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Kadak Singh Movie Review: Despite the performances, KADAK SINGH has a complicated and disappointing second half.

KADAK SINGH is the story of a father and daughter. Arun K Srivastava (Pankaj Tripathi) works at the Department of Financial Crime (DFC), Kolkata and is very good at his job. His home environment, however, is not healthy. His wife Mimi (Khushboo Kamal) died some years ago. He single-handedly raised his children, Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi) and Aditya (Varun Buddhadev). There has been a breakdown of communication between the father and the children. Arun usually gets angry with them, prompting Sakshi and Aditya to address their father as ‘Kadak Singh’. At DFC, Arun is working on the high-profile Golden Sun Chit Fund case. A man called Ashok Agarwal (Sanjeev Sharma) duped thousands of people of their hard-earned money and has gone into hiding. Acting on a tip-off, Arun goes to a shady hotel to catch Ashok. To ensure that no one gets suspicious, he and his female colleague head to the hotel as a couple in love. There, he bumps into Sakshi who has come there to pay off a cop who’s harassing Aditya after the latter was caught with drugs. Arun is devastated as he sees Sakshi with a male friend and assumes that he is her partner. Sakshi, meanwhile, is shocked to see her father in such a hotel with a woman and blasts him in the middle of the road. The same evening, Arun allegedly tries to end his life, presumably due to humiliation. He survives but loses his memory. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Viraf Sarkari, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, and Ritesh Shah’s story is compelling. Ritesh Shah’s screenplay doesn’t do justice to the promising plot in hand. All characters don’t get the required screen time and also, the narrative gets complicated. Ritesh Shah’s dialogues, however, are witty and even raise laughs.

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s direction is not up to the mark. To give credit where it’s due, he has fleshed out the characters and their equation with one another in a neat and entertaining manner. This is especially with regards to Arun’s bond with Sakshi and Arun’s bond with the nurse, Miss Kanan (Parvathy Thiruvothu). The patient-nurse bond shown in this film is a first of its kind. The first half is intriguing as weightage is given not just to the father-daughter equation but also to the scam. All is going fine until Naina’s (Jaya Ahsan) flashback.

From here on, the film goes downhill as the focus shifts to the scam which is not as exciting. The daughter’s track is more or less forgotten, and this is not done since viewers have invested so much time in this character. Also, the goings-on are a bit difficult to comprehend. The makers try to infuse tension here with the scene where Sanjana goes into the shop with several mannequins. However, it looks forced. The finale is unexpected but doesn’t work as intended.

The performances, however, are of a tall order and their standalone scenes are memorable. Pankaj Tripathi hits the ball out of the park with his performance which leaves viewers amused as well as moved. It’s a role in his zone and yet, he tries to make it stand out from the rest of his acts. Sanjana Sanghi is superb and shows that she has grown as an actor. It’s sad that she is hardly there in the second half. Parvathy Thiruvothu is highly entertaining and adds a lot to the film with her performance. Paresh Pahuja (Arjun) gives a sincere performance. Varun Buddhadev is dependable. Jaya Ahsan leaves a huge mark. Dilip Shankar (Tyagi; boss) and Rajan Modi (Subhash; Arun’s colleague) are fair.

Shantanu Moitra’s music is forgettable. Both ‘Tu Jo Hai’ and ‘Ae Mere Dil’ are relegated to the background. Shantanu Moitra’s background score adds to the intrigue factor.

Avik Mukhopadhyay’s cinematography is lovely. The locales of Kolkata are captured in a beautiful manner. Natasha Gauba’s production design is authentic. Vineet Chauhan’s costumes for Pankaj Tripathi and Bidisha Kohli’s costumes for the rest of the actors are realistic. Arghyakamal Mitra’s editing is decent.

On the whole, KADAK SINGH has a complicated and disappointing second half. The performances are the saving grace of this film.

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