The irony on the movie is that when Saif has a acid trip in the movie, a disclaimer pops up discouraging the use of narcotic and psychotic substances, however the movie seems to tilt towards saying, that acid trip is not that a bad thing, and probably is ‘an experience’. Kaalakandi is a Marathi term ( thank you google!) meaning ‘when all goes wrong’, here also the movie seems to tilt towards saying, everything is wrong, and probably nothing matters.
Kaalakandi in a way reminded me of the movie Babel, where lives of series of people intersect at an event.
Babel revolves around seemingly unrelated people, giving the viewer a bird’s eye view of an event with back stories of each character involved. The plot is how a Japanese hunter gifts his gun to his help, and the gun ends up in hands of teenagers, who in a rush of teenage rashness practice shooting at a moving object: a bus, which ends up hitting a passenger on the bus. Parallel to this, the passenger’s children through a series of events end up in Mexico, and have a ordeal of their own while returning home.
Back then my only take from the movie was, “Do not travel to exotic places, unfortunate things happen!”, because all the events take place at locations which are not necessarily tourist spots. With time I appreciate the movie much more. The nuances, life for the Japanese hunter whose gun is used in the shooting, the whole event is just a footnote in his life, and his struggles with his daughter, even though in a way his gifting of the gun started the entire cycle, he is completely oblivious to the consequences. It questions the whole cause, effect, reasoning, emotional bonding, aspects of life.
Kaalakandi is on a similar vein to Babel, where characters intersect without knowing their role in each other’s lives. The key is that Kaalakandi is set up as a Black comedy, hence has more pace, thrill, and excitement.
Considering Delhi Belly (the previous film of director writer Akshat Verma) the expectations with Kaalakandi were quite high. I wanted to watch the film on Friday, however a Anurag ‘real’ fan meant Mukkabaaz took priority on Friday, so I followed up with Kaalakandi on Saturday. Both films are not conventional, in premise and in ending.
Kaalakandi’s premise has more promise, certainly with the start, Saif Ali Khan takes full heart to the character and performance, and conveys with sincerity a person questioning himself, a person unsure, a conflicted person, not knowing what lies ahead. Parallely Vijay Raaz and Deepak Dobriyal kick start a Delhi Belly level of humor. Both storylines are intense, and achieve a level which are of a level of a good Black Comedy.
Where the movie falters is the third story involving Kunal Roy Kapoor, which seems to be forced upon. Probably it is purely because it is parallel to an amazing Saif Ali Khan, a comparison gets drawn as you watch the movie and their performance seems a bit off. Even the realization and the trip to the police station to confess, are difficult to process
The good thing about the movie is that there is no Catharsis, the story lets things just be, and has people just going with the flow. It stays with the spirit of Nothing Matters, Everything is Shit, for all central characters. Personally, I would have loved if the last gun shot was not fired, and there was some other way in which Deepak Dobriyal’s character meets his end. Don’t get me wrong, the end as it is is quite fun, and draws a lot of laughs, however, It would have taken it to another level, I mean we would have waited for intersection of the two plots and it does not come, the director just playing with the audience keeping the plots unrelated, purely Parallel !.
Just realized it as I am finishing this, I might have used Parallel and Intersection together….. well – “everything is wrong, and probably nothing matters”