Monday, September 14, 2009

Kaminey

We all suffer from a disease. It is late realization. It occurred to me when I read the reviews of Vishal Bhardwaj's latest film 'Kaminey'. Critics said, "Vishal has turned the art of movie-making upside down". Few of them also said "It is an intelligent film and you can’t keep your mind dysfunctional even for a second". I watched the film and really liked it. But in hindsight, apart from good camera work and tight screenplay, there was nothing extraordinary about the film. Vishal’s best work to date is Maqbool, which got rave reviews but critics did not go mad about it. His another film ‘Omkara’ was good but certainly not as good as ‘Maqbool’. None of the many films he has directed were received by critics like Kaminey has been received. And if you read the reviews of Kaminey carefully, you would realize that it is not merely the critique of Kaminey, it is actually a critique of ‘Vishal – as a director and his body of work’. For some reason, movie-lovers, journalists and critics have now realized that there is someone by the name of ‘Vishal Bhardwaj’ and the fact that he is one of the best filmmakers of India.

On the New Year eve of 2007, we were discussing which was the best movie in 2006. And most of my friends said ‘Rang De Basanti’. I am sure if I ask the same question today, it will be ‘Omkara’. I felt like laughing, how could a sane mind rate RDB over Omkara. Agreed that choice is personal but I can bet if I were to give an option to my friends to watch RDB or Omkara on a DVD, 90% of them would watch ‘Omkara’. This was about the disease of late realization. Ever wonder, if you tell an aspiring writer to publish his work, he would reply that he still needs time. Perhaps he has not realized his own talent. And if we are such poor judges of ourselves, how could we say that our critique of someone else’s work is objective?

Now lets go back to the point of Kaminey being more appreciated than Maqbool and Omkara. In one of his interviews, Vishal said that Bollywood needs full-time writers. He also said that good writers come to Bombay and want to become directors. This is all too evident from the quality of dialogues in Kaminey. While Omkara starts with a powerful dialogue “Bewakoof aur chootiye mein dhaage bhar ka farq hota hai”, Kaminey had to manage with “Life badi Kutti cheez hai”. No doubt, quality of writing was much better in Omkara. If Maqbool had the best-penned dialogues heard in a long time, Omkara had lines, which would stay with you, Kaminey hardly has a dialogue or two like that. But none of the critics have mentioned this in their review. In fact, one of the critic said “Dhan-Te-Nan song has a huge part to play in Kaminey”. I think it was just a song in the film. Thankfully, Vishal is much more intelligent than insane critics and has not overplayed the song in the film.

Now coming to point of Kaminey being an intelligent film. It has parallel plots much like Yuva. I am sure Yuva was never particularly appreciated for parallel narratives by critics. Somehow, they have woken up with ‘Kaminey’. I feel the film had brilliant camera-work. At one point the next scene appeared, while the previous scene was not completely over. The scenes were changing so swiftly that I felt as if I was seeing a photo album. Kudos to that and kudos to Shahid, who has put in a lot of effort for the film. And thumbs down to critics, who mindlessly write about films.

4 comments:

Ranjit said...

good analysis Karan...

smile@carnival said...

Very well analyzed bhai... some of the critics really go overboard and you right it's a branding bias...anyways, for me it would be difficult to judge between RDB & Omkara..both are masterpieces..and infact RDB is the most innovative & original piece of story telling from any Bolly director in recent times (unless you show me any ex).. watch 'snatch'..Kaminey a very similar story telling style..and Dhan tana is a new modified ver of a very old title song of DD serial written by Vishal long back .. but yes you have a point ..as always !:-)

Sanjeev Riat said...

Karan...very acute and patient observation by you. Actually I was frustrated by the reviewers mindless praise.. But yours is a very balanced look at the mistakes of the reviewers. In fact very keen of you to point out the reak reason of the manaiacal praise..it was vishal nd not kamine

Sanjeev Riat said...

About late realization..if you mean ppl realised late that omkaara was grt...then I wud say that all grt things are realised later only...u know einstein nd all how late their greatness was realised...I wud say it takes a lot of time to actually appreciate genius.