Friday, August 14, 2009

kaminey: early praise

Vishal Bhardwaj seems destined to be the guinea pig for all sorts of strange SNAFUs associated with film releases. Anurag Kashyap's problems were limited to censor bans. But the creative and talented Mr. Bhardwaj has had to deal with obscurity (Maqbool seems to have gained its admirers and fans almost completely by word of mouth and the occasional articles lavishing praise), hype dying with a whimper (a lot more was written about The Blue Umbrella before it finally hit the marquee, at which point it seemed to slide all the way out), strangely disappointing initial collections followed by a backlash of prudery (Omkara). And now it's the H1N1 wave that has prevented it from hitting the marquee back home in Bombay and Pune. The film has hit the marquee overseas and, as with Omkara, seems destined to get most of its early reviews from abroad (local limited screenings for critics notwithstanding).

And the early notes are promising. Nay! They are extremely encouraging in an eerie way. Raja Sen ends his enthusiastic take with Awefome!; Another positive review ends with praise for the director; Nikhat Kazmi gives it a full-star rating before gushing about it as does the Indian Express and Vasan Bala is drooling over at PFC. Anupama Chopra, writing for NDTV, starts by calling it the best Bollywood film she's seen this year. Taran Adarsh, the reviewer from hell, who pretends to be a critic while looking at films like a baniyaa, also has good things to say, ending with four stars out of five. Lisa Tsering (reportedly "the first Western journalist to write about Bollywood and Indian pop culture for the Indian press") calls it a smart vivid thriller. Baradwaj appreciates Vishal's respect for the audience's intelligence as he unfurls a favourable review. Rajeev Masand gives "this imaginative and original film" four stars out of five. Over at The Hindu, Sudhish Kamath is "dying to watch it again." Minty Tejpal loves the film (adding a disclaimer that he worked with Vishal on the screenplay of The Blue Umbrella) and can't get the tune out of his head.

And if you thought I was just looking at the good notes, allow me to offer Khalid Mohamed's take (the guy can't even spell "Bhardwaj" right, though).

[Cross-posted on the Vishal Bhardwaj blog]

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