Here's the thing. Crime doesn't pay ... right? It's not meant to ... right? So how come it's shown to be so much fun in the movies?
In Tamanchey, the underrated Nikhil
Dwivedi and the spunky bundle of contradictory emotions
Chadha seem like dropout students of the cool school. He is a
hardcore Bihari named Munna and she's Babu, a wannabe Lady Gaga
masquerading as a borderline sociopath from the Delhi-Haryanvi
belt. Her make-up never falters. She is a 'behenji' masquerading as
a style icon in a crime-infested countryside.
Cast: Nikhil Dwivedi, Richa Chadha, Damandeep Singh
Director: Navneet Behal
Together Munna and Babu don't quite add up to an updated version
of Robert Redford-Faye Dunaway pair in the mother of heist capers
"Bonnie & Clyde". But there is something about Munna and Babu.
He wears his heart on his dirty sleeve. She wears her cleavage with
the surety of woman who knows she can cash it for a life of luxury
whenever she wants. Such adventurous women are often very uncertain
in their innerscape.
Richa brings out the demoniacal uncertainties of Babu (we have
to wait till the final moments to know her real name) in scenes
where her made-up face crumbles to expose a childlike
vulnerability. Both Richa and Nikhil are effectively tragic in the
finale when they play a game of domestic normalcy in a run-down
building as the cops close in on them.
What I liked about Richa's chemistry with Nikhil is that there
is no chemistry.
Nikhil's Munna falls in love with these women of laughable
affectations. Babu is full of 'angrezi' innuendos and make-up
borrowed from Lady Gaga's backstage booty.
It's easy for the Munnas of the world to fall for this kind of a
woman who knows how to use her sexuality to make her way in a
Babu is the bed partner of a drug dealer Tau (newcomer Damandeep
Singh Siddhu). The narrative's mid-section shows Munna and Babu
outwitting the drug baron, stealing kisses and a lot more right
under his hawk-like eyes. Stretching the precincts of
believability, Tamanchey yet manages to remain grittier
than other recent crime capers.
The writing is fluent when it wants to be.
Tamanchey shows that the nozzle of the gun is not the
best place to place your dreams. There are sharply written lines by
Shailesh Pratap Singh, specially the ones that Nikhil's character
Nikhil in fact delivers a heartbreaking performance as a
simpleton who flips for the siren and is willing to go to any
lengths to get her. At times his baba-in-the-woods act reminded one
of Raj Kapoor in "Sri 420".
Here is an actor, who has repeatedly proved himself to be better
than many so-called stars in Bollywood. Wonder what keeps him from
Tamanchey gives Nikhil and the rest of the cast the
kind of unvarnished crime canvas, which actors crave to get when
they are in the mood to impress the awards jury.
Tragically, the sharp dialogues are often unsupported by the
screenplay that gets borderline implausible towards the end before
veering sharply away from disaster with a well-staged climactic
So yes, crime doesn't pay finally. But it sure as hell provides
ample room for filmmakers to explore the grey region without
bothering about remaining rooted to a moral ground.
Wild and wacky Tamanchey is an enjoyable roller coaster ride about two mismatched criminals on the run who fall hopelessly in love. You know where this reckless couple is hurtling to. But that doesn't stop this bang-bang affair from being a fun ride.