Directed by Rajat Kapoor, Kadakh is streaming on SonyLIV.
Kadakh movie cast: Ranvir Shorey, Chandrachoor Rai, Mansi Multani, Rajat Kapoor, Cyrus Sahukar and Kalki Koechlin
Kadakh movie director: Rajat Kapoor
Kadakh movie rating: 2.5 stars
Written and directed by Rajat Kapoor, Kadakh is set during the day of Diwali when an unexpected incident derails the course of a marriage and many friendships. Streaming on SonyLIV, Kadakh opens in Malti (Mansi Multani) and Sunil’s (Ranvir Shorey) house. As soon as we see the nameplate that says ‘Ghar Malti-Sunil Ka’, we know this marriage is on the rocks as Kapoor pays homage to Basu Bhattacharya’s 1974 film Avishkaar. And by the time this film ends, it’s obvious that this marriage is over.
What happens during the course of the day forms the plot of this film, which in places pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock. The film, though, isn’t very Hitchcock-ian in nature. Here, a man (Chandrachoor Rai) confronts his wife’s lover (Shorey) and after a heated conversation, kills himself. The murder happens at Sunil’s house and like a guilty man, Sunil’s first instinct is to cover it up. His half-truth to his wife further complicates matters, and then the Diwali party starts, with a dead body in the bedroom.
As more and more people enter this party, the stakes are raised. What if someone discovers the body? As much as you would want to be on edge with a dead body in the house, the film doesn’t give it an urgent thought. Sunil is haunted by the ghost of the dead man, but every character here comes in with their own issues, which doesn’t really contribute to the central plot.
Since most of the film is set inside a house, the writing needed to be exemplary, which isn’t the case here. The film seems to be looking for its identity. While it starts off like a thriller, it turns into a drama with major detours towards dark comedy and magic realism but none of these stick.
A big flaw for Kadakh is that it is too noisy – in terms of loud background music and also the amount of talking that goes on at the party. The sudden silence in pivotal moments comes as a breath of fresh air but only because everything until that point has been way too loud.
By the end of the film, you know that many friendships have been ruined and the central relationship is soiled forever, but you can’t help but think of the consequences that aren’t addressed here. The film is set in the real-world, so your mind wanders towards the obvious questions about the police investigation, the dead guy and his family.
As far as the performances are concerned, Kapoor’s job is half done by bringing together a good ensemble, and each of them delivers their part well. Ranvir Shorey, Chandrachoor Rai, Mansi Multani, Shruti Seth, Nupur Asthana, Sagar Deshmukh, Tara Sharma Saluja, Cyrus Sahukar, Kalki Koechlin, Palomi Ghosh and Kapoor himself suit their parts perfectly.
Kadakh is engaging enough to be watched in one go. The opening is enough bait to stick through the entire thing, even though it meanders for long patches in the middle. We’ll always expect more from the man who made Ankhon Dekhi, and while Kadakh doesn’t surpass that, it surpasses a lot of desi content that we have been watching online.