Kadak Singh review: The film aspires to be an emotional drama and a psychological thriller, both at the same time.

Kadak Singh review: The film aspires to be an emotional drama and a psychological thriller, both at the same time.

Kadak Singh review: The film aspires to be an emotional drama and a psychological thriller, both at the same time.

What: Kadak Singh – The Pankaj Tripathi starrer swings between a psycological thriller and an emotional drama

Kadak Singh movie review

I read an interview with the writer of the film Viraf Sarkari where he said that the first draft of Kadak Singh was much darker. In the process of iterations, with the co-writers – Ritesh Shah and Aniruddh Roy Chowdhury, it was toned down. I started imagining what could have happened if Kadak Singh retained its first version – probably, it would have been a better product.

The name Kadak Singh is actually a moniker which stands for unwavering discipline, strictness and rigidity in behaviour and enforces on others. Here the protagonist, Arun Kumar Srivastava (played by the infinitely talented Pankaj Tripathi) is named Kadak by his daughter, Sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi) and son Adi (Varun Buddhadev) because he is a task-master both at work and home. Working as an officer in the Department of Financial Crimes, he is tasked with a complex chit fund scam (called the Golden Sun scam).


The film kicks off in a hospital where AK is recovering after a failed suicide attempt and saddled with retrograde amnesia. He can’t identify his daughter and even thinks that his son is only 5 years old. He must rely on listening to different perspectives and compel himself to discern fact from fiction. Amidst the maze of half-baked memories, he is determined to uncover the truth behind him mysteriously landing in a hospital and behind a significant financial crime, all of this while saving his family from falling apart.

Award winning director Aniruddh Roy Chowdhary(Tony da) constructs a layered and emotional story with the conflicting perspectives narrated by AK’s daughter, his girlfriend, Noyona (Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan), his boss, Tyagi (Dilip Sankar) and his apprentice (Paresh Pahuja) but falters in execution. The problem lies with its placement – it puts it legs in both the boats that drive emotional drama and a suspense thriller independently. On one side, Tony shows glaring cracks in AK’s dysfunctional family – his daughter trying hard to balance after her mother’s tragic death and his son falling prey to drugs, and on the other side, AK’s persona is changing for the good when he digs deeper into the mystery by connecting the dots.

It is Pankaj Tripathi who does the heavy lifting as the protagonist. Give him any character, he just nails it. Here he makes AK believable with his set of wits and frailties. What disappointed me is that, for most parts in the film, he is relegated to the patient bed, solving his case like a puzzle.

The other actors also perform well and try their best to rise above their underwritten characters. I wish Parvathy’s character had more depth and presence, and the film more kadak-ness to it! It lacks punch and pace. Precisely, the problems that Tony’s LOST was riddled with.

Kadak review - final tpouch

I go with 3 stars out of 5 for Kadak Singh – It alternates between an emotional drama and a suspense thriller and ends up being an underwhelming cocktail of these two genres.


Streaming on Zee5 from 8th December 2023.


Rating : 3/5

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About Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee

Ahwaan Padhee, is an IT Techie/Business Consultant by profession and a film critic/cinephile by passion, is also associated with Radio Playback as well, loves writing and conducting movie quizzes. More By Ahwaan Padhee

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