Saif Ali Khan, Vijay Raaz, Deepak Dobriyal, Akshay Oberoi, Shobhita Dhulipala, Kunaal Roy Kapoor
Remember DELHI BELLY? Akshat Verma was the mind behind that mad film - it was he who had written the script of that mad film and now here he is bringing us Mumbai in its glory.
KAALAKAANDI is the journey of Saif Ali Khan’s character who has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer. His life has just turned on its head right before him. For someone who has never given in to vices, it is difficult for him to understand how could life treat him with such a vile hand. His doctor simply suggests he shouldn’t give in to his illness, instead lead his life to the fullest. For one night he wants to do just that, live it up, let it go and do everything he refrained from doing all these years, simply because he doesn’t want to curb himself any more. It is that one night on the streets and lanes of Mumbai, that we meet different characters, that define the city that never sleeps….
While Saif is trying his best to forget himself and his circumstances, there is Vijay Raaz and Deepak Dobriyal who are desperately trying to double cross their boss and take a good chunk of the money they are swindling for themselves. Their plans and commotion has them breaking into a party where Shobhita Dhulipala is catching up with her friend, Shehnaz Treasurywala before she takes off to foreign shores. With the party raided, madness ensues.
Saif's younger brother Angad (Akshay Oberoi) too brings in a lot of madness into the night and unveils a lighter side of our beloved city. Slowly, we realize that all the faces of Mumbai have turned into characters right in front of you, the beauty of Mumbai, the curse of Mumbai are all onscreen… surviving together and even thriving.
KAALAKAANDI will either work for you superbly, or be extremely offensive depending on which side of the bed you prefer to wake up from. It is completely subjective, hence it is hardly a surprise that they opted for a small release and hoping the word of mouth will work in their favour. What works best for the film is how refreshing it is to see Saif Ali Khan let go. He is nothing like the crisp Nawab we are used to seeing, he is mad, he is dirty and he is rolling with it, simply because he doesn’t care anymore. Once Khan finds his frequency with his director, he is a pleasure and it does seem like Khan and Verma work well together. While Saif is refreshing, it is actors like Vijay Raaz and Deepak Dobriyal who really raise the bar for the film. Raaz, who left an lasting impression in DELHI BELLY, is once again superlative. The effortlessness of their performances does stand out, making others look a wee-bit overwhelmed but all do a decent job.
It is Akshat’s layered story that is worthy of an applause, yet it is the same that makes it so niche that the numbers might not be big enough to make this film as memorable as DELHI BELLY was. All and all KAALAKAANDI has enough profanity, shock quo and madness to last you the two hours, though it is not the best film you will see.