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Kadak Singh’s movie review Pankaj Tripathi l

Kadak Singh’s movie review: Pankaj Tripathi lives up to this languid thriller

Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury brews a mildly flavored concoction on the fickleness of memory and relationships that takes a long time to boil.

In suspenseful storytelling, writers and filmmakers often utilize the Rashomon effect to captivate their audience. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, known for his layered social thriller Pink (2016), employs this technique once again in his latest offering, Kadak Singh. This film presents a well-meaning and relatable case that unfolds through multiple perspectives, gradually revealing the truth.

The story revolves around A.K. Shrivastava (played by Pankaj Tripathi), a dedicated investigator probing a financial crime involving a chit-fund company. After an alleged suicide attempt, Shrivastava is admitted to a hospital, suffering from retrograde amnesia. He struggles to identify his daughter, Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi), and is uncertain about his son’s age. Although he remembers losing his wife in an accident, he is unwilling to acknowledge the presence of a new woman in his life named Naina (Jaya Ahsan). While he can recognize his colleague Arjun (Paresh Pahuja) and senior officer Tyagi (Dilip Shankar), he is unsure of their current roles in the department.

As Sakshi, Naina, Arjun, and Tyagi delve into the events leading up to Shrivastava’s alleged suicide attempt, the audience gains insight into the complex personality and character of this officer, who is affectionately called Kadak by his children due to his strictness in both his personal and professional life.

Sakshi believes that her father treated her deceased mother and brother unfairly, but Naina disagrees. Arjun suspects foul play, viewing the incident as an attempted murder linked to the high-stakes scam Shrivastava was investigating. Tyagi has his interpretation of events. Additionally, a nurse (Parvathy Thiruvothu) serves as a neutral observer of the various versions of Shrivastava’s past and present.

For the most part, Kadak Singh is a well-intentioned film that addresses mental health, parenting, and relationships, all woven around a white-collar crime that demands attention. It evokes memories of the composed television dramas of the 1980s and ’90s, where crimes were solved without disrupting the mundane rituals of the audience. The film offers some genuine moments, particularly when exploring the bond between Naina and Shrivastava. However, much of the dialogue feels verbose without conveying significant meaning.

The film’s climax is predictable, with all the narrative threads smoothly converging safely. Fortunately, unlike Aniruddha’s previous work, which lost its way after a promising start, both Aniruddha and writer Ritesh Shah successfully unveil the core issue, gradually dispelling the initial confusion.

Though more memorable than some of his recent performances, Pankaj Tripathi injects his signature charm into the proceedings, effortlessly transitioning between a stern officer and an animated patient eager to piece together his past. This demanding role requires the actor to convey multiple impressions of Shrivastava, leaving the audience guessing his true intentions. Is he genuinely honest, or is he using his illness to deceive his superiors? Has he truly lost his memory, or is he employing it as a mask to solve the case? Tripathi ensures that we remain engaged with the character’s actions on screen and the possibilities of what he might have done. Sanjana finally received a challenging role and delivered a commendable performance. Dilip, as always, is competent in his portrayal. Jaya, a Bangladeshi actor, aptly fits her character and delivers the required emotional intensity. Although her role is not central to the narrative, Parvathy effectively conveys her character’s thoughts through her eyes, serving as a capable foil to Tripathi.

While Kadak Singh might not live up to its promised intensity, it is a moderate thriller suitable for leisurely afternoons when one has no better options.


This film is currently available for streaming on Zee5.

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