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Kaamyaab Movie Review: It Is For Those Who Have Faced Rejection

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Kaamyaab Movie Review: Kaamyaab is  a very rare  and precious  film.It takes us into the  lives of those unsung senior artistes who are  not ‘junior artistes’—that derogatory term  given  to the blur of people who stands  in crowds –but aren’t stars  neither.

Starring Sanjay Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal,Sareeka Singh

Written & Directed by Hardik Mehta

Rating: ****(4 stars)

We could call them the  Nowhere People, na idhar ke  na udhar ke…Think about Om Prakash,Kanhaiyalal, Manmohan Krishna, Nasir Hussain, Iftiker,…They are all gone remembered for  the way they blended  into the fabric of  the  films that they kept appearing in with  stubborn persistence. Kaamyaab has  quaint cameo space for  all the  fringe players .In fact the  film is dedicated  to one  of them  Viju Khote who passed away in  October 2019.

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But  Kaamyaab belongs to Sanjay Mishra who plays Sudheer a bit player like the potato in a vegetable dish which  you only notice when it  goes  missing. Before it’s  too late  for him, Sudheer, ridiculous in  his ill-fitting wig and insistence on lacing his  conversation with angrezi, must do  one more  film to complete  a record-breaking 500  films in his  career.

The  499th one  had  gone  badly.And Sudheer  hasn’t faced the camera  for years. Now  he must face the  writing on the crumbling wall.

Writer-director Hardik Mehta seems  to know this  world of  infinite heartbreaks  intimately. In the disappointment that  we see  in Sudheer’s eyes is reflected the  truth of  the song that the great Gulzar  wrote for another film set in the Hindi  film industry SitaraYeh saaye hain yeh duniya hai parchaiyon ki  bhari bheed mein khali tanhaiyon ki

There are no such evocative  lines to support  our protagonist’s crumbling world  of heartbreaks and disenchantment .And  the theme song in Kaamyaab  ‘Paon bhari’ hardly impressed me. The  crippling scarcity  of  creative support doesn’t debilitate  the power  of  Hardik’s story. There are plot points where the film simply sweeps us into a world of complex power-play where the underdog always loses.

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 The  entire episode on the sets  of  a costume drama where Sudheer is  so subtly humiliated  , is a marvel of writing  bringing  out the simmering undercurrents of hierarchy that  controls  a  film set.Equally effective is  the  depiction of Sudheer’s messed -up  family life. His troubled relationship with his daughter is articulately  set forth in sequences that represent   the bickering and anguish of a  parent-child relationship that has never  found a meeting -ground.

Sarika Singh is very effective as  the  disgruntled daughter. The other  outstanding  performance  comes  from  the ever-dependable Deepak Dobriyal who is fabulous as a wily casting director whose logo on the wall is. ‘No couch,  only casting.’

Okay then.

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But the real stars  of Kaamyaab are  all the  living characters  actors  making cameo  appearances: Avtar Gill(who has an amusing role as  Sudheer’s  biggest  bête  noire), Birbal,  Ramesh Goyal, Viju Khote,Manmauji, even Guddi Maruti …they are  all here reminding us with heartbreaking smiles that they  still exist.

We  see  you. We hear  you. Thank you, Hardik Mehta, for giving those  “side” actors  a voice.