Kadak Singh Movie Review: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, the renowned Bengali filmmaker known for the 2016 sleeper hit Pink, recently released his latest film, Kadak Singh. Following the direct-to-OTT release of his previous film Lost, this directorial venture unfortunately takes the same streaming route, arriving on Zee5. Starring Pankaj Tripathi in the lead, Kadak Singh attempts to blend social drama and thriller elements but falls short of creating a compelling narrative for either. Kadak Singh: Sanjana Sanghi’s Character Embarks on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Unforeseen Turns in Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Film.
AK Shrivastav (Tripathi), an officer in the Department of Financial Crimes, is admitted to the hospital after an alleged suicide attempt during a fraud investigation. While recovering, he becomes amnesiac, recalling only a few details of his life. Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi) arrives at his ward, claiming to be his daughter. However, her description of AK is far from flattering, alleging that he used to be stern, inattentive to his children, and possibly involved in questionable activities.
As AK hears three more 'stories' about his past and the events leading to his attempted suicide from his lover Naina (Jaya Ahsan), his superior Tyagi (Dilip Shankar), and his subordinate Arjun (Paresh Pahuja), he tries to piece together the last couple of days before the suicide attempt and solve the mystery. Assisted by his head nurse, Miss Kannan (Parvathy T), who serves as both caregiver and soundboard, the rest of the film unfolds.
Watch the Trailer of Kadak Singh:
The title Kadak Singh originates from the secret nickname AK's children give him due to his uncaring and dismissive attitude. From Sakshi's perspective, he has been a neglectful father, and the movie dedicates a significant portion to reinforcing this view. However, when a misunderstanding in a sleazy lodge leads to a public fight, and Sakshi discovers the truth later on, she realises that AK may not be as bad as she thought.
Sakshi discovers that her father feels guilty about mistreating her brother, is in a serious relationship, and is an honest officer. However, these revelations do not absolve AK of his behaviour at home. The emotional neglect she endured is conveniently overlooked, and even when she learns the true reason for her mother's demise, the impact is fleeting, overshadowed by the film's overarching mystery.
This example illustrates the writing's confusion regarding its characters and conflicts, resulting in a narrative that feels half-hearted. The film misses an opportunity to explore the Rashomon-style potential of the narrative, where an amnesiac man learns about his life from four people he doesn't remember. Instead, Kadak Singh opts for a humdrum family drama in the first hour and a predictable investigative saga in the next, with a tepid romantic subplot, in between. Even a post-coital conversation between a mature couple about what they are expecting from their relationship felt superficial because it is shoe-horned between two disjointed narratives. Kadak Singh: Pankaj Tripathi Calls His Film 'Most Special Project' - Here's Why.
Pankaj Tripathi in the lead delivers a decent performance that doesn't significantly challenge the actor. He particularly shines in the final act when solving the mystery, although the mystery itself lacks substantial depth. Sanjana Sanghi mostly maintains a singular expression throughout the film. Parvathy, impressive in last week's Dhootha, plays the sardonic yet kind-hearted Malayali nurse but that character is quite paper-thin. The film also unnecessarily emphasises her regional origins by having her speak Malayalam, even when Hindi would suffice.
In Kadak Singh, there is a story about a family dealing with trauma and there is a commentary on how the system allows the rich to go scot-free with their white-collar crimes. Together, though, they couldn't complement each to be the engaging experience we expected it to be despite Pankaj Tripathi's decent efforts. Kadak Singh is streaming on Zee5.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 08, 2023 12:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).