Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Sobhita Dhulipala, Deepak Dobriyal, Akshay Oberoi, Kunaal Roy Kapur
Director: Akshat Verma
Rating: Three stars
Delly Belly scriptwriter is seen to have been fascinated by mavericks and misfits in his new film Kaalakaandi featuring Saif Ali Khan, Sobhita Dhulipala, Deepak Dobriyal, Akshay Oberoi, Kunaal Roy Kapur. Akshat Verma’s maiden directorial venture, in essence, possesses the madcap spirit that propelled the 2011 hit. Kaalakaandi is set in Mumbai and focused primarily on more mature characters. So its tone, texture, and treatment are markedly different. The film is primarily in English, with only two underworld underlings conversing in street-level Hindi peppered liberally with expletives.
But armed with the quality of his writing, he turns the freaky, freewheeling, fizzy Kaalakaandi into a human drama that explores life’s surprises, love, mortality, greed, and betrayal. Not all of it adds up as neatly as one would have liked, yet it works. Wicked wit and macabre humor leavened with a sense of humanity define this dark comedy’s more felicitous moments. The characters are quirky yet real, like the morally conflicted girl shaken by a hit-and-run case that she is involved in or a young man assailed by pangs of guilt at having cheated on his would-be wife.
Several other confused Mumbaikars have their already messed-up lives thrown into further disarray in the course of a single night that sees mishaps galore. A well-heeled man receives a grim, point-blank medical diagnosis: his days are numbered, he is told. Another, carried away by a gun-slinging Feroz Khan’s curry-western act in Khotay Sikkey, accidentally shoots himself in the groin. Well, not everyone will be able to sense the movie’s taste but can spice up the moods who prefer off- the-beaten-track Bollywood experience.
There is more. Two partners in crime (Vijay Raaz and Deepak Dobriyal) hatch a get-rich-quick plan as they ferry bags of cash in a red hatchback – the plot ends in betrayal and quick comeuppance. Two men on a speeding motorcycle are knocked off their perches on a rain-washed road. And coitus interruptus mars an intended quickie in an upscale hotel room. The film is meant for not all only specific age palates would go watch in the movie hall. Now its all on the audiences how big they appreciate or criticise this film.