Kadak Singh Movie Review: Pankaj Tripathi Is Saving Grace In This 'Dheela' Mystery Thriller

The twisty suspense drama, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, is told from different character perspectives. But the buildup to the big reveal takes too long and feels quite anti-climactic.

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Kadak Singh

Critic's Ratings

starstarstarstarstar

2.5

Thriller,Drama

Duration

2 hr 6 mins
Kadak Singh Movie Review Pankaj Tripathi Is Saving Grace In This Dheela Mystery Thriller
Kadak Singh Movie Review: Pankaj Tripathi Is Saving Grace In This 'Dheela' Mystery Thriller

About Kadak Singh

In the Zee5 thriller, Kadak Singh, memory and viewpoints play a large role in defining what the story is. The Hindi film, which premiered on December 8, revolves around a man who has retrograde amnesia. Therefore, he and by default, the audience, have to fill in the blanks. As the pieces of the puzzle get filled up, it becomes quite evident which way the makers want us to think. However, the film's message and its handling of the narrative could have used more intensity.

Kadak Singh: Narrative

Pankaj Tripathi plays the afflicted man, AK Shrivastava, without a memory who is in hospital with no clue how he ended up there. He has to figure out how as different individuals in his life, from his daughter Sakshi (Sanjani Sanghi), his colleagues and even a paramour Naina (Jaya Ahsan), guide him about his life before.
The Rashomon-style narrative is a gimmick we've seen countless times before in films and television. But the story itself also needs to be compelling enough to make it work. Here, the main mystery pivots around AK's work in the Department of Financial Crimes. It also involves some suspicious suicides and a missing man on the run. Despite all this, there is no sense of urgency in the plot to make it more engaging.

Kadak Singh: Direction

Filmmaker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury sets the story in a familiar place in Kolkata and shows the main character's AK Shrivastava personal and professional as murky. As he untangles each knot, the mystery of why and how AK landed up in hospital is presented. The film's title, Kadak Singh, is a reference to the character's strictness with this family, but it is only brought up early and then never dealt with properly.
The thriller introduces this estrangement between father and daughter in the first half only to resolve it quickly in the second in favour of the larger mystery. The film could have benefitted by showing more emotion through the family angle. Even the romance between Pankaj Tripathi and Jaya Ahsan's characters is presented as an afterthought, instead of one more conflict in an already complicated life.

Kadak Singh: Performances

Pankaj Tripathi gamely takes on the personas of AK Shrivastava aka Kadak Singh. In the hospital portions, he is both jovial and witty, which is a contrast to the actual person he was, before the accident took place. The talented actor does well with what little he has. Sanjana Sanghi as AK's daughter has the most important arc, but the family dynamics also involving a younger brother (Varun Buddhadev) doesn't get proper treatment. The young actress fares well in the big dramatic moments.
Jaya Ahsan and Parvathy Thiruvothu also have pivotal roles, but their characters get lost in the larger scheme of things as supporting actors to Pankaj Tripathi's character. As the story leans more into the financial crimes case AK was investigating, all of the other characters arcs get pushed to the side.

Kadak Singh: Critique

With an actor like Pankaj Tripathi in the lead, this suspense thriller could have used a bit more pizazz in its story to make it more interesting. Red herrings and false suspects are thrown in the ring to deflect suspicion, but it doesn't make the story any more compelling. Moreover, the all-important conclusion in the end also feels dissatisfying. The Hindi film has a good cast that deserved stronger material to work with.
End of Article

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