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Surfer review: Rajat Arora

After sitting through New York and enduring Love Aaj Kal, I had become wary of the kind of movies Bollywod was offering these days. However with Kaminey...

entertainment Updated: Aug 19, 2009 15:27 IST

Hindustan Times invited Facebook users to submit their reviews on Vishal Bharadwaj's Kaminey. Thanks for the tremendous response. Here's one of the five selected reviews, that clearly stood apart.

After watching Kaminey, I have become sure of one thing - you can trust Vishal Bhardwaj. After sitting through New York and enduring Love Aaj Kal, I had become wary of the kind of movies Bollywod was offering these days. However, with Kaminey, the trust has returned. The movie is the sixth directorial venture of Vishal Bhardwaj, and I daresay that it lives up to his reputation of being one of the leading filmmakers of India.

The movie tells the story about twins Charlie and Guddu (Shahid Kapur) on the run. While Guddu seems the quintessential good boy who stutters, Charlie is someone who believes in taking fotcuts to earn money. And then there is Sweety (Priyanka Chorpa) too, who is Guddu's girlfriend, who gets pregnant while flaunting her knowledge of Home Science, and tries to marry him in a hurry.

Guddu is a social worker, Charlie is a horse-race fixer and Sweety is the sister of a corrupt and powerful politician. Once, Charlie gets embroiled in an incident involving cocaine and lots of money, and manages to make a reasonable amount of enemies for himself. As luck would have it, Guddu gets caught in the controversy too - owing to his resemblance to his bad-boy twin. What happens next is a mixture of fate, politics and quick thinking. It so happens that the two brothers are at loggerheads with each other, and haven't come face-to-face ever since their father died. However, as the circumstances bring them together, they must help each other to be able to survive.

Perhaps the best thing about the plot is that there are no extras. No parallel storylines, no endless roundabouts, and no wavering from the central theme. Everything happens within a day, and to be able to make a full length movie out of it is indeed remarkable. The director receives full points on that front.

Plus, the movie comments on various issues that are occupying the centrestage in India these days in a very unobtrusive way. While the character of Guddu makes an entrance in the film singing about AIDS awareness, Sweety's on-screen brother Bhope Bhau (Amole Gupte) is parochial politician. The director has also dared to comment on the murky business of politics. The way these current issues are made an integral part of the plot is again, remarkable. Also, the movie is quite secular. We have Bengali characters and we have Punjabi characters. We have Marathi characters and we have African characters. These characters have no qualms about speaking in their mother tongue either.

Notice the way humour is injected in the story and you will want to applaud the man who did that. It happens spontaneously, without effort. You laugh at Sweety's comic dialogues, but you don't do that when Guddu stutters or Charlie lisps. You laugh at the situation, but never laugh at the characters, or even their flaws, for that matter. There are no forced jokes, and the humour is dark.

Talk about performances, and Vishal Bhardwaj still gets full marks. Seriously speaking, I haven't seen Shahid Kapur act so well before; and I didn't have a clue that Priyanka Chopra has got a terrific comic timing; and that the person who wrote the emotional story of Taare Zameen Par (Amole Gupte) would fit into a role of corrupt Marathi politician so effortlessly. These performances have spoken for themselves and made Kaminey a fine-tuned product.