For the team of Kaminey, it was a homework that was one of its kinds. Vishal Bhardwaj, director of the film, instructed his entire cast and crew of the film to watch caper classics like Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Pulp Fiction and True Romance to catch the finer nuances of a caper thriller.
Even though Kaminey is touted to be an out and out original thriller coming out of Bollywood, it is quite new and unique when it comes to the genre. There have hardly been many caper thrillers generated out of Bollywood and though recent Kunal Khemu and Boman Irani release 99 did come close, such attempts have been far and few. In fact Fool N Final (which incidentally starred Shahid Kapoor) had it's bearings with Snatch but it could hardly make an impact amongst the audiences.
"This is why Vishal wanted to be sure that everyone from cast as well as crew members gets familiar with the entire idea of story telling when it comes to a caper thriller", informs a prominent crew member who was assigned this 'homework' just like the rest, "There is a certain 'sur' in movies belonging to this genre and one miss here or there and the film risks falling flat on it's face."
Movies like Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998) & Snatch (2000), Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994) and Tony Scott's True Romance (1993) have traditionally acted as text book material not just for India but even West when it comes to caper thrillers.. There have been quite a few movies belonging to this genre that have been inspired from the above mentioned flicks but not many have even managed to touch the surface.
Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj too agrees that it was quite a tedious task to make Kaminey. "I was under the impression that it would be easy and fun to write Kaminey. After all it was meant to be a caper so I could let my imagination go wild. However, as it turned out, it was not just difficult to write but further even more difficult to translate the written material on screen", says Vishal.
Since the narrative includes quite a few characters, the screenplay writing came with its own challenges. "There are as many as eight to ten characters in Kaminey and since each of them have equal intensity and space requirement, there was no time to establish them all", remembers Vishal, "I had to make them all memorable while catching them into the act."
This is not all as Bollywood sensibilities had to be taken into account as well, what with Kaminey being pitched as a full on commercial flick with eyes on popular audience.
"Yes, we needed to add all the Bollywood 'masala' elements with romance, songs, dances etc. being the much necessary ingredients. It was very tough and now when I look back, I am glad our team was able to crack it all well", signs off Vishal.
Aiming for a 14th August release, Kaminey stars Shahid Kapoor in the double role of Charlie and Guddu. While Priyanka Chopra plays the character of Sweety, Amol Gupte features as Bhope Bhau. With lyrics by Gulzar, music by Vishal Bhardwaj himself and cinematography by Tassaduq Hussain (of Omkara fame), Kaminey is a UTV Motion Pictures production.