to be attentive, very attentive to grasp the goings-on and also the twists in the tale. It’s not one of those lock-your-brains-at-home types, for sure. And that might not be too appealing a thought for those who swear by candyfloss or meaningless ha-ha-thons. To cut it short, KAMINEY is a film with an attitude. Like it or leave it, but you’d never be able to ignore it. Word from the wise: Go for this hatke experience! KAMINEY is about a pair of twin brothers, Charlie and Guddu [Shahid Kapoor]. Charlie lisps, while Guddu stammers. They are as different as chalk and cheese. And they can’t stand the sight of each other. Till one fateful rainy night, their lives cross. Charlie gets mixed up in a deathly get-rich-quick scheme, while Guddu realizes that the love of his life, Sweety [Priyanka Chopra], has unwittingly put a price on his head. The brothers are sucked into a world of drugs, guns and money. Their lives collide head on with the lives of gangsters, rebel soldiers, rogue politicians and crooked cops. The brothers have to run to protect themselves, their dreams, their love. And most importantly, realize that all they have is each other. It takes time to get used to the world Vishal Bhardwaj wants us to enter. The characters, the relationships, the lingo, the tone and the setting… frankly, you don’t take to KAMINEY instantly. But twenty minutes into the film and things start falling in place. From thereon, you’re drawn into a different world completely.
The interval point raises the bar and also the expectations. The story takes a dramatic turn at this juncture, but minutes before that, ‘Dhan Te Nan’ makes the proceedings exhilarating and stimulating. Right from the sequence after the interval to the finale, Vishal Bhardwaj peels off layer after layer, which erupts like a volcano towards the end. The end is long drawn and with so many characters in the film, it only takes time to give a culmination to each of those characters. And that gets tedious. The violent end might not find universal acceptance. Vishal Bhardwaj proves that he’s a master storyteller. KAMINEY is a damn difficult film to conceptualize and execute and Vishal does it with gusto. Besides the soundtrack [‘Dhan Te Nan’], the effectual background score only enhances the impact. The dialogues, also penned by Vishal, are super. At places, clapworthy. Tassaduq Hussain’s cinematography is top notch. Shahid takes a really big leap with KAMINEY. Note how he handles the two characters, Guddu and Charlie, brilliantly. This film is a step to superstardom and also which will open new doors and vistas for him as an actor. Priyanka is first-rate. She’s so much in sync with her character. Also, she gets the Maharashtrian accent perfect. Amole Gupte is outstanding. An incredible actor! Tenzing Nima and Chandan Roy Sanyal leave a solid impression. Shiv Subrahmanyam and Hrishikesh Joshi are perfect.
On the whole, KAMINEY lives up to the hype associated with it. The film has three stars – Vishal Bhardwaj [a name that’s immensely respected by moviegoers], Shahid Kapoor and ‘Dhan Te Nan’ – and this combo as also the crooked characters and a genuinely hatke subject should guarantee ample footfalls in cineplexes even after its initial weekend. The weekend business should be huge due to the holidays all through the weekend: Friday [Janmashtami], Saturday [Independence Day] and Sunday. Of course, the business is bound to be affected in parts of Mumbai territory due to Swine Flu, but the film should take off in a big way when theatres re-open.