Kadak Singh review: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's pursuit of a person's truth leads to solving a crime investigation through different people presenting various lenses.
Kadak Singh review: Imagine if one day you wake up in the hospital with no memory and then different people from your life come up to tell you about your life and what kind of a person you are. Would you believe it? This concept, that's intriguing as hell, forms the premise of Kadak Singh! Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's psychological thriller is mind-bending for most part with a sensitive touch representing the paradoxical relationship of masculinity.
Arun Singh Shrivastav (Pankaj Tripathi) is a middle-aged man who wakes up in a hospital after his 'accident' with retrograde amnesia, where the man only remembers a few people and incidents from his life. Now to join his pieces of the story together and find out the mystery behind what happened to him, we have different versions presented to us by various people from his life who claim to know more than he knows himself. In cinema, this is called the Rashomon effect from Akira Kurrosawa's film, where after an incident different versions of truth are presented to lead to an answer. The only difference here is that the major focus is on a person being explored instead of an incident being unfolded.
His daughter, Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghvi) presents Arun's kadak side as a father who is so strict and distant that he doesn't even know what is going on within his own family. His lover, Naina (Jaya Ahsan) presents Arun's tender and caring side as a lover, who finds solace in some company after his wife passes away. His boss and colleagues talk about him being a thorough professional and a moralistic officer of the Department of Financial Crime. And his protege, Arjun (Paresh Pahuja) offers a trustworthy companion to the investigative side of Arun.
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The film with its various narratives goes from being a dysfunctional family drama, a love story, an investigative crime thriller, whodunit to a social-message drama within its two-hour run time. After all, a person isn't made of just one thing. Hence looking at a person and his life from all sides from the lens of other people forms his entire character sketch. The film also is a mystery thriller drama; given that there are so many narrators giving the information, you don't know who to rely on and what their motives are.
Through all of this, two people become the sounding board of the film. First is Arun's nurse Miss Kannan (Parvathy Thiruvothu) as Arun bounces off his theories about people and their stories with her. And second is Arun himself as he becomes the voice of the script that's presenting the audience's thoughts over the film. The casting is ingenious! Pankaj Tripathi's skills are utlised to their fullest as he is this comic, stern, tender, satyavaadi, and dazed person altogether at once as if giving a bow to all his previous characters. The women of this film, Sanjana, Jaya, and Parvathy beautifully handle the slackness of the script for their characters.
The only thing that throws you off is the structure of the film which sometimes is just so proud of its own achievement that it forgets to make it understandable to the audience. Because of this, it takes a while for you to attach yourself to the story. Many of the dialogues and threads of the story seem off and the ending is disappointing given the premise. In the wake of being smart to impress yet fool the audience at the same time, it gets lost one too many times. Nevertheless, Aniruddha does know how to paint an intriguing yet sensitive portrayal of Indian masculinity that is stuck between the idea of being the hero at work and a distant figure as the head of the family!
Kadak Singh is currently streaming on Zee5!
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