WARNING: I curse in this review. The title of the film gives me full license to, in my opinion. If you're offended by salty language, just don't read this one.
What do you say about a film as universally appreciated as Kaminey? How to phrase things you've read a million times in such a original, refreshing manner that your voice isn't lost in the sea of reviews?
Yes, I made the awful mistake of reading other people's reviews - tons of them - before writing my own. When you've read stuff penned by professionals and goddamn media scholars, why read whatever I have to say?
The problem isn't that my opinion isn't valuable, no, I would never lack the self-esteem to think that. As a blog writer, a certainty in my own views is absolutely essential. No, the problem only comes in when I realize that Kaminey was loved by me as it was by others, and there's nothing I can really add.
Vishal Bharadwaj is making some of the finest films to grace Indian screens this decade - and the upcoming ones, I'm sure of it. Shahid Kapoor, under his direction, has risen to new heights as an actor, carrying the personalities of two very distinct characters perfectly. Priyanka Chopra gave us a wonderfully complex, multifaceted female character. The newcomer character actors all shine.
The plot takes a while to get going but the storytelling is dense, with amazing eye to detail. While I thought the soundtrack was inferior to that of Omkara it is nevertheless worth mentioning. The black comedy is excellent, unexpectedly funny, and fits in well with the occasionally sternly dramatic thriller plot.
I want to rewatch this, again and again, to catch all the details, all the layers to the storytelling, I want to show this to my friends, those who love Bollywood and those who know nothing about it, because this film is just that damn good.
And because I've read a million reviews of this by now, I can honestly say this: fuck Tarantino. Vishal Bharadwaj is not India's Tarantino. I realize getting called that is by no means an insult, but I feel like in some ways, it is. Tarantino makes films with very little heart or purpose, other than to show he's watches a lot of films and he really, really likes them. Bharadwaj has more of an auteur's touch to his films. He doesn't simply get inspired and spin his inspirations into stories, tying them together with quotable dialogue. His films seem to have more heart than that.
(That's not to say Kaminey isn't, in some ways, a very Tarantino-esque film. Comparisons to the good Guy Ritchie films also make a lot of sense. But in the end, Bharadwaj can't be India's Tarantino, because Sriram Raghavan, bless his soul, is India's Tarantino. End of story.)
This might not be the best review I could've written for this film but you know, it might not be the last. I'll be revisiting this film for sure. Hopefully on this blog, as well.