Director Rajat Kapoor gives you a winner on all fronts, for its content, direction, and performances
The opening sequence here is extraordinary. It serves the purpose in a narrative and also sets up the tone for the entire film thereafter in the most surprising manner. Kadakh is an ‘a-moral tale’ as the maker himself portrays it to be. Telling you so much about discreet lives people lead today, Kapoor gives you meanings in symbols.
Sunil (Ranvir Shorey) is getting ready for a Diwali party at his home, where a group of friends is invited. But enters Raghav (Chandrachoor Rai), the husband of the woman who Sunil has an affair with. Depressed and dejected and angry, Raghav kills himself in Sunil’s home. In no time, Sunil’s wife Malti (Mansi Multani) returns from the market followed by their friends. It’s upto the couple now to manage the friends and the body and the party.
Written by Rajat Kapoor himself, the film boasts of an interesting story. Although metaphorical in its own sense, it is a straightforward premise with its inherent share of highs and lows. What is good is that while it is extremely real, the cinematic essence is never lost. Credits should also go to Cyrus Sahukar for additional dialogues. The dialogues have been truly amazing.
The scenes are chaotic, since a lot of people are involved. And it is only here that you salute the direction of Kapoor. The chaos is well choreographed to give you that sense, never making it a hotchpotch. For once, when you think there won’t be any more people, boom, and appear so many more. Also the space has been utilised so well that not for moment do you feel that there isn’t variety. The direction therefore is crisp, giving you ample chances to keep you hooked, be in content or even the spaces that the camera shows.
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The story is hilarious. The comedy is situational. You won’t laugh out loud ofcourse. But since you watch this house as an external person, you laugh at their misery. There is the host couple who knows what they’ve hidden down under and their plight evokes pity and laughter, both at the same time. Then there are people, the friends, who have their own individual share of stories. These subtle nuances that Kapoor has incorporated in writing makes this film engaging.
There is a sense of suspense and you are eager to know how will things unfold. What Kapoor should be credited for is his genius sense to detailing for content, where you don’t feel the film is being stretched. How he reaches from point A to B is what is extremely interesting. The journey. There comes a serious point in the film when the members know they are screwed, and then comes a sudden reference to Breaking Bad by a kid and you immediately start laughing.
The film however isn’t for the masala craving audience. The film also ends in realism. There might be a section who would want a spectacular twist towards the end. That’s not what the film is about.
Ranvir Shorey is fantastic. Simply superb. He shows what a true genius he is right in the first sequence. And throughout the film, he carries that on. With a helpless expression all through, he is a delight to watch. He has the most shades in his mannerisms. Mansi Multani is also very good. She also lives up to the character to perfection. You don’t realise she is acting for even a moment.
Raja Kapoor and Tara Sharma are very good. Tara has layers and contributes well in the plot. On the other hand, it is Rajat’s character who brings so many meanings, even till the last sequence. Of course he is a terrific actor, who adds so many layers to a merely simple dialogue. A remarkable actor he is.
Shruti Seth and Cyrus Sahukar also are wonderful. Although there are many portions where Shruti makes a mark, there is one while playing cards where she sidelines everybody in the frame. Cyrus, the moment he makes his entry, charms you with his weirdly annoying persona. You feel why didn’t you know that he could act so well.
Nupur Asthana and Sagar Deshmukh, two very fine actors here. They have their own individual moments to tell you how supremely they fit in their roles.
Kalki Koechlin has a mysterious trait to her. Just keep watching her and keep admiring her marvellous acting skills. Palomi Ghosh has a small role, but she has her definitive moments. Chandrachoor Rai makes you want to hug him in his small but such an impactful appearance. He is so so good. Even in the brief screen time, he has given such polished performance.
Other supporting actors including Manoj Pahwa has also done tremendously well.
Music by Sagar Desai mainly consists of background score. It has been fine in the film and there isn’t any over usage. Sound design by Resul Pookutty and Arunav Dutta is mind blowing. There is great detailing, that doesn’t come across in your face, and that’s the beauty of it.
Cinematography by Rafey Mahmood is magnificent. Even in the limited space, the camera shows you all corners of the house, making you feel you belong to the place. There is newness in every frame. Mind you, the camera movement is difficult for such a film. The job has been done so well that everything seems so perfect. Production design by Meenal Agarwal has also been done intelligently, keeping only what is required. The costumes by Isha Ahluwalia and make-up team also deserves a thumbs up, as it adds to the fine designing.
The difficult editing by Suresh Pai is done with great thought. The scenes are cut sharply and the continuity is so very well maintained. There is so much happening in the house that cutting between the scenes is a laborious task. The film is enjoyable majorly because of editing. Observe keenly on how one shot transitions into another. The perspectives and the actors’ points of view are all achieved in accordance to the narrative.
It’s one of those films which primarily not many people see. But whosoever sees it, only appreciates. It is an entertaining film, that also gives you a peek into individuals’ mundane lives. One wrong move and the life turns upside down. The film tries to get you out of your comfort zone. A must watch film.