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Kadakh: Care For  A Flat  Satire On Suicide?



Kadakh(Sony LIV)

Starring: Ranveer Shorey,  Manasi Multani, Palomi Ghosh, Cyrus Sahukar, Rajat Kapoor,Kalki Koechlin. Tara Sharma,  Shruti Seth , Sagar Deshmukh

Directed by:  Rajat Kapoor

Rating: **(2 stars)

Not now, please! A  film based on suicide would have to work really hard to get laughs out of us. Kadakh  is the laziest satire   from  the otherwise-excellent  celluloid satirist  Rajat Kapoor.

This time, I am afraid, Rajat has  bitten more than he  can chew.  Considering the characters  talk about and  eat  for a large  part of the film, that pretty much sums up  the  way the cookie(and the  mutton) crumbles  in this  film about a Diwali house-party gone horribly wrong.

Rajat Kapoor’s best-known work(in which he only acted ) Bheja Fry  was also positioned as party-pooping satire.Kadakh  never takes  off. Or, let me revise that. After an interesting beginning it goes rapidly downhill , with   the  ever-dependable Ranveer Shorey and his screen-wife   Manasi Multani playing the  most dour Diwali-party hosts  you will ever  encounter.Think  of Peter Mukherjea and  Indrani hosting a  party on the night their daughter was  bumped  off. You think anything can be  funny in that party?

Kadakh starts with a eerily smiling man  barging  into Sunil(Ranveer Shorey)’s home, introducing himself as the husband of the  woman in his office whom Sunil   has been…well…you know…and then the stranger  promptly shoots himself  splattering the walls with his  blood.Moral  of this  self-confessed a-moral stranger:  never  offer  a cuckolded  husband  a cup of tea on Diwali  day.

 Happy Diwali!  I seriously  think the  premise  of  a cadaverous party  is  unworkable when the guests are a motley  bunch  of  characters who seem  to have  drifted into this eccentric(I don’t want to use the  oft-abused word  ‘quirky) party  from a  Marathi play . They all have a  false  sense  of  self-worth and  seem to  behave desperately like people having a good time when in fact they are miserably  uncomfortable.

I don’t know if that is what Rajat dispirited  script meant to convey. Surprisingly some  of the performances are very functional. In  Rajat’s cinema every actor leaves an  impression. Not this time. Ranveer Shorey as   the beleaguered householder  is as usual,bang-on. Though  Rajat Kapoor playing an author on the verge  of releasing his first  book is  interesting(though his track comes to a pathetic deadend,pun  and no  fun intended) it is  Cyrus Sahukar as Rajat’s  vain selfish friend-baiting jerk, whose deadpan  expressions of disdain are to die for.

 Tragically, Sahukar’s  episode sits uneasily in the plot.Nothing  quite fits into the narrative as fluently as  we’ve seen Rajat Kapoor’s  Raghu Romeo, Aankhon Dekhi  or even Mantra. Speaking of Mantra  Kalki Koechlin also walks into the  bustling but  lifeless party as a French woman at whom all the men take  a  dig  in Hindi.

 Now that is no way  to behave  with a party guest. But then etiquettes are  the last thing on on the menu when a corpse is  the  key character.And  the best inhouse joke they can come up with is about a  character  actor named Joshi played by Sagar Deshmukh asking everyone to call him ‘Sagar’.Oh yes,Manoj Pahwa and his screen wife  play party guests wearing facemasks. Was that a  ‘joke’ added  after the pandemic?

 What happens  to the corpse at  the end? Arrey, jaane  bhi do yaaron!

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