Kaminey is not Pulp Fiction. In more ways than one.
Since some SI readers have repeatedly brought up Pulp Fiction as the progenitor for Kaminey, we went over to Blockbuster on Sunday and rented the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film (Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar, we’ve added $2.54 to your account).
Having watched Pulp Fiction, our verdict is that Kaminey is not a lift of Pulp Fiction.
While that is to Kaminey director Vishal Bharadwaj’s credit, neither is the recent Bollywood film as good as the 15-year Tarantino flick.
BTW, a piece in the Sunday New York Times said Pulp Fiction grossed over $200 million and cost just $9 million to make.
Pulp Fiction bristles with energy, crackles with intense dialogs and dazzles with solid performances.
For instance, Captain Koons telling little Butch with a solemn face:
The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He’d be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy’s birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.
Or this exchange between the big balding black Marsellus (Ving Rhames) and Butch (Bruce Willis) after Butch rescues Marsellus as he’s being raped by Zed:
Butch: You okay?
Marsellus: Naw man. I’m pretty fuckin’ far from okay.
Butch: What now?
Marsellus: What now? Let me tell you what now. I’ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin’ niggers, who’ll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin’, hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you by a damn sight. I’m a get medieval on your ass.
Butch: I meant what now between me and you?
Marsellus: Oh, that what now. I tell you what now between me and you. There is no me and you. Not no more.
Or the back-and-forth between Jules (Samuel Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta). Here’s one example:
[Jules and Vincent take the informant Marvin with them in their car and Vincent’s gun goes off accidentally blowing Marvin’s head off]
Jules: What the fuck’s happening, man? Ah, shit man!
Vincent: Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.
Jules: Why the fuck did you do that!
Vincent: Well, I didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident!
Jules: Oh man I’ve seen some crazy ass shit in my time…
Vincent: Chill out, man. I told you it was an accident. You probably went over a bump or something.
Jules: Hey, the car didn’t hit no motherfucking bump.
Vincent: Hey, look man, I didn’t mean to shoot the son of a bitch. The gun went off. I don’t know why.
Jules: Well look at this fucking mess, man. We’re on a city street in broad daylight here!
Vincent: I don’t believe it.
Jules: Well believe it now, motherfucker! We gotta get this car off the road! You know cops tend to notice shit like you’re driving a car drenched in fucking blood.
Vincent: Just take it to a friendly place, that’s all.
Jules: This in the Valley, Vincent. Marcellus ain’t got no friendly places in the Valley.
Vincent: Well Jules this ain’t my fucking town, man!
[Jules dials a number on his cell phone]
Vincent: What you doin’?
Jules: I’m calling my partner in Toluca Lake.
Vincent: Where’s Toluca Lake?
Jules: It’s just over the hill here over by Burbank Studios. If Jimmie’s ass ain’t home, I don’t know what the fuck we’re going to do, man. ‘Cause I ain’t got no other partners in 8-1-8. Hey Jimmie, yo, how you doin’, man? It’s Jules. Listen up man. Me and my homeboy are in serious fucking shit. We’re in a car and we gotta get off the road, pronto. I need to use your garage for a couple of hours.
(Source for dialogs: IMDB)
Guys, Kaminey (while good by Bollywood standards) comes nowhere in the bristling energy or crackling dialogs or the powerful acting class of Pulp Fiction.
This kid Shahid Kapoor is getting better but he ain’t qualified to lick the boots of Samuel Jackson or John Travolta.
The Hollywood stars are in a completely different league as far as acting is concerned. You don’t compare Einstein with a Physics professor from Bhagalpur University, do you.
Watching Pulp Fiction is a joy-ride because of the overall brilliant execution. Watching Kaminey is a relief because it ain’t a piece of trash like most Bollywood flicks.
And by God, we’ll take our blessings where we find them.