Verdict: Hardik Mehta’s Kaamyaab shines a torch on the brilliance of Sanjay Mishra.

Aloos are versatile. Add them to a sabzi, curry, meat, or have them plain, they’re the perfect meal. Naturally, aloos are the perfect metaphors for the careers of supporting actors in the Indian film industry. They have been cast in stereotypical roles, only to complement the ‘heroes’ of the film. But these supporting actors have delivered performances worth remembering. Be it Paresh RawalAnupam KherLilliputManmaujiBirbal, or the late Viju Khote, their performances in various films have stayed with us to date. Hardik Mehta’s comedy-drama Kaamyaab is an ode to these artists and their contribution to Indian cinema through the lens of Sudheer, one such character actor who decides to make a comeback to the big screen.

What’s Kaamyaab About:

Sudheer (Sanjay Mishra) is a retired actor who was famous for his versatility in Indian cinema. After a string of performances as a supporting character, he decides to give up the silver screen for good. But now in his later years, he realizes that his filmography consists of 499 films. To make it a round figure, he decides to give one final performance. So he pulls out his wig, puts on his starry avatar, and reaches out to his old friend and casting agent Gulati (Deepak Dobriyal) for a role. But the industry has changed quite a lot since Sudheer last worked. He must now give auditions, deal with the tantrums of famous stars and star kids, and grovel for roles in ad films. He is finally cast in a big-budget movie made by a popular filmmaker but things do not go quite as planned, as life tends to be.

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What Works:

Kaamyaab gives Sanjay Mishra a platform to shine as the sole lead actor and so he does. Mishra Sahab’s career in Bollywood spans three decades in which he has been a part of more than 150 films, mostly in small roles or as the supporting character. So the actor was playing a part that perfectly resonates with his real life. He has also been given the opportunity to exercise the dearth of his acting skills, which the actor manipulates to his fullest extent. The emotions and comedy he brings out with his character feel realistic and draw you deeper into the film. You want to know where his journey lands him and the ride-along provides plenty of fun. Overall, Kaamyaab is a mixed bag of emotions and entertainment. It’s what you want to watch when you crave both good content and a good time.

Apart from the lead actor himself, you get to see many other stalwarts of the industry, some being cast as themselves. Avtar Gill’s parts are exceptionally brilliant and his scenes with Sudheer leave you in splits. Isha Talwar as Sudheer’s neighbor also has some special moments in the film while Sarika Singh as his worried daughter is the perfect contrast to her carefree father. Deepak Dobriyal’s witty quips entertain for most of the first half. A scene that brings together Viju KhoteLilliputManmauji and others is one to remember. Another positive aspect of this film is the dialogues penned by Radhika Anand. The raw and bold one-liners from Kaamyaab are bound to stay with you for a long time.

What Could’ve Been Better:

You can try but it’s hard to find fault in this well-intended and exceptionally made film. Maybe a little more screen time with Deepak Dobriyal would’ve been ideal but it’s no reason to skip Kaamyaab at all.

Why You Should Watch:

Kaamyaab is a bittersweet journey of an actor who has both made it but still struggles to be noticed. Fans of Bollywood cinema, especially those who love movies from the ‘80s and ‘90s, must not miss this one. It shows us how the film industry has evolved through the years while paying homage to the unsung heroes who made it what it is.