Have you ever been in a relationship that ended without a closure? Where you want answers but get none! That is Kaalakaandi for you! Of course, the film is great with amazing visual effects, but Verma doesn’t tie the loose ends together to your satisfaction.
Saif Ali Khan has given us terrific performances in his last two outings, Rangoon and Chef but the films failed to achieve any amount of success. Hopefully, Kaalakaandi will see the light of the day. Debutante director Akshat Verma had written the wonderful dark humour, Delhi Belly but does his writing in this film reach up to that level? Perhaps not. But he makes sure that you enjoy the psychedelic ride.
The film has three parallel stories running together which eventually seem forced to be merged. A couple (Kunaal Roy Kapoor and Sobhita Dhulipala) goes to a friend’s birthday party at a club before the girl leaves for Boston for her Ph.D. But cops raid the place and there’s chaos. Two small-scale gangsters (Deepak Dobriyal and Vijay Raaz) have a dream to make it big in one night and so they decide to rob their own boss. But, karma hits back! And finally, there is Saif Ali Khan’s story who takes a star-shaped red pill on the night of his brother’s (Akshay Oberoi) Sangeet and goes into a trance.
Verma sure brings together an amazing ensemble with Saif Ali Khan leading the pack. Khan’s Rileen is dying and has just a few months to live so he wants to give his everything to these days just like Saif Ali Khan gives his everything to this character. Khan is not the sole hero of this film. Sobhita Dhulipala and Akshay Oberoi also do a great job in their individual stories, and so does Vijay Raza but as always, for me, Deepak Dobriyal takes the cake. A special mention to Nyari Singh, who plays Sheela, a trans person who Rileen encounters and finds fascinating while he’s on his ‘trip’.
Through this film, Verma also points out the flaw in the Indian Police, who always arrives late and is more concerned about matters like drugs at a party or a man talking to a trans person at night. And is not at all bothered about a hit-and-run case. In a particular scene, probably one of my favourites from the film, a cop is chasing Rileen and Sheela but his body is so out of proportion that he just cannot run after them!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Kaalakaandi. It has its flaws but is certainly a well-made film.
If I had to rate the film, the numerous fountain ponies on Saif Ali Khan’s head and the bizarre, yet so amazing fur jacket deserve applause!