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Guddu and Charlie are brothers, born and raised in Dharavi,
the world`s largest slum dwelling in the heart of the megalopolis, Mumbai.
They also happen to be identical twins, in early twenties, hoping to leave the squalor behind and move into a life of prosperity and dignity. But the similarity ends here.
Guddu works as a trainee in a small NGO firm in the city. He hopes to climb up to the top of the corporate ladder. He wants to be a bona fide member of the burgeoning Indian middle class. His career has only just begun though and the road to bourgeoisie is both long and arduous. Yet Guddu is at it. He is honest, diligent and careful. Especially careful.
Charlie makes a living hedging bets at the race course. He moves around the plush hordes of the rich and famous at the races. For him this is just a way to make quick money and he dreams of becoming a legitimate bookie one day. Charlie is street smart, wily and brave. And only for himself.
The brothers don`t like each other. They believe they have nothing in common, not even their speech defect. While Guddu stammers, especially when he is nervous, Charlie has a lisp. The brothers have built their lives so that their paths don`t ever cross. They believe it`s only a question of time before they are out of each other`s sight forever.
All that is about to change. In one day. A day of reckoning. An unusual day; just right for the unusual events that unfold in its course.
Charlie is having a bad day at the office. He has practically bet everything he possesses on a coveted derby race. But at the last minute,he is double crossed as the race is fixed in their opponent`s favour. He hunts down the jockey and plans to get even when the rival goons burst in. In the ensuing melee, Charlie and friends take off with a getaway car. Not knowing that the car belongs to a ruthless pair of cops, LOBO and LELE, who run drugs for the beach lord,TASHI. Soon enough, Charlie discovers a stash of coke in the boot of the car. All hell now breaks loose as the cops and the drug mafia get after his case. Charlie has to survive. And by his wits alone.
Guddu is performing a street theatre act when his newfound girlfriend, Sweety BHOPE appears on the scene, distraught and announces that she is pregnant. Guddu is shocked at first but realizes quickly that there is no real problem. They can get married right away! They can`t. There is a real problem. Sweety reveals her secret; her brother is Sunil `chopper` Bhope. A Gangster with political ambitions. A ridiculously dangerous man. And he already knows. Sweety informs Guddu that as they speak, her brother`s men are out for his blood.
The story unfolds as the day progresses. Intercut between the parallel stories of the brothers as they run to protect themselves, their dreams and their love. Until a point where it converges and the brothers meet to realize that they only have each other. It is only through trust in each other that they can get out of the mess that they haven`t created. They uncover a deadly political-police-underworld nexus. They discover virtues within themselves they thought didn`t exist. And most important of all, they find each other.
Bharadwaj, Shahid redefine filmmaking with `Kaminey` (IANS Film Review - Rating:****)
In Kaminey, Shahid Kapoor has dared to pick a subject which would have looked impossible to execute when read on paper. With his outstanding performance in the film, Shahid joins the list of top actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan.
And yes, Shahid and Priyanka have a crackling on-screen chemsitry. After Kaminey, audiences would be expecting a lot from him each time.
Director Vishal Bharadwaj has redefined filmmaking with Kaminey. While making the film there was absolutely no reference point for Bharadwaj at least in Bollywood cinema. He picked from from Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino brands of cinema and adapted it perfectly to a Bollywood milieu.
Bharadwaj takes his audience into a world that has perhaps never been explored before on Indian screen. He keeps introducing characters for the first 30 minutes while making sure that the twin brothers (Shahid) aren`t brought together in a single frame till way past the interval.
He also confuses his audience on purpose in at least a couple of sequences and tests their intelligence. There`s the scene where two groups of three characters each are shown interacting amongst themselves and eventually it turns out that all of them were in the same room. Or the entire hotel sequence where a drug deal goes kaput. And then, of course, the eventiual coming together of all the 10 odd characters who are connected to one another.
Set in Mumbai, the film is mostly shot on real locations. The director`s insistence on canning shots outdoors pays off as the backdrop becomes difficult to disentangle from the elements of this thriller.
So what one gets to see is a day in the life of two brothers who are on the run for different reasons. Guddu (Shahid) has seen a sudden marriage with Sweety, played by Priyanka Chopra who is excellent in her relatively short but meaningful and important role. He is now being followed by Sweety`s brother (Amol Gupte).
Charlie (Shahid) has got hold of drugs worth Rs.10 crore and is now all set to sell them off to fulfil his long cherished dreams.
And in between, there are cops, gangsters, international drug mafia, narcotics department, a `Jai Maharashtra` slogan-raising brother, an over-`coked` friend and his two mad Bengali brothers -- all of whom make sure that Kaminey turns out to be one joyride that keeps the excitement on till the credits start rolling.
The film starts off decently though one has to concentrate hard to get the point of the narrative. All of that starts making sense after 30 odd minutes, but you still feel that there could have been a little more meat to the proceedings.
However, the post interval portions make `Kaminey` simply irresistible. Layer after layer unfolds, dark as well as humane side of people are put on display and finally comes an explosive climax that pretty much justifies the route that Bharadwaj takes in Kaminey.
After watching the film, the first question that comes to the mind is - `Why was the film granted an `A` certificate?`
Kaminey is one of the few must watch films of 2009.
From narrative to execution -- Bharadwaj shows that he knows the art of creating
a new world of cinema and lays out a road ahead for many aspiring filmmakers.