Thank God It Is Friday and this weekend brings us so much content that it will most definitely be spilling into the weekdays. So time to roll up our sleeves and get to them one by one. And first up I have finished watching the new Hindi film Freddy whifh is streaming on Hotstar and starring Kartik Aaryan. Now I must admit that I did find Kartik Aaryan’s acting one dimensional up until Dhamaka. Post that, it was the rise and rise of an actor who did brave many controversies around him.
Credit to Kartik where due, we have often seen many news pieces floating around constantly trying to sabotage his image. Be it the Dostana 2 controversy or this very film, Freddy controversy. There was also an interview featuring a renowned film critic trying to pull down and demean the contributions of Kartik Aaryan in what did appear like a pre-conceived notion and a deliberate attempt to pull an individual down. Yet, it was Kartik Aaryan who not only did get his fans’ support but also did up his acting prowess by many notches that did win people like me over as well. In an otherwise dull 2022, it was Kartik Aaryan standing tall amidst the ruins. And with a plethora of new releases lined up, he is here to stay and rule the roosts!
When the trailer of Freddy was out, I was super excited as it presented to me a very different image of Kartik Aaryan, a far cry from the Pyaar Ka Punchnama days. But at the same time, a name popped up against the director’s label. That name was Shashanka Ghosh who had directed the disastrous Plan A Plan B for Netflix. And immediately my red flags were up knowing fully well that this proposition can go either way. So then does Freddy manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Freddy follows the story of a 28 year old Parsi boy searching for his soulmate until he comes across Kainaaz who changes his life forever in a rather sinister manner. Now I have tried to keep the story as vague as possible here but the story does have a wicked and sinister streak to it that reminded me of the Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor starrer Fida. A rather unassuming tale turned on its head does make for a delicious watch indeed! The screenplay standing at a shade above 2 hours does make for a compelling watch.
The drama opens with the introduction of the protagonist who is a dentist and socially awkward and recluse. And having a backdrop of a Parsi household can be tricky at times as Parsis are reduced to caricature in Hindi films quite often. And I say that because I am a Parsi and our every other sentence doesn’t end with a ‘Dikraa’. But here there was an amount of restraint on display for all the characters who are Parsis. On a lighter note, I did see many Parsis in the film than in real life🤣. Ideally I would have wanted to characters to communicate with one another in Gujarati, as no Parsis communicate with one another in Hindi. But I did realise that then the entire film would not be a Hindi film either and so I did let this point slip under the radar.
The drama has a slow buildup to it, almost teasing the audience often. So if you are expecting a drama like Dexter, this ain’t that. This is more of an origin story of a potential sinister mind. With love brewing at unexpected quarters, your loyalties always lie with the protagonist, and honestly I did see a shade of my previous self in the earlier part of his character. Things take a turn after a sinister idea which does lead to an interesting chain of events. But a twist in the tale at the halfway mark did come as a shocker, although if you look closely this was predictable.
The pace of the drama and with it, its urgency is up by several knots in the second hour. A nice little cat and mouse games ensues although I had a small criticism here. Things did get slightly repetitive although supremely eventful. This was in the Sriram Raghavan zone although not exactly as dark but compelling in many ways. The investigation here is a bit of a hit and a miss with the police authorities not giveb enough screentime. However, the drama unfolding at the other quarter which forms the main plot is deliciously dark. It does lead to several spine-chilling moments particularly in the splendid final act that left me engaged. But the film probably had an outro missing(which in turn had the high missing), wherein a scene could have been added with a possibility of a sequel. But all in all, the screenplay is really well written and quite sinister.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are eerily awkward but in a good way that does present the protagonist in a certain light. And the lines are quirky and witty that make for an interesting watch. The music is decent, the BGM is good and never overpowers the drama. The cinematography captures the vibe of Mumbai perfectly with surprisingly vibrant frames for a sinister film. Director Shashanka Ghosh definitely makes a good comeback after Plan A Plan B and he has done a pretty good job here. My small issue with the direction was that there were very few moments of a ‘high’ with the ending being a missed opportunity. But overall, the direction deserves accolades for keeping the audiences interested!
The performances are pretty good here. Karan Pandit as Raymond does a fair job although the Parsi accent was a bit of a hit and a miss. Probably a normal approach would have been a better one wherein he could have interacted normally. But there was a streak of humour to his character that was fun to witness. Alaya F as Kainaaz looks absolutely stunning and she has done an incredible job here. She is well restrained in a few scenes and really expressive in a few others although never going overboard. I really wish to watch more of her.
And that brings me to Kartik Aaryan who is absolutely brilliant as Freddy. His recluse and awkward mannerisms are on point and surprisingly convincing as a Parsi Bawa too. There is a lot of restraint in his character with a streak of madness and that makes his character interesting, and it was wonderfully portrayed by him in what is perhaps the best performance of his career, pipping his performance of Dhamaka by a whisker. More power to you KA, upwards and onwards from here!
Freddy is a deliciously sinister drama with a magnificent performance by its protagonist. And yes Kartik Aaryan OP! Available on Hotstar.