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KAAMYAAB - A worth appreciating, heartfelt attempt focusing on the life of lesser known actors who rarely get the focus, name and fame. (Review by Bobby Sing)
07 Mar, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2020 Releases

There are some immensely valuable groups/pages at Facebook with loads of exclusive information about many unknown or lesser known actors of Hindi films, who couldn’t make it big in their careers and remained there standing in the same frame along the main leads for decades. Highly knowledgeable die-hard fans of Hindi cinema (in age group of 40-70+) regularly keep posting quiz questions about such artists and also make efforts to find their current whereabouts. Thankfully a few resourceful writers even manage to meet them and post photographs too that turn out to be sheer treat for their fans living all over the world.
 
Hardik Mehta’s KAAMYAAB is exactly about one of such small time actors Sudheer who is living a peaceful but lonely retired life in his Mumbai home. After many years during a channel interview he gets to know that he had actually done 499 films in the past decades and all those films have been listed at IMDB. Caught in the trap of ‘99’ (as it’s said in a Hindi idiom), Sudheer decides to make a comeback completing his 500th role as a supporting actor in at least a decent film, if not any bigger one.
 
The trailer reveals this basic plot bravely and the film takes you on to nostalgic journey back to the 70s and 80s, recreating some old-school scenes, mainly focusing on the two lead characters of Sudheer – superbly played by the much underrated Sanjay Mishra and Deepak Dobriyal, enacting a successful casting director currently active in the trade.
 
As a humble tribute to those unsung actors of Hindi cinema who played such a variety of roles in their decades long careers, KAAMYAAB fondly reminds you of that over-the-top yet delightful era of typical villains, stylish wigs, flashy printed shirts, long collars, white shoes and much more. As actors used to be famous and known by their impressive dialogues of hit films, Sudheer in KAAMYAAB is also remembered for his popular dialogue saying, “Enjoying life. Aur Option Hi Kya Hai", still recalled by people meeting him after so many years.
 
Also taking you onto an entertaining joyride of present day casting, auditions, schedules, on-location shoots and backstage drama, KAAMYAAB begins impressively and has both its first and second act presented well by co-writer and director Hardik Mehta with the dialogues making an impact keeping the humour intact.
 
For instance, influencing Sudheer to go for its 500th role, a close friend says, “Look, you are perfectly fit to take the space of Om Puri lying vacant as Naseeruddin Shah is not doing much work nowadays and Anupam Kher is more busy on twitter”. In another scene, Sudheer compares actors like himself to potatoes, who can be easily added to any dish as per the taste and requirement. On the other hand, the tagline of Deepak’s casting company says “No Couch, Only Casting”. But above all, the film has a pleasant surprise cameo of old-time comedians’ together including Viju Khote, Birbal, Lilliput, Guddi Maruti, Manmauji and more, along with Avtar Gill playing himself. The project has also been dedicated to Viju Khote, as he passed away after its completion, before the release.
 
Narrating the emotional tale with respect and empathy, the script has realistic, heartwarming subplots of Sudheer’s family, his daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter, a young ambitious girl as tenant living in the neighborhood and his long time old friends who are not from the film industry.
 
Depicting the tough life of such small-time actors and their never-ending struggles of life, KAAMYAAB is a film made from heart, but it still lacks the expected emotional depth and a heart wrenching execution that makes you feel for the characters on screen. The background score helps and so does the soundtrack with a few sweet, well-written songs. But as usual we do not get any great track that stays in our mind for long, suiting the filmy theme.
 
Above all, the climax is underwhelming, with a praiseworthy metaphor but again going back to the clichés, not at par or on the same level of the film, missing the much required emotional touch. 
 
In all, KAAMYAAB works at many levels, but falls short of the big expectations too, which were raised when it started winning accolades at various film festivals and when Shah Rukh Khan came in as its presenter taking a responsible initiative. 
 
Nevertheless, it certainly deserves to be seen as it thankfully takes us to a different world behind the scenes, in the lives of many unknown performers whom we recognize since long seeing in so many films, without even knowing their real names. It also must be seen for the incomparable Sanjay Mishra and a terrific Deepak Dobriyal literally owning the film together.
 
On a concluding note, addressing the youngsters, there was a time when everyone standing behind the lead actors in a scene of a party or song were called Extras. But as decades passed, the term got changed to ‘Junior Artists’ giving them more respect, acknowledging their silent but valuable contribution in film-making. At the same time, it has to be noted that the term Junior Artist refers to different kind of actors, and is not equivalent to Character Artists or Supporting Actors represented in the film by Sanjay Mishra as Sudheer.

Revisiting the gone era, KAAMYAAB particularly made me recall Asrani in films made on similar theme as CHALA MURARI HERO BAN-NE and GUDDI, while walking out of the theater.
 
Rating : 3.5 / 5

Tags : Kaamyaab Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Hindi films made on the 80s era of Hindi films, Hindi film on small time actors.
07 Mar 2020 / Comment ( 2 )
Avik

Sir,

I would recommend you to pls watch a Bengali movie - Shukno Lanka.. pls give it a try.. would love to see your views on it.
Btw Cinemawala is still pending :)

Bobby Sing

The recommendation list has grown so long Avik as I have ironically not seen much in this Lockdown period. 
But will surely make another note of the films and go for it soon.
Thanks for your recommendations once again and Take Care.
Cheers!

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