wogma rating: Watch, but no rush (?)
If you can watch a film just for performances, this one is it. Otherwise, it is two ordinary stories that go well enough with a madcap one. The quirky situations and lines bring a few smiles.Read more
You watch the trailer and all you can say is “o-kkkay, then!” You are taken aback by the entire combination – the overt sex talk, the abuses, the concepts/ideas. The bad news is that though you appreciate the uninhibited language, it seems more for effect than germane to the characters.
The good news is that some of the concepts/ideas might prove me wrong – non-slapsticky attitude towards gender identification, an openness to a woman’s sexuality and so on. Yes, it all seems sex-related making it borderline what is known as “guy humour”, I guess. The quirkiness is appealing though, much the Delhi Belly way even if it all seems a little too loud.
As always, here’s hoping there’s more good news than bad news.
Kaalakaandi releases on 12 January, 2018.
Bollywood Hungama - "2/5"
Bombay Times - "film is touted to be quirky and once you listen to all five tracks, you know that the soundtrack definitely goes with it."
Milliblog - "Director Akshat Verma’s madcap vibe’s intact in at least 3 songs."
Music Aloud – "3.5/5"
the reel, scroll.in - "Spark and spunk, but only one potential earworm"
- meeta, a part of the audience
Is it three stories or is it none? There’s so much happening and yet so little. That is the kind of screenplay Kaalakaandi has. When taken individually, only one story is different enough to get you interested. Fortunately, it is also enough for you to watch all three stories without getting bored. The performances though are excellent through and through.
Films with multiple threads aren’t new and yet they tend to create an energetic vibe about them.
Down to the character artist with the smallest role, each actor seems just so comfortable in their skin. As if they were given a character sketch, the approximate lines and the liberty to do what they wanted within the context of the scene. It is sheer joy to watch each character in control.
Saif Ali Khan comes off with some classy comic timing. It has been ages since he has seemed so much at ease, almost like he is telling us, I don’t care if this flops, I know I am doing my best. Nary Singh show what who plays Sheela brings a smile, the kind of smile the depiction of transpersons or prostitutes never brings.
Kaalakaandi – approximately means messing up – has three stories, each one having characters who land themselves in messed up situations. In some sense, each of these stories is about how the characters manage their consciences after the mess-up.
And yet the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. From use and abuse of narcotics to a respectful attitude towards transgender prostitution to the regular double-crossing goons to repeated jaba at policemen and the law and admin system to cancer – Kaalakaandi maintains a light yet insightful vein.
A lot of the dialogue is in English and a lot of the Hindi is cuss words. The abusive language does come across as “for effect” at times. But, like real life, you just automatically ignore and focus on the other content of the film. And thankfully there is enough to enjoy too.
The VFX while cheesy is quite amusing. It’s not the creative best but each time it is unexpected, even though you know there is a pattern for the visuals. Similarly, the music while not outstanding goes well with the sequences in the film.
Down to the character artist with the smallest role, each actor seems just so comfortable in their skin.
Films with multiple threads aren’t new and yet they tend to create an energetic vibe about them. It is clear that one or two of the threads are weak and the stronger threads are bearing the burden. Yet, when done well, it can be pulled off and that’s how it goes for Kaalakaandi. You see the weaknesses, but for the two hours you see through them.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...Kaalakaandi assumes many identities and eventually abandons all of them for that one core truth that controls our destiny. Death. This film dares to laugh in face of mortality. That’s what makes it so brave and unique. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Daphne Rose, fullhyd.com : ...All in all, Kaalakaandi is a great ride. At an hour and fifty minutes long, the film tells its story effectively and without any side-tracking. Sure, there are some expectations in the second half that are not met - like the sudden excitement when you see Khan in a Birdman-like costume, only to see it lead nowhere - but that would be akin to nitpicking just for the heck of it. ... full review
So-So, by 18, Bollywood Life : ...Watch it if you possess a keen eye to find art in the places where others can’t. If you are a regular movie-goer who just wants to be entertained, sit this one out. ... full review
So-So, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Deccan Chronicle : ...The supporting cast has some interesting faces, Dobriyal and Raaz, Dhulipala and Amyra Dastur who are not props but suffer from unskilled writing. Verma could have gone the whole hog like he did in his first film. After starting with a bang, he seems unsure of how to be a finisher! ... full review
So-So, by Smita Vyas Kumar , Desi Martini : ...I guess you can watch this movie for the micro stories and their subtle moments that I enjoyed. But don’t expect to come out feeling like you were on an acid trip. It is less overwhelming than that and not as much fun as Saif has with his drug trip. But its short and evenly paced out and can give you a few roller coaster moments. Can’t take kids. ... full review
So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...It remains a lot like Delhi Belly instead, the (Akshat Verma) writer of which makes his directorial debut here. He's on the ball for sure. Is it as good as Delhi Belly? As a script? Possibly. As a film, I felt it lacks rhythm, with too much being force-fed to suit the timeline of one never-ending night in Bombay, even if that's the genre. The end might make you go, "Eh?" But through it all, you're more likely to go, "Hah!" So nah, I'm not complaining at all. ... full review
So-So, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...On the flip side, the climax of the film comes across as quite abrupt and far-fetched, which may not go down well with many viewers. However, all said and done, if whacky films are your drug of choice, Kaalakaandi will guarantee a ‘good trip’.... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Saif Ali Khan in a yellow fur shrug, miniature ponytails and bleeding mascara made some curious about Kaalakaandi. But we all know what that did to the cat. While 47-year-old Khan is committed to his character, has the best lines, he fails to keep this sinking ship afloat. Even Akshay Oberoi who channels more intensity than required for such a film, would've been better suited if his character was written with some more heft. ... full review
So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Saif Ali Khan brings to the table just the mix of befuddlement and cockiness that is needed to make the character work. The performances around him (notably from Dhulipala and Dobriyal) are in the right zone. ... full review
So-So, by Kriti Tulsiani, News18.com : ...The film is short and crisp but not crisp enough to justify the large number of characters and potential stories that makers have tried to deal with.... full review
So-So, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Even as you continue to watch the film patiently, beyond a point, it's nothing to write home about. You eventually sum up your thoughts on the film by borrowing the film's expletive-laden dialogue —, 'experimental ke naam pe chu*****'? ... full review
So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...‘Kaalakaandi’ tries a fresh approach – it’s for a niche audience with some edgy scenes and bawdy dialogues – but I am not sure if this is everyone’s cup of tea. Watch it if you must. Saif – in top form here – will keep you entertained, even if the film fails to. ... full review
So-So, Zee News : ...Overall with good production quality, debutant director Akshat Verma's attempt at this noir comedy is engaging but it goes without saying that the script material tries to sell itself a little too hard. ... full review
Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, KAALAKAANDI has a promising first half but goes completely downhill. At the box office, it has slim chances of becoming commercially successful. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Aashish, Desi Martini : ...For an adult black-comedy, Kaalakaandi has too few laughs as well as few cuss words which doesn’t help it. Even though the film takes place in a span of few hours, it seems dragged. It seems Saif Ali Khan will have to have to wait for some time before his next hit as Kaalakaandi is completely disjointed and boring. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rahul Bharadwaj, Desi Martini : ...The only relief is that Saif Ali is not a part of a love triangle in this one. Stay away from this pathetic apology of a movie and if you are really a Saif fan go watch Main Khiladi Tu Anari that one had more spunk and better written sub plots. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...Besides, the timeline is inexplicable. The events in Kaalakaandi happen over one night, yet everything seems to take much longer than it possibly could in reality. The young couple, for instance, pack so much into the two hours before her flight that you have to wonder what clock they are operating on. This loose writing deprives the film of the compactness it should have had considering that its 111 minutes and 54 seconds is far less than the average Bollywood length. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...Kaalakaandi is just about Saif Ali Khan’s and his amazing performance as a recently turned stoner. Akshat impresses with his wild imagination but unfortunately when a film is bad not the biggest of the superstars can save it. ... full review
Thumbs down, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...There are many first film issues with Kaalakaandi: it is technically inconsistent and the narrative doesn’t quite pull together. You are waiting for the loose plots to come together as the film nears its end, but that does not happen quite to satisfaction. You are left with some doubts, a lack of closure, like there’s maybe something that slipped between the writing and the final edit. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...The stories are so painfully predictable in their 'coolness' you expect the photographer girl to say 'I'm a lesbian', just to check that box... ... full review
Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...The only other character who matches Khan in his energy is Nyari Singh. Together, they convey some sense of what Mumbai can be like after dark – unpredictable, dangerous, exciting and strangely fulfilling. Anything can happen, but unfortunately little does in Kaalakaandi. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ... Dobriyal, Raaz, Oberoi and Khan himself who inject some life in the dull script. Khan is especially delightful, alternating between the slapstick and the sombre with an off the cuff ease. The “Cape of Good Hope” and “Australia” bits he gets to speak are the noteworthy chuckle-inducing bits in a largely bland, facile and slight fare.... full review
vicramb: But most importantly, Kaalakaandi is the MOST FUN I'VE HAD AT THE MOVIES IN A WHILE!
Sharmaji_says: #Kaalakaandi is a must watch movie......A very nice msg wrapped up in a movie..
saifalikhan_2: First time giving any movie 10out of 10 stars, Aamir was right #Kaalakaandi is the best comedy movie of recent times
RajeshKonsam: #Kalakaandi is a fun film to watch with friends. Had a good laugh #SaifAliKhan @deepakdobriyal @Akshay0beroi
mukesh8822: New Gen actors are amazing.Their eyes, smile, expressions, silence and body language also acts.Loved your character @Ishatalwar #Kalakaandi
iAmanreal: #Kaalakaandi Review Rating ***1%2 Super Entertaining Film
Friend_Ali_: #Kaalakaandi is funniest and entertaining movie. #awesome
bluephantom7: #Kaalakaandi has to be one of the best movies of recent times. Some scenes r just too funny
adahiya10: #Kalakaandi a must fucking watch. Haven't seen a movie this good in ages. Ten on ten.
rajesh600yadav: #Kaalakaandi ~ Average Trip. Stoner 1st half & Downer 2nd half. (2.5☆/5)
PrincePrithvi: #Kaalakaandi ~ Average Trip. Stoner 1st half & Downer 2nd half. (2.5☆/5)
Pinksterr: #Kaalakaandi - #SaifAliKhan liked what you played! Overall an average movie!! #MovieReview #Bollywood
namashi_1: #Kaalakaandi. Saif Shines in a hysterical, uneven comedy.
vineeth_sri: Kaalakaandi was so disappointing, such a promising premise and nothing happens in the movie. Literally nothing.
samar_27: #Kaalakaandi COULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT IT HAS ENDED UP BEING. DISAPPOINTING @AmyraDastur93 @Ishatalwar3 @sobhitaD #SaifAliKhan
rajivvijayakar: They should remove the "i" from Kaalakaandi as well. Because the film looks INCOMPLETE, as if someone said, 'Bas ho gaya, yahin chhod do!'
nimishhalkar: Kaalakaandi - 0/5
neetakolhatkar: #Kaalakaandi is NOWHERE near #IsRaatKiSubahNahiHogi ok..with Saif's spurts of humour
Joshideepak3: Not impressed with Kalakaandi....
jha_siddhus94: Saif Ali Khan delivers yet another Disaster in #Kaalakaandi . I wonder why he is still getting scripts.
GepmeeManesana: Kaalakaandi Movie Review: Saif Ali Khan Makes His Character Work In Fizzy, Freewheeling Film
divyars92: #Kaalakaandi was an average watch that started off with a high and ended with a wtf did I watch moment. #ImStillConfused
case_72: #Kaalakaandi review DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE . Wastage of Time !
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.