The Hindi movie Kathal is now streaming on Netflix in the UAE. It is directed by Yashowardhan Mishra and stars Sanya Malhotra, Rajpal Yadav, Anant Joshi, Vijay Raaz, Vikram Pratap, Neha Saraf, Gurpal Singh

Where can I watch Kathal in the UAE

Kathal is now streaming on Netflix in the UAE. If you don’t have one, you can create an account to watch this movie and other shows on Netflix.

Hindi film Kathal review

As a genre, satire is a tough act to pull off convincingly. After all, making a serious point through absurd comedy requires a lot of skill. But it is not impossible. The 2010 black comedy Peepli Live, about farmer suicides and the attendant media circus, is an impressive case in point. It provided an object lesson on how to deal with weighty subjects under the veneer of sardonic humour. 

A solid satirical work will not only tickle but also make you think. And perhaps it is in this aspect that Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery falters. It throws all the right punches. But not all of them land or are powerful enough to make a profound impact. 

Kathal Review

That may be because of the way the film is structured. It takes a seemingly frivolous idea and attempts to reach a more potent theme through that. One thing doesn’t lead to another seamlessly. And instead, what we get is a mismatched police procedural of sorts — first into two missing jackfruits and the second on human trafficking. 

The director, the debutant Yashowardhan Mishra, starts promisingly establishing the typical North India town, Moba. The local police station, with the quick-on-the-uptake inspector Mahima Basor (Sanya Malhotra), is faced with a tough case. The cops have to trace two missing Uncle Hong jackfruits. They are supposed to be the Djokovic of Jackfruit World – a certified great. The jackfruits go missing from the place of MLA Munnalal Pateria (Vijay Raaz). As it happens, his further political plans somehow involve those missing jackfruits. So the entire police force in that small town is now searching for those jackfruits.

Kathal Review

These initial portions are hilarious. But they also take a huge chunk of the film’s run-time, so when you come to more serious portions, they don’t get that much focus.

And there is a gaggle of characters to contend with. Mahima’s partners in the investigation are fellow cops Saurabh Dwivedi (Anant Joshi), Kunti Parihar (Neha Saraf) and Mishra (Govind Pandey). One of them is also her love interest. A Forensic expert (Brijendra Kala)and a nosey local journo Anuj (Rajpal Yadav in a silly wig) are also thrown into the mix.

But the search for the jackfruit leads the police team to missing people and a human trafficking racket. The story, co-written by Yashowardhan and his father Ashok Mishra, has a flow, but it is in the writing of characters that the film falters. There is an element of cardboard caricature in the way the characters come across

Kathal Review

But some lazy writing is salvaged by acting, especially by the leading lady Sanya. She is first-rate as a spunky cop who has to play by the system in place. Rajpal Yadav as the journo is funny, but the character is half-cooked. So is Vijay Raaz’s politician. 

The small-town characters and the setting look real and interesting. Yet, the film takes too many issues — Corruption, caste discrimination, economic disparity, media trials, sexism and human trafficking — on board without doing justice to all.     

Kathal is fun. But it could have been a lot more with better writing.

Balakumar Kuppuswamy
Balakumar Kuppuswamy

An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.


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