Kaalakaandi: Saif shines through this edgy film by Delhi Belly’s script-writer
Movie Review by Anand Jha (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Kaalakaandi is Akshat Verma’s directorial debut. As a script-writer he gave us the very cool Delhi Belly and as a director he doesn’t disappoint us either. Kaalakaandi is set in Mumbai but has a very Delhi Belly feel to it. Just like the latter, this film is also meant for a niche audience that relishes quirk and eccentricity. An intriguing story blended with a wacky characters, lead from the front by Saif Ali Khan, makes this movie a must watch.
The story begins by introducing us to Saif’s character, who remains unnamed till the very end of the movie as do most of the other primary characters. He is diagnosed with cancer and is told by the doctor that he has less time. This is one out of the three stories in the movie. The beauty of the movie lies in the fact that three stories unfold simultaneously and every incident takes places over one night. The movie focuses into lives of six people, who come in contact with each other by chance.
The first half of the movie is filled with Saif Ali Khan’s eccentricity. A role only he could pull off. The character’s transformation from a well-mannered, respectable member of society to a person who goes inside a washroom to engage in sexual encounter with a transgender to satisfy his curiosity, keeps you hooked. Another story looks at a scheme of two henchmen of a badass gangster planning to loot the latter. The two henchmen are played by two of the finest character actors of our times- Deepak Dobriyal and Vijay Raaz. The third story is about a couple (Sobhita Dhulipala and Kunal Roy Kapur), where the girl (a strong and confident character) plans to move abroad to pursue her education while the soft-mannered boyfriend is slightly indisposed of her decision.
The annals of that one night revolving around all these three stories forms the crux of this movie. The dialogues are well-written and immensely cool. Although the movie starts from a random day in the lives of all the primary characters, a lot of attention is paid in establishing these characters. The direction and screenplay fuse perfectly.
The cinematography takes into account the most minute details right from the drugged Saif Ali Khan seeing different patterns in the most mundane of objects to how there is a splash of blood after a hit and run scene.
Saif Ali Khan dazzles with his zany performance and drives the movie almost single- handedly. Deepak Dobriyal and Vijay Raaz do a fine job with less of action but powerful and engaging dialogues. Sobhita Dhulipala proves to be much more than just a pretty face, with a powerful screen presence. She is hard to miss. Kunal Roy Kapur delivers a restrained performance as her devoted boyfriend. Other actors in smaller roles include Shenaz Treasury as Sobhita’s doped friend. And Arif Basra as the gangster.
A movie definitely worth watching, except a few scenes which appear to be absolutely pointless towards the end. Nevertheless, it keeps you entertained throughout.