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Kaalakaandi  : A Rather Skewered Night
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Friday, January 12, 2018
Akshat Verma
Saif Ali Khan, Sobhita Dhulipala, Vijay Raaz, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Akshay Oberoi, Isha Talwar, Neil Bhoopalam

The title which means something like, it’s a screw-up, sums up the film itself.


A dapper and successful banker played by Saif Ali Khan has just been told by his doctor that he has barely three months to live. Unaware of the dire medical verdict, his family’s in cheery celebratory mood with a big fat Indian wedding for his brother Angad. But you only die once. Saif who’s had a  rather staid life, may as well do all the stuff he’s never done before. And so he trips on acid.


Bridegroom Angad can’t wait to get his pants off and have a last fling with a casual girlfriend in a hotel room. And then he’s guilty and wants to tell his bride Neha all about it.


On the road is Saif, revelling in the hallucinations brought on by the drug, as he chats up a wayside whore and cheerfully picks up a fight with an out-of-shape policeman.


On the road are two small-timers of the mafia, dreaming of getting rich. For now it means plotting to loot the cash they’ve been picking up for their boss.


On the road is also an upscale couple with the girl having to catch a flight to America. But it’s been one hell of a night for her boyfriend and her, she on a guilt trip.


Writer-director Akshat Verma keeps switching tracks to keep all the three unconnected stories racing along. Until the very end where justice prevails in a quirky, unexpected way.


In his attempt to go off mainstream, Akshat does manage to make a different kind of cinema. The many abuses in English and Hindi blend with the characters mouthing them. And there is a great set of performers.


Saif is suave but underneath the fun that he’s uncharacteristically having is his terminal illness that the audience knows about but not anybody else.


Vijay Raaz and Deepak Dobriyal get the gritty underworld tone right.


Sobhita Dhulipala and Kunal Roy Kapur are natural as the partying couple.


Akshay Oberoi as the bridegroom is really cute.


There are many more including pretty Amrya Dastur and Isha Talwar.


However, this is not regular cinema. One does want to know where it’s all going and it all comes together rather differently. But it takes its own time and is not riveting enough to keep one’s eyes glued to the screen. With most of the dialogues in English and only a sprinkling of Hindi, this is like a teenager’s picnic that’ll connect only with a slim percentage of the youth in the multiplex.


For a film that’s different and fun in parts but extremely limited in its appeal, Kaalakaandi gets a 2.5* rating.  


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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