Kathal is a wonderful story but unfortunately, I can say that only for the second half of the film. The first half is wasted in trying to be funny and also in beating around the bush. If the story would have cut down unnecessary parts and had a tight grip on storytelling, Kathal would have been an intelligent and thought-provoking movie.
So, what’s the story of this Netflix film, Kathal?
As the trailer shouts out loud, Kathal is about the entire police department being handed over a case of MP’s (played by Vijay Raaz) stolen jackfruits. Since the jackfruits are stolen from his garden, it becomes an ego issue for the politician which, obviously, also becomes a security issue. This investigation is led by Inspector Mahima, played by Sanya Malhotra. While she is investigating the case, there comes another case which is first ignored and sidelined by a constable and also Mahima’s love interest. The case then comes back to her. The case is of Pateria, that is the MP’s gardener’s missing daughter. Now, the authorities ask Mahima to declare this gardener the thief as he went missing after the jackfruits were stolen. But the gardener has nothing to do with the theft. While the entire department is busy investigating the jackfruit case, no one is bothered about a young girl who has gone missing. As Mahima wants to stop the Kathal nonsense and find the girl as her life might be in danger, with the help of the girl’s father and then a local journalist, she turns around the case. This twist and weaving of events was truly a good twist in the story. From here, the film gets interesting but still, it is slow moving. If the makers would have sped up the storytelling and added good humour to it, Kathal could have become the OTT film we have been wanting from a long time.
To my surprise, I just realised that Kathal’s story isn’t born out of the writer’s mind. This Kathal gone missing and the cops hunting them is a true story of MP Mahendra Prasad. In 2014, Delhi cops were looking for missing jackfruits that were stolen from his garden. I am not sure if the cops found the thieves but in the movie, the thieves were found. I am not disclosing who the thieves are because if you decide to watch Kathal, I don’t want to spoil the fun. This is the most humorous part of the film. Do not miss it!
What Kathal was trying to do is applaud-worthy. It could have easily become the next Peepli Live. At places, it reminds you of this film and other similar social message films where messages were passed to the audience and were kind-of a fight against the system but were coated with humour. Slow storytelling and bad editing on the writing level ruined a film with great potential.
So, what’s the conclusion? Should you watch Kathal on Netflix this weekend? Yes, you can. It’s a one-time watch though.