Kakuda Movie Review: Those who have watched director Aditya Sarpotdar's blockbuster Munjya would be aware that the film is set in the Stree Universe. Well, his new film Kakuda, which has been in the cans for some time, could also have fit quite well in the same cinematic universe. There is a cursed village where a spirit troubles the villagers who don't meet its strange condition. There are a couple of sprightly actors with good comic timing who could have bonded well with Vicky and co. I mean, who wouldn't want to see a horror-comedy where Riteish Deshmukh shares the screen with Rajkummar Rao and Varun Dhawan? OTT Releases of the Week: Riteish Deshmukh-Sonakshi Sinha’s ‘Kakuda’, Japanese Reality Dating Show ‘The Boyfriend’ on Netflix & More.

However, the fact that Kakuda feels so entrenched in Stree territory also makes it formulaic and unmemorable despite its mix of campy horror and comedy. The events of the film are set in the village of Rathodi, which has a unique curse. Every house in the village has a small door next to its usual larger one, and the male resident of the house has to leave that door open at 7:15 pm every Tuesday evening. That's the time when the evil spirit Kakuda visits the village.

If the door is not opened at the precise time, Kakuda attacks the male resident and leaves a lump on his back. Then, on the 13th day after getting that bump, the victim dies. How Kakuda chooses which male member to attack if the family has more than one man is never answered. Nor is it explained what happens if the family is out of town. Will the spirit catch a bus to the new location and then curse the male?

Watch the Trailer of Kakuda:

Anyway, the latest victim of the curse is Sunny (Saqib Saleem), who misses the deadly deadline while secretly getting married to his girlfriend Indira (Sonakshi Sinha). Indira doesn't believe he is cursed and thinks the bump on his back is the result of some plague. However, when the bump returns after it is operated upon, Indira has to accept that something paranormal is going on. Conveniently, she also encounters Victor (Riteish Deshmukh), a ghost hunter who offers his services to exorcise Kakuda. Together, they have to figure out who Kakuda is and why his curse works the way it does before Sunny's time runs out.

'Kakuda' Movie Review - Some Spooky Comedy Was Pleasing

If you loved Stree and Munjya, there's a chance you might be okay with Kakuda. Even if the film comes across as that weak cousin everyone seems to ignore at any party, it is funny, mostly because actors like Riteish (who felt a bit too restrained for his role), Sonakshi, Saqib, and Aasif Khan (who plays Sunny's BFF Kilvish) have good comic timing.

A Still From Kakuda

The plot setting feels familiar but still has an engaging quality to it, particularly with Victor's entry and when the protagonists investigate the mystery. The scene where Indira's uncle and aunt try to convince a cursed Sunny to let his wife marry someone healthy is quite funny—though not his antics after that...

'Kakuda' Movie Review - An Indecisive Horror-Comedy

The trouble comes when Kakuda doesn't know whether it wants to be a spoof comedy (as the trailer declared it to be) or a horror-comedy. For a spoof comedy, it takes itself a little too seriously, and for a horror-comedy, it doesn't take things seriously enough. The film just places itself in a weird, confused zone in between.

A Still From Kakuda

A prime example of this is how Kakuda treats the mortality of the ghost's victims. The death hanging over the heads of the cursed victims is treated with amusement both by the film and the characters within it—which fits in with the light-hearted vibe of the movie. But when it wants to take the impending doom of a major character gravely, it is hard to do so when we know things are going to end well. Some of the humour even takes playful digs at Bollywood's previous horror comedies like Stree and Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, and then the film goes on to stick to the same tropes that the other movies worked on.

The ghost itself is hardly a standout character, unlike the terrifying 'Stree' or the mischievous 'Munjya' - a CGI-created entity that doesn't feel spooky once the proper reveal is shown. Its backstory and the unique characteristic of its curse are mildly fascinating but not engaging enough to draw you in. Also, I am not a fan of the revelation that Indira has a twin sister and her conveniently close connection to the spirit. More than being a vital component of the narrative, she felt more like a way for the film to give Victor a potential love interest. Munjya Movie Review: Humour and Horror Come in Half-Measures in Abhay Verma and Sharvari Wagh's Supernatural Comedy.

A Still From Kakuda

The third act of Kakuda is also quite a letdown, more so because it adheres closely to now-formulaic third-act horror tropes—female characters being possessed, a last-minute twist. The film ends with a lazy cliffhanger teasing a potential sequel, which we know will never happen.

'Kakuda' Movie Review - Final Thoughts

Kakuda struggles to carve out its identity amidst the shadows of its predecessors like Stree and Munjya. While it has a promising premise and a talented cast, the film's indecisive tone and reliance on formulaic tropes undermine its potential. Kakuda is streaming on Zee5.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 11, 2024 12:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).