Consider this – On the lazy afternoon of Diwali, you’re all gearing up for a party. All decked up, tidied house and all of a sudden, someone ends up at your door and shoots himself in the head, plastering the tiniest bits of his flesh, all-around your sparkling wall. What would you do? Would you call the police? Or would you go with the flow and have the party with all of your friends, with the dead body hidden in plain sight? Rajat Kapoor’s latest offering ‘Kadakh’ is about a bunch of people partying in a house, with a dead body hidden in it. The premise reminds you of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’, but the similarity ends right there. In every aspect, ‘Kadakh’ is an original and authentic black comedy that has come out of Hindi film industry for a long long time.

The story begins on a late Diwali afternoon, where a man named Raghav reaches the household of Sunil and Malti. After confronting Sunil about having an affair with his wife Chaya, Raghav suddenly shoots himself in the head. Sunil lies to Malti about the true identity of the man. Believing her husband, Malti helps him in hiding the body and cleaning the house, before the horde of guests starts tricking into the house. Reluctant at first, the couple soon continues having the party, with the dead body being remained hidden. As the night progresses, the wife of the dead man turns up at the party. With a dead body stiffening and his wife around, Sunil’s guilt starts eating him from within. With the rest of the people in tow, how the couple get rid of the body, forms the story. 

Rajat Kapoor is a master storyteller. Using an analogy of the mutton being cooked in the party, he slow-cooks the ever-increasing tension in the room. With guests pouring in, the couple gives it in and start having fun at the party, only to go back to their inner turmoil of getting caught. Rajat introduces various scenarios in the party, inter-personal dynamics between the people gathered which some times causes friction between them. This part is done very neatly. In fact, it resembles so many real-life parties and get-togethers, where people do get at loggerheads, for different reasons, whereas in reality, it’s their own insecurities that make them defend their actions. Here we have a single mom (brilliantly played by Nupur Asthana), who gets ticked off as she fears scrutiny from everyone. An upcoming author and his friend, who constantly puts him down for his supposedly bad marketing choices. And then, of course, we have those distant relatives, who drop in uninvited and cause friction among people. Rajat has these wonderful moments of discord and squabbles among the guests that make this film very enjoyable. 

The ensemble cast enhances the overall value of this film. Ranvir Shorey as Sunil and Mansi Multani as Malti do very well as the party hosts. Ranvir Shorey brilliantly plays the role of a man, living with guilt as the party goes on. His guilt grows four-folds, as he starts getting a rotten smell and throws away the freshly cooked food, whereas it’s his conscience that starts playing with his head. Cyrus Sahukar, who also duals up as the additional dialogue writer wonderfully plays the role of a scheming man, who gets the joy of his life by constantly downplaying the rest of his friends. Rajat Kapoor himself appears in the role of an author, who becomes the butt of the jokes of Cyrus’s character. Kalki Koechlin plays a French mind reader, with Shruti Seth and Tara Saluja playing individual friends at the party, each having their own insecurities. Manoj Pahwa plays the uninvited uncle who gets on the nerves. Chandrachoor Rai plays Raghav, who in a small appearance makes an impact. Sagar Deshmukh plays the ever-cheerful friend and Palomi Ghosh is fantastic as  Chaya, with whom Sunil had an affair. Overall, it’s the cast that delivers the goods.

Watch out for the ending. It’s so edgy that you may trip over your seat, considering the levels of bizarre!

‘Kadakh’ now streaming on Sony Liv Premium. Run time – 95 minutes. Parental Guidance – For blood and talks involving sexual references. 

 

The Cinemawala Rating: 3/5

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