Kaalkoot is one tedious ramble-athon

Vijay Varma as the cop is the saving-grace of Kaalkoot. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Since web series picked up steam in India, there have been cop-based thrillers galore, some getting into the political and patriotic angles, others into drugs and mafia. Happily, but for a few, most have been thought-provoking as well as fast-paced entertainers. This combination is always ideal—something to take home while enjoying a show. The recent Dahaad was the perfect example of this.

A downer of sorts last week was Kohrra, which went into tiresome way of too much convolution, apart from a needlessly (for web series) ‘trendy’ denouement. But Kaalkoot is worse. A purported examination of an acid attack case, it gets into incredible tangents and coincidences. More, it has an end at which even Salman Khan or Manmohan Desai fans of illogic will laugh at the absurdity of a man stabbed through and through on his right chest riding a bike, fighting a villain in a lake and simultaneously saving a drowning baby!

Kaalkoot cannot fathom what to make of itself: should it comment on patriarchy, male chauvinism, hatred for the minority, shame about an ailment like epilepsy (far more movingly and convincingly depicted in the recent movie, Bawaal), sex abuse, marital ill-treatment and the travails of and pressures on policemen? They decide it should, and it becomes one tedious ramble-athon!

As if all these complications and complexities are not enough, the writers get into zones like a cop’s dead parent, who is a poet with fans seemingly everywhere among the youth and has seemingly a keen sight into the future! He also writes a poem to his wife that begins with “Between your thighs”. Seriously! I am no prude, but all I can say to the producers, writers and director is “Yuck!!!” That said, the dialogues do have flashes of wit, and Shweta’s make-up (Shilpa Shah) is just the right mix of scary yet not gory for viewers.

Add to this the most unmusical ‘songs’ that keep yowling within the narrative at too-frequent intervals, whose ‘lyrics’ would make even the most rabid fan of Gulzar’s abstract verse cringe. There is no attempt at melody, rhythm or meter and the singers either screech or go conciliatory in tone. The culprit lyricist is not even mentioned.

The background score is monotonous, and the director seems to be someone who can promise better things in a nicer, tighter script. But then, he also happens to be one of the writing team!

Vijay Varma is the saving-grace of the series with his dedicated turn in a role of a rookie cop, Ravi—a performance that rises to a nice level in its layers. Gopal Datt is superb as the cynical cop who can be determined as much as nasty and acerbic. Yashpal Sharma is effective too as Vijay’s deputy, and so is Shweta Tripathi Sharma as the acid victim. Seema Biswas is a delight despite her sketchy role of Ravi’s mother. In another brief role, Sudev Nair as Manu is excellent. Suzanna Mukherjee, as Ravi’s fiancée, Shivani shines too.

Wish the series sparkled even a quarter as much. Is it thought-provoking? Not really. Entertaining? Nah! As a show, this one ranks lower to Kohrra and deserved an inferior rating to it. But about half-a-dozen actors have given their flesh and blood to the show, far, far more than the script deserved, and for their sake, my rating should be the same!

Rating: **

Jio Cinema presents Tipping Point Films’, Leo Media Collective’s & Viacom 18 Studios’ Kaalkoot  Produced by: Ajit Andhare, Amritpal Singh Bindra & Anand Tiwari Directed by: Sumit Saxena Written by: Karan Singh Tyagi, Arunabh Kumar & Sumit Saxena  Music: Raghav-Arjun  Starring: Vijay Varma, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Suzanna Mukherjee, Yashpal Sharma, Seema Biswas, Gopal Datt, Hiba Qamar, Sudev Nair, Rohan Verma, Ayush Sapra & others




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