Kadak Singh is lukewarm thriller

Jaya Ahsan and Pankaj Tripathi in ZEE5’s Kadak Singh. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Each of his three Hindi forays, Pink, Lost and this one, have had unique premises and treatment, but Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, in this third directorial expedition in Hindi feature films, has never been in the ‘Pink’ as a director, and his ideas have always been ‘Lost’ somewhere in translation! Even Pink, for all its average success, was a disappointment as a film vis-à-vis its potential as a story, and survived only because of the identification factor—of callous, socially-unhinged men and objectified women, and the movie riding on some trenchant dialogues.

Kadak Singh is about a once good-natured man, A.K. Shrivastava (Pankaj Tripathi) who has been nicknamed “Kadak (Strict) Singh” by his children—Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi) and Adi (Varun Buddhadev) because of his demeanor now. ‘Kadak’ is a widower who works in a firm that investigates white-collar crime in Kolkata. His team and he are after one Ashok Agarwal, who has conned many lower class citizens of their hard-earned money with a dubious scheme.

When the film opens, Sakshi sees her father physically close to a woman in a seedy hotel where she has come for a purpose. She misunderstands him and berates him in public. The next thing we know is that Kadak Singh has attempted suicide in his office and has left an incompletely-written suicide note, which is an apology to Sakshi. He has been saved as the ceiling fan from where he hung himself fell down under his weight, but the blow has now given him retrograde partial amnesia.

Kadak Singh, with the help of an unusually cooperative and no-nonsense nurse, Miss Kannan (Parvathy Thiruvothu), pieces together the facts from the lies, with the help of the different versions of what happened that day from Sakshi (who claims to be his daughter, as seen from his amnesic perspective!), his boss Tyagi (Dilip Shankar), who he recognizes and who presumably foots the hospital bills as well, his colleague and admirer, Arjun (Paresh Pahuja) and his supposed girlfriend, Naina (Jaya Ahsan), who he does not recognize either.

There is the realistic part: Kadak neither recovers his memory, nor is shown pretending to have lost it, but yet has the skills to understand subterfuge from reality. And yes, the Ashok Agarwal angle with his secret boss, Mantu Man Singh (not shown) is connected as well.

Wizcraft is known for their international film awards and has stepped into production here: wish they had learnt their lessons and locked a script that was edge-of-the-seat gripping and riveting instead of this vapid fare. I loved the note-perfect Pankaj Tripathi—only he could have done such a role convincingly in all its variegated shades. Jaya Ahsan makes an impressive debut and has a truly nice smile. Sanjana Sanghi is strictly okay. From the rest of the cast, Dilip Shankar is effective, Paresh Pahuja functional and Parvathy Thiruvothu a natural scene-stealer who holds her own even in her sequences with a stalwart like Pankja.

Technically, the film is alright, the songs yet (any number of ‘yet’s!) again totally forgettable and the background score (both by Shantanu Moitra) imaginative.

Wish the film had been that too.

Rating: **

ZEE5 presents WIZ Films’, KVN Productions’, HT Content Studio’s, First Step Films’ & Opus Communications’ Kadak Singh. Produced by: Mahesh Ramanathan, Viraf Sarkari, Andre Timmins & Sabbas Joseph  Directed by: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury  Written by: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Viraf Sarkari & Ritesh Shah  Music: Shantanu Moitra  Starring: Pankaj Tripathi, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Sanjana Sanghi, Jaya Ahsan, Jogi Mallang, Dilip Shankar, Paresh Pahuja, Rajan Modi, Varun Buddhadev, Anindya Sengupta & others          





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