Tripathi Elevates ‘Kadak Singh’ with Quirky Performance -Pankaj Tripathi brings life to this slow-moving thriller. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury crafts a subdued blend about the erratic nature of memory and relationships that builds gradually.
Writers and filmmakers continue to use the Rashomon effect in thrillers to maintain audience interest. This week, well-meaning and empathetic but largely inane director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury opened a case file that is examined from multiple points of view before the truth is disclosed. Chowdhury previously mounted a multilayered social thriller in Pink (2016).
After an apparent suicide attempt that left him with retrograde amnesia, A.K. Shrivastava (Pankaj Tripathi), a committed officer looking into a financial fraud involving a chit fund organisation, is hospitalised to a hospital. He did not know the age of his son and was unable to identify his daughter Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi). He acknowledges that he lost his wife in an accident, but he finds it difficult to accept that Naina (Jaya Ahsan), a new woman, has entered his life. He was able to identify senior Tyagi (Dilip Shankar) and colleague Arjun (Paresh Pahuja), but he was unsure of their current position in the department.
We gain an understanding of the complex personality and character of the officer, known to his kids as Kadak because he can be a little too strict in both his personal and professional life, as Sakshi, Naina, Arjun, and Tyagi consider the events leading up to the day of the incident when Shrivastava allegedly attempted to end his life.
Sakshi believes her father treated her brother and her late mother unfairly, but Naina disagrees. Arjun thinks that because of the high-stakes scheme that Shrivastava was looking into, the case was actually an attempted murder rather than a suicide. Tyagi’s version is different. Then there is Parvathy Thiruvothu, a nurse, who observes the various facets of Shrivastava’s past and present as an impartial observer.
For the most part, the movie seems like a well-meaning but subtly flavorful parenting, relationship, and mental health message wrapped in a serious white-collar crime. It brings back memories of those quiet television dramas from the 1980s and 1990s, where a murder was solved without interfering with the audience’s dinnertime customs. The relationship between Naina and Shrivastava is one of the film’s more sincere scenes, although for the most part, the characters talk a lot without really expressing anything.
The threads come together seamlessly and a little too safely at the finale, which is obvious from a distance. The good news is that the story here grips as Aniruddha and author Ritesh Shah gradually remove the shroud surrounding the central subject, in contrast to Aniruddha’s last effort, which “Lost” its path after a promising start.