Kadak Singh Review: Pankaj Tripathi’s Captivating Performance Anchors the Film With Just the Right Intensity
In “Kadak Singh,” the supporting cast, including Jaya Ahsan, Sanjana Sanghi, Dilip Shankar, and Paresh Pahuja, finds themselves in roles that are predominantly responsive. Limited by both physical and creative constraints within closed spaces, their performances orbit around the gravitational force of Pankaj Tripathi’s dynamic presence. While these talented actors make the most of their confined roles, it’s Tripathi who emerges as the centrifugal force, holding the film together with his compelling performance and magnetic energy.
“Kadak Singh” unfolds as a gripping human drama and thriller, steering clear of clichés associated with strict fathers or tarnished officers. Instead, it delves into the intricate web of power dynamics, revealing how individuals in positions of authority manipulate others for their own gains. In a narrative directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, known for his work in “Pink” and “Lost,” as well as Bengali films, the film remains grounded and relatable. It avoids the pitfalls of creating a fictional world with exaggerated characters, offering a storyline that feels authentic and resonates with the complexities of real-life struggles against deception and manipulation.
Kadak Singh: Unravelling Memories, Chasing Truths, and Navigating the Maze of Deception
The narrative unfolds with AK Shrivastav, aka Kadak Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), a Department of Financial Crimes officer, finding himself in a hospital bed diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. Struggling to piece together the puzzle of his own life, AK grapples with amnesia, leaving his daughter Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi), girlfriend Naina (Jaya Ahsan), colleague Arjun (Paresh Pahuja), and boss Tyagi (Dilip Shankar) to fill in the blanks with their conflicting versions of his identity.
As AK listens to these disparate accounts, the intricate plot weaves in his pursuit of unravelling a chit-fund scam. Amidst the chaos, the head nurse (Parvathy Thiruvothu) emerges as his steadfast support. The gripping question lingers: Will AK reclaim his lost memories and expose the corruption within the department, or will he embark on a journey to forge new beginnings and create fresh memories? The suspense unfolds as AK navigates the blurred lines between truth and deception.
Co-authored by Viraf Sarkari, Ritesh Shah, and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, the narrative of “Kadak Singh” seamlessly oscillates between past and present, skillfully utilising a series of flashbacks. The 127-minute runtime maintains a brisk pace, ensuring the story remains engaging without any sense of dragging. The non-linear storytelling, while occasionally disrupting the narrative flow, serves a purpose in immersing the audience, compelling them to stay focused and not glance away. It’s a deliberate technique that adds to the overall immersive experience, urging viewers to remain captivated by the unfolding complexities of the plot.
Kadak Singh: Unravelling Memories, Crafting Intrigue
Chowdhary’s directorial touch shines through in “Kadak Singh” with well-placed moments of levity that effortlessly uplift the mood. The subtle and organic chemistry between Tripathi and the head nurse, marked by harmless flirting and exchanged glances, adds a refreshing layer to the narrative. The film excels in scenes that boast profound writing and masterful cinematography, particularly the emotionally charged interactions between Tripathi and Sanghi. Standout moments include Sakshi’s poignant questioning of her father, asking, ‘Why did you marry our mom?’ or expressing, ‘Hamari maa hi nahi, baap bhi nahi hai.’ In a departure from Bollywood’s typical portrayal of strained relationships between strict fathers and their children, “Kadak Singh ” initiates a meaningful conversation by delving into the intricacies of such dynamics, exploring the nuanced reasons behind their complexities.
Kadak Singh: Unveiling Layers, Silent Conversations, and Pankaj Tripathi’s Nuanced Brilliance
The scene where Sakshi stumbles upon her father in a questionable hotel is not just well-written but also unfolds with intricate details that are further explored as the film progresses. The ensuing argument between father and daughter emerges as one of the film’s standout moments, showcasing the depth in character arcs and writing that makes “Kadak Singh” a compelling watch. Another noteworthy scene unfolds as Sakshi engages in a heart-to-heart conversation with her father’s girlfriend, Naina, on a hospital bench. The brilliance lies in the minimal words exchanged, emphasising the power of silence in conveying profound emotions.
Pankaj Tripathi, once again, proves his versatility as an actor, moulding himself like clay in the hands of his director. As Kadak Singh, he maintains a stoic demeanour throughout the film, offering rare glimpses of smiles, smirks, and quirks that add layers to his character. Tripathi’s portrayal is a departure from his previous roles, breaking free from the ruthless Kaleen Bhaiya of Mirzapur or the comedic pandit ji from Fukrey. AK Shrivastav exists in a nuanced space between, and it works brilliantly in his favour, making the entire film a worthwhile experience.