Year 2011, a small yet quirky dark comedy, Delhi Belly opened to a rousing welcome. This disgustingly hilarious movie seemed to pave way for a new edgy sort of cinema. Post that though, the quirky ‘drought’ continued. So I happened to watch Kaalakaandi, which marks the directorial debut of the writer of Delhi Belly, originates from the same mould as the former. Does the quirkiness live up to the expectations….lets find out.
Kaalakaandi follows three parallel almost seemingly disconnected stories on a long rainy night in Mumbai. Without divulging any details of the narrative, the story is actually quite good though the makers soon run out of material in the second hour. The screenplay is excruciatingly slow to begin with, almost so that you tend to lose attention. But hang in there, for post the first 15 mins you are in for some fun as the narrative gathers pace and becomes trippy. While the second half falls a bit flat, it is the performances that hold your attention. The one liners are quirky. A special mention of the cinematography and CGI which is top notch. Director Akshat Verma, is slow to begin with but tightens the grip on the proceedings. Though there is still a scope for improvement as he doesn’t quite nail it!
Over to the performances, Deepak Dobriyal and Vijay Raaz are magnificent as the two gangsters though their track is the weakest. Sobhita Dhulipala looks gorgeous and does a good job. Akshay Oberoi is a surprise package. Saif Ali Khan finally finds form with this film and his moments with Navy Singh are the best moments in the film. The rest of the ensemble cast have done a more than a fine job to hold the proceedings together.
On the whole, Kaalakaandi is not your regular run on the mill type of cinema. If you enjoy experimental cinema, you will enjoy this. If you don’t, this film will not make any sense. Know your taste before venturing out.
PS : Such type of cinema should be encouraged!!