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Kakuda Review: Sonakshi Sinha and Riteish Deshmukh starrer is a diluted Munjya that can only do little to save itself

Kakuda never grows into a movie that could stand at par with the Stree universe because it takes the tropes but not the soul. 

2/5rating
Kakuda Review: Sonakshi Sinha and Riteish Deshmukh starrer is a diluted Munjya that can only do little to save itself
Kakuda Review

Last Updated: 02.25 PM, Jul 11, 2024

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Kakuda Review: Plot - In a village called Ratodi, people are scared of a ghost called Kauda. A dwarf seeks respect from the men of the village and wants them to keep a small door specially built for him every evening at 7:15. If they fail to greet him, he curses them with a lump and they die within 13 days. Sunny (Saqib Saleem) fails to open the gate because he is busy getting married to Indu (Sonakshi Sinha). Now, they want to save Sunny from dying, so they hire a Ghost hunter, Victor (Riteish Deshmukh). How will they manage to save him is the story. 

Kakuda Review: Analysis

The Hindi film industry has finally decided to explore the horror genre without exploiting it by making horror-sex aka horrex films. Thanks to Stree, we have a new avenue where horror films have comedy, scare, and even a message that is not overtly chest-thumping. The universe grew and Bhediya and Munjya walked in as the able and worthy additions to the trope. But little did anyone know that even a good trend has the power to attract stories that try to replicate the magic of them and in the process only end up borrowing the structure and not the soul that made the film work in the first place. Kakuda sits right in the latter half population where it takes all the efforts to become the next Stree or Munjya but doesn't really land anywhere.

If your concern is why the comparison, the filmmaking grammar is exactly the same as the Stree Universe. The story is rooted in that of the Stree Universe and the director of Kakuda is Aditya Sarpotdar, who also directed the amazing Munjya. So there is all the room for comparison and only a little for redemption. Written by Avinash Dwivedi and Chirag Garg, Kakuda finds itself marinated in a folklore where there was a man once neglected by society he now seeks respect. A very noble thought, but we have already seen that in Stree. Add to it that he is haunting people and killing them is very much Munjya. So you never really find anything original about Kakuda other than the characters.

Kakuda Review
Kakuda Review

It is not wrong to borrow a film’s syntax but it is only worth it when what you borrow is married to something that seems original in terms of nature, the vibe. Everything here seems like you have seen before because even the plot devices are quite similar. Credit where it's due, while not all jokes land like they do, some are really good and draw the point home well. Like the villagers calling Victor an English Tantrik while he is persistent in introducing himself as the Ghost Hunter, it is an interesting and hilarious element to the movie. But Kakuda is also too hell-bent on selling the main story that it forgets to build a better world around.

The many films I mentioned before are those films because they have a world to them. It is not just three random people on a battle with a ghost. Here Victor, Indu, and a friend played by Aasif Khan are roaming around the village trying to get rid of Kakuda. They are digging graves, and having a full-blown fight with the ghost, but where are the villagers while all of this is happening? Why does this feel like some drug heads having a hallucination episode while their surroundings have given up on them because literally nobody cares? Not even the father of the man who is about to die disappears for a large chunk.

Kakuda had a lot of potential because the ghost is quite unique. But it also has so much unexplained that you never really sync with it. For example, Sonakshi Sinha’s father is obsessed with English to the extent that he makes the suitors marry his daughter by reading an essay in English. Whoever succeeds is the best match even if it is a random Ghost hunter who was last working in a mortuary. But why is he so obsessed? What is the point of this exercise for him? What is his backstory? For that matter, Kakuda, we never see a live-action version of him but just animation. Why will we suspend our disbelief for that?

Kakuda Review
Kakuda Review

Sonakshi Sinha, Saqib Saleem, and Aasif Khan, have all done a great job with their acting chops because they are genuinely interested in the script and it shows. But it is the balance between comedy and scaring that kills the vibe where Kakuda neither makes you laugh entirely or be scared.

Kakuda Review: Final Verdict

Kakuda tries too hard to become a good student of the Stree universe but can only copy the homework and not learn well.

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Kakuda releases on the big screen in India on July 12, 2024 in theatres near you in India. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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