Luck by Chance (2009) was one of the finest films made on the 'insides of the Hindi Film Industry' (and one of my all-time favourites). There is a scene in Luck by Chance, where Mac Mohan is invited to the graduation ceremony of a small acting school. In that scene, one of the students requests him to enact Sambha's famous dialogue from Sholay. Like a good sport, Mac Mohan obliges, and says, "Poore Pachaas Hazaar". Students clap and sing loud praises -end scene-. Our character artists, the ones who support our stars and our storylines, have unfortunately been reduced to this. And the emotions at display in this particular scene are only the tip of the iceberg. The rest is hidden deep down, under layers of glamour, stardom, presumptions and hypocrisy.
(National Award Winner) Hardik Mehta's Kaamyaab is a daring film, one that brings those people to the foreground who have spent years standing at the back. Kaamyaab is about Sudheer (Sanjay Mishra), a character actor from yesteryears, who has done 499 films and yet has got neither fame nor fortune. He gets the idea wrapped into his head that, if he comes out of retirement and completes his 500th film, then, he would have accomplished something in life. Sanjay Mishra plays Sudheer with such comfort and ease, with everything around him feeling so real, that you truly believe in the narrative and the characters. Deepak Dobriyal shines in the role of a casting director who is in awe of Sudheer's pedigree of work.
There is an unshakeable feeling of melancholy in every frame of Kaamyaab, which is beautiful. The humour is dark and some of the writing cuts really deep. The climax is written with utmost skill and performed with so much heart that you are bound to feel for Sudheer and for Sanjay Mishra. He compels you to think of supporting actors as so much more than just fillers. Even though Sudheer himself calls character actors 'Aloo' because they go with everything, ironically, right at that moment, Sanjay Mishra playing Sudheer, is proving to all of us, that he is so much more. He is the masala, without which all you will taste is salt, he is the coke, that helps you gulp your pizza, and he is the dressing, that brings flavour to your salad.