Kadak Singh Review: An Oversmart Psychological Thriller with Pankaj Tripathi, Parvathy

Rahul Desai

The Premise of Kadak Singh is Intriguing

A middle-aged man named Arun Kumar Shrivastav (Pankaj Tripathi) wakes up in a hospital with cinema’s favourite condition: Retrograde amnesia. This Kolkata-based patient has visitors, but doesn’t remember any of them.

First, it Allows The Film to Legitimize The Unreliable-Narrator Trope

Each of them – an anxious daughter (Sanjana Sanghi), a tender lover (Jaya Ahsan), a pensive protege (Paresh Pahuja), a supportive boss (Dilip Shankar) – is like an eye witness and suspect, while Arun is the intrepid investigator of his own life.

Two and Three

It allows the film to freely ping between disparate genres: Dysfunctional family drama, crime thriller, whodunit, social-message drama. Three, the Rashomon effect (different perspectives of the same event) reveals the inherent contradictions of Indian masculinity

It’s Too Conscious of Its Relationship With The Viewer

It’s ironic that the makers of Kadak Singh don’t trust its potential on paper. The concept is far more alluring than the actual execution. The problem with this film is that it’s too desperate to look and feel like a film.

Sanghi’s Performance is Better Than The Writing

Because it seems to grasp the complexity of her circumstances – the oppressive dad is replaced by a strangely cheerful man, and yet she is grieving the loss of a father. 

Where’s the Creativity?

The exposition and staging lack plausibility, too. The ‘conclusion’ features Arun literally narrating his findings to every character of his life. The grand revelation is formulaic as well; it forces the film to become preachy after spending two hours romanticizing its own knots.

At One Point

Arun himself gets so confused that he turns to his omnipresent nurse and exclaims, “dimaag khichdi ho gaya (the mind has turned to mush)” – a phrase that, slowly and unwittingly, becomes the review of Kadak Singh