The narrative of Kadak Singh is not about a stern father who is harsh on his children and so receives the moniker from them. It's also not the narrative of a moralistic cop who has been accused of corruption and is now attempting to clear his name. It's a human narrative and a thriller about how individuals in authority exploit you for their gain and, if necessary, invent stories to frame you, trap you, or even force you to commit yourself. Kadak Singh, directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (who has also directed pink and Lost, in addition to bengali films), is genuine, and relatable, and does not transfer you to a fantasy universe where people appear made up only to establish a point.

The plot begins with AK Shrivastav alias Kadak Singh (Pankaj Tripathi), a Department of Financial Crimes official who is hospitalized after being diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. While he has no memory of what happened to him or how he ended up here, his daughter sakshi (Sanjana Sanghi), girlfriend Naina (Jaya Ahsan), colleague arjun (Paresh Pahuja), and boss Tyagi (Dilip Shankar) take turns telling him their stories about who he is and what role they play in his life.

AK continues to listen to these claims and try to unravel a chit-fund fraud, unsure who to believe. Meanwhile, the chief nurse (Parvathy Thiruvothu) remains his support system as AK attempts to recall and connect the loose ends of his history. Will he be able to regain all of his memories and expose the department's corrupt realities? Will he restart his life and establish new memories?

The screenplay, co-written by Viraf Sarkari, Ritesh Shah, and Chowdhury, jumps about virtually the whole film. Each time a new individual tells their point of view to AK, a succession of flashbacks appear and disappear. The film is snappy and doesn't seem to drag at 127 minutes. The non-linear storytelling appears to interrupt the plot at times, but this is where the film seeks to engage you and keep you from looking elsewhere.

I enjoy how Chowdhary has thrown in some lighthearted moments to lighten the mood, especially when Tripathi and the chief nurse are harmlessly flirting and exchanging glances, and it all appears so natural. Several sequences offer a lot of depth in both the script and the way they're shot.

A sequence in which sakshi runs across her father with another lady at a sleazy motel is not only well-written but also exhaustively explained as the film progresses. And the debate that ensues between the two is one of the film's greatest sequences. These intricacies in the character arcs and storytelling are what make Kadak Singh such an engaging watch.

Tripathi demonstrates over again that he is like clay in the hands of his director. He seldom grins in the film as Kadak Singh, but there are moments when you see him smirk and grin, and with various oddities that he adds to his role, he makes the entire film worth watching. Tripathi made a conscious effort to distance himself from his previous roles. AK Shrivastav is neither the vicious Kaleen Bhaiya of Mirzapur nor the amusing Pandit Ji of Fukrey. He's somewhere in the middle, which works to his benefit.

Bangladeshi actor Jaya is a revelation and a treat to see as Tripathi's girlfriend. She never appears captivated or influenced; instead, she provides the story with much-needed balance. When naina begins her narrative and the plot shifts into a flashback, all we hear is soulful music, no words, and the director wants us to realize how deeply they bonded via their gestures, attitudes, and movements. Shantanu Moitra's music is the cherry on top.

Kadak Singh is a feel-good picture that keeps as raw and honest as possible while avoiding unnecessary drama. It makes you cry, laugh, and ponder about things in life that we frequently overlook.

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