Kathal movie review: Sanya Malhotra shines in rural comedy with a twist
The comedy-drama, based on an actual event, shows the value of good writing and that less can definitely be more
Building a story around two giant jackfruits may seem like a strange idea, but it works well in the newly released Netflix film Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery.
Sanya Malhotra plays a dedicated police inspector in a fictional rural town who is pushed by her superiors into investigating the case of two giant jackfruits, which are mysteriously stolen from a senior politician’s tree.
During her investigation, she stumbles upon the case of a missing girl, and this unexpectedly leads her down a different path.
Meanwhile, she is struggling to deal with being more senior in the police force than her fiancé and contending with an unscrupulous reporter looking for a big scoop.
The comedy-drama, based on an actual event, shows the value of good writing and that less can definitely be more. The unique story combines well with engaging characters and great setting in a film that keeps you engaged from start to finish. There is intelligent humour, meaningful moments and one of the greatest food fights ever seen in Bollywood.
The film also subtly shines a light on sexism and casteism, without being too preachy. The talented cast elevate the strong material with stand-out turns.
Sanya Malhotra is particularly brilliant in her role as the sympathetic police officer and delivers one of this year’s best performances. She has a magnetic screen presence and effortlessly lights up every scene she is in.
The only thing that doesn’t really work is a ridiculous bald wig that is unnecessarily worn by Rajpal Yadav. Some of the comical background music is also a little silly and there was perhaps scope for a little more drama.
These are minor flaws in one of this year’s best Bollywood films. The surprisingly good comedy is so much better than the awful rubbish Hindi cinema has had to offer in recent years.