Kaalakaandi movie review: Kaalakaandi is Akshat Verma’s directorial venture six years after Delhi Belly for which he served as the scriptwriter. Besides being the curtain raiser for 2018 it was Saif Ai Khan’s chance to eye a hit after a miserable 2017 with Rangoon and Chef. The film showcases Saif playing the role of a man who has been diagnosed with stomach cancer and is staring at the very end. A frustrated and agitated Saif finds himself in the middle of nowhere and decides to let himself go footlose for a night. The entire effect is surreal that leaves you entranced at times, but totally unmoved at others, depending on the way the movie sequences pan out.
The ensemble cast is introduced thereafter and what comes forth are parallel stories unfolding and a total crazy night to remember ensues. Kaalakaandi elicits some really funny moments and some thoughtful ones as well but at times you do want to scream out. The movie also braids together the story of a woman and her boyfriend (Sobhita Dhulipala and Kunaal Roy Kapur) who is set leave for US but before she takes off, she stops at a birthday party thrown by her friend (Shernaz Treasury). Unfortunately, there is a police raid and so unravels the story of two gangsters (Vijay Raaz and Deepak Dobriyal) who have plans to keep some ill-gotten money themselves rather than pass it on to their boss. Then there is Angad (Akshay Oberoi), who is Saif’s relative and Sheela (Nyari Singh), who shares some really light moments with the protagonist. Although the highlight of the film is the character of Saif Ali Khan, yet all the other stars get a chance to establish themselves in the film.
After the brilliance of Delhi Belly what we expected of Akshat was to repeat the similar success in Kaalakaandi as well. However, if you hit the theatre with this expectation, then there might be a little disappointment in store for you. Akshat tried hard to get there and the effort is quite evident, but its nothing like Delhi Belly. But Akshat does a fair job by ensuring some emotional, funny and nerve-wracking moments unfold memorably – the way he has handled scenes between Sheela and Kahn is something worth mentioning. It is sensitive skilful at the same time it is funny as well. Saif Ali Khan in the film is not the suave man that he generally is. He lets loose and we see the funnier and more ”don’t care” side of him. Verma’s best parts are reserved for Saif Ali Khan’s character.
Another actress whose performance is worth mentioning is Nyari Singh. Dipak Dobriyal and Vijay Raaz is good with their parts so is Sobhita Dhulipala and Kunaal Roy Kapur and Shernaz Treasury.
The movie highlights the Mumbai night and how it is unpredictable, dangerous, exciting and equally strange. The music is by Sameer Uddin and adds some fine edge to the film’s sequences. The film is decent except for some parts where it falters.