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‘Kathal-A Jackfruit Mystery’ movie review: Social satire on rural India

‘Kathal-A Jackfruit Mystery’ movie review: Social satire on rural India
In the realm of ‘Kathal-A Jackfruit Mystery’ lies a captivating and multi-layered narrative that goes beyond its satirical comic exterior. Delving deep into the fabric of rural India, the movie fearlessly exposes various social issues that plague society. From the abuse of authority by politicians to the pervasive presence of casteism and gender stereotypes, Kathal shines a light on the ugly yet undeniable practices that persist. Recently released on Netflix, this Hindi-language satirical drama, written by Ashok Mishra and skillfully directed by Yashowardhan Mishra, is an exploration of societal dynamics with a quirky twist. The story revolves around the disappearance of two exotic breed jackfruits from the house of a local MLA, Munnalal Patera (played by Vijay Raaz). Wielding his influence, the powerful MLA manipulates the local police force into investigating the missing jackfruits. Under immense pressure, SP Angrez Singh Randhawa (portrayed by Gurpal Singh) is left with no choice but to assign Inspector Mahima Basor (Sanya Malhotra) and her faithful Constable Saurabh Dwivedi (Anant V. Joshi) to crack the case. Inspector Mahima, already renowned in the community for her previous triumphs, embarks on the investigation with the gardener as the primary suspect. However, what initially seems like a trivial vegetable theft gradually unravels a much darker crime involving kidnapping and human trafficking.

Kathal effortlessly navigates a lighthearted tone, utilizing clever writing and tropes to deliver biting satire on the political and social systems prevalent in rural India. The movie’s narrative seamlessly connects the dots, unraveling a web of interconnectedness.

Despite being produced under the Balaji banner, Kathal adopts an indie approach, eschewing big names to maintain a relatable and authentic feel. This organic touch resonates throughout the movie and is a standout aspect worth appreciating. The movie’s tight-knit script, screenplay, and direction work in harmony, ensuring a cohesive viewing experience. Although tackling grave and serious issues, the screenplay strikes a delicate balance, preventing the movie from descending into excessive darkness. A vibrant and lighthearted energy permeates each frame, enhancing the storytelling and engaging the audience. The impeccable craftsmanship of the movie extends to its talented ensemble cast. Newcomers Malhotra and Joshi hold their ground alongside industry veterans like Vijay Raaz, Raghubir Yadav, and Rajpal Yadav. Malhotra shines as Inspector Mahima, the movie’s lead protagonist. She flawlessly portrays Mahima’s spirit and capabilities while tackling the everyday battle against casteism, both in her profession as well as her personal life. Working in a male-dominated field, Mahima must assert herself as a female police officer. Additionally, she grapples with her love for Constable Saurabh, longing to marry him. However, societal patriarchy dictates that their union must wait until Saurabh receives a promotion and attains equality. Mahima’s character encapsulates the intricate layers woven into the movie’s narrative. Who should watch it? Kathal is a well-paced and witty movie that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates a good story infused with humor. It doesn’t burden itself with excessive expectations, making it an enjoyable experience for a wide range of viewers. Its simplicity, brevity, and organic nature make it an approachable and worthwhile watch for all. Rating: 4 stars Genre: Comedy, drama Run time: 1h 55m Actors: Sanya Malhotra, Vijay Raaz Director: Yashowardhan Mishra