‘Kadak Singh’: Cast & Crew
Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Sanjana Sanghi, Khushboo Kamal, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Jaya Ahsan, Paresh Pahuja, Varun Buddhadev, Dilip Shankar, Jogi Mallang, Sanjeev Sharma, Paresh Pahuja, Rajan Modi
Available On: Zee5
Duration: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
‘Kadak Singh’: Story
AK Srivastava (Pankaj Tripathi), an officer of the Department of Financial Crimes is trying to solve a chit-fund scam case after being diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. He relies on listening to different perspectives on who he actually is and how he landed up in the hospital where he is being treated. Will he finally be able to solve the case? Will he be able to find out who’s real and who’s unreal? Will there be skeletons in the cupboard that will come out in the open? Why is he called Kadak Singh when his actual name is AK Srivastava? Well, for all that you’ll have to watch ‘Kadak Singh’.
‘Kadak Singh’: Performances
Pankaj Tripathi has been known to portray two sorts of characters really well – strong negative characters and sober gentlemanly characters. This one takes the ambiguous midway between these two extremes. What he excels in is the way in which he makes the character grow on you. You’re left scrambling towards the end to make sense of what is actually happening and what he is exactly trying to do. Had this character been performed by anyone else, it wouldn’t have got that believability that Pankaj Tripathi manages to get to it.
Parvathy Thiruvothu may have a lesser screen time, but she surely keeps you guessing throughout. Her character could have just been that of a passer-by nurse, but the way Parvathy Thiruvothu has brought the nuances into the character makes you constantly keep questioning whether or not she too is a part of the entire scheme of things. Is she? Well, you’ll get to know that when you watch the film.
Very honestly, I didn’t expect too much from Sanjana Sanghi, but she won me over. Her performance has such honesty that it felt that a lot of it was coming from her personal experience and not something that was written on paper. Bringing that relatable feel to the character made it come out good. It, however, leaves you with the question of why her character wasn’t given more space in the story.
The rest of the supporting cast have done their work decently even though there isn’t any standout performer among them.
‘Kadak Singh’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
Ritesh Shah’s writing is probably the weakest link in ‘Kadak Singh’. For a whodunnit, you don’t always depend on great performances from your actors, but you also have to string the story in a way that the audience is genuinely sitting on the edge of their seats. However, Ritesh Shah’s writing misses that part. You’re questioning what’s happening and what’s not, but at no point are your guesses going wrong. Had the narrative given you twists and turns which weren’t something that you were expecting then it would have been a far better write-up. Ritesh Shah’s writing builds up the theatrics but leaves you high and dry without reaching the crescendo.
Viraf Sarkari, Ritesh Shah and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s plot of the story was solid. It really hooks you. The plot is so strong that it captures your imagination in just a 3-minute-long trailer. Sadly, sometimes one-liners are too good as one-liners, but when you flesh it out to be a 120-pager script, it usually simmers down the fun.
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury tries to lift up the writing with his adept direction. He manages to give you all the checkpoints of a worthy thriller. He also is able to get the best performance out of his actors. He tries to achieve the zenith of excellence by using the non-linear technique of presentation by showing the past and present seamlessly. But when you just thought he had it all together, you are left with a gun full of blanks. Had he just sharpened out the edges of the screenplay a bit more, this probably would have been a thriller for the ages. He misses out by a few centimetres on giving a ‘Kahaani’ level kicking finale.
Avik Mukhopadhyay is known for using the locales to the best of their abilities. He has shot numerous films where he has shown the lanes and bylanes in a way that gave you a real sense of the city. Sadly, a lot of the screenplay here was indoors, which meant he couldn’t work his genius to the fullest of his potential.
Arghyakamal Mitra’s editing also stands out as another sore thumb. What the writing failed to do, the editing could have chopped down and hidden from the world. Sadly, the snippers weren’t used as much as they should have been. A bit of pruning and it could have been a taut 1-hour-50-minute thriller which would have kept you on your toes throughout. However, Arghyakamal Mitra has to be lauded for the way he has kept the past and present scenes seamless and yet not confused the audience even once. Kudos for that!
Shantanu Moitra’s music is probably the best thing coming from the film’s technical team. If you’re watching with some really good noise-cancelling earphones, the background score makes you feel right in the middle of it all. You’re left feeling like you’re sitting right in the corner of that hospital room and watching everything unfold right in front of your eyes. Even the songs are damn good. Papon and Shreya Ghoshal’s ‘Tu Jo Hai’ – both versions are keepers and definitely deserve a place in your playlists. Even ‘Aye Mera Dil’ keeps growing on you long after you’ve finished watching the film.
‘Kadak Singh’: Can Kids Watch It?
Pankaj Tripathi saves ‘Kadak Singh’ and makes it worth your time. His antics, whether funny, surprising or even purely conniving are very nicely portrayed with superb finesse. Where the film lacks is in its thrill factor. It’s not one of those edge-of-the-seat thrillers which will keep you enticed till the very last scene. On the contrary, it will make you ponder over decisions made and rethink the entire situation at bay. It’s a different approach to a whodunnit film. Overall, it’s an Above-Average film. I am going with 3 stars.