A big thanks to Vishal Bharadwaj for giving the Indian population a chance to use their own brains for a change. His abnegation from explaining all facts explicitly: is a mark of respect for the audience. You are expected to put the pieces together on your own and figure out what's happening- especially the gang wars and the drug deal-gone sour in the first half.
This does come with the charm of the 70's. There's lot of masala and the dhan te nan tune will never leave you once you have seen this flick. The corrupt police personnel, gang wars remind you of old thrillers like Don, Shaan, etc. Remember those times? There was actually thrill in the classic mysteries. Kaminey treads in that path while bringing alive the street life of Mumbai. The dizzy hand-held camera coupled with 70's tunes create spectacular scenes. When talking about masala; It has everything- twins, runaway couple, gangsters, corrupt cops, wily politicians and some sense as well. The last Bollywood flick starring sense I can remember is Luck by Chance &
Saif uncle's Love AajKal, Dostana etc. fail to convince you on the lifestyle and success of the characters. The usual story is: First of all, conveniently take all characters abroad, then give them a super hep vague profession-immensely successful architect, immensely successful designer, immensely successful banker, immensely successful businessmen (yes- immensely successful Indians is a must). All the 'trivial' problems of life like earning a livelihood, limited vacation are taken care of automatically and the entire focus is on more 'important' stuff like relationships, love, traveling a zillion miles with friends, beating up baddies (doesn't everyone do this everyday?), etc.
The movie discussed here portrays characters that do not seem larger than life or out of their ecosystems. The gullible cash starved- NGO worker Guddu lives in a run down hostel room with a shared bath. The 'Jai Maharashtra' politician (Amol Gupte) lives in the narrow Mumbai lanes and convinces you on his background and poor know-how. Somehow, the director has ensured that the characters seem real and the audience can connect with them easily.
While I won't make this a spoiler by giving you some of the story, I have to mention about the Bengali brothers. The maniacal shooter trio seem to be straight out of Counter strike. One particular part even makes you feel like you are in a role play shooting game. The role played by the youngest is spectacular and hats off to Chandan Sanyal for bringing this character alive. The funky hair-do ensures that you will not be seeing his face ever; I had to google to find out about this guy..
@All- Muft fee thif movie..
*For those who like this movie and enjoy reading- Shantaram is a must read.