Saif Ali Khan recently raised a few eyebrows when the trailer of his new movie, Kaalakaandi came out but as a viewer who wants a fresher take on dark comedy (cue dead baby jokes), ask yourself. Is it not what you want but thanks to CBFC, you haven’t been able to have it?

The answer to this question will be categorically traced with a little historical analysis where we trace the emergence of dark comedy movies, a few good ones which emerged as cult classics and the orchestrators of these cult classic movies.

A few general terms to be cleared at first: A cult classic movie is a movie which is immensely appreciated only by a certain type of viewers, which loosely began to be referred to as a “cult”.

Moving forward, we’ll link this idea and trace how Kaalakaandi has the potential to become a modern cult classic in the dark comedy genre and get the reception which only a few select movies have received in the Hindi film industry.

For the history lesson:

One of the first true-grit dark comedy movies was Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro in 1983, which made the audience realize the movie’s actual potential as an exceptional piece of dark satire and the movie is regarded as a cult classic by most modern viewers now.

The present has been shaped by many cult classics which include the likes of Amitabh Bachchan’s Agneepath, Deepa Mehta’s elemental trilogy (Fire, Water, and Earth), Imran Khan’s Delhi Belly and even the John Abraham starrer No Smoking.

A common denominator in these movies gaining a cult status as well as a significant mainstream appeal is simple: The presence of a prominent leading actor.

Now getting to why I believe that Kaalakaandi will be successful can be juxtaposed with the point I made in the previous line and how an actor like Saif Ali Khan, who has never shied away in experimenting with roles in his movies such as Being Cyrus or the immensely successful Omkara, it’s tough to argue that a man of such mettle will make a wrong decision to cement his status further as an actor who can take unconventional roles look like child’s play.

Omkara was one of the few movies of 2006 which displayed the full potential of its actors and directors and the one where Saif put on a show in his menacing performance as Langda Tyagi. The movie may still be disputed to be too dark for its thematic depth by critics and audiences alike but as a viewer who appreciates a sense of realism, I think of Omkara as a piece of visual art.

The pattern to note here is the presence of megastars in Omkara, which helped the movie gain more appeal to a wider audience. Similarly for Delhi Belly, where Imran Khan shed his chocolate boy image for an unconventional role and that paid off extremely well.

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Of course, the formula doesn’t always work where you have visual treats like Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking where John Abraham gave arguably the best performance of his life and the movie failed commercially, most viewers still place it as one of Kashyap’s best directorial ventures along with Gangs Of Wasseypur.

Now, what Kaalakaandi bring us is a fresh take on a genre we so crave to see: Dark comedy and satire. Add that to a writer who has already delivered us Delhi Belly and a cast with a leading actor who has a career as expansive as an Albatross’ wingspan, you can surely expect a cracker on your hands.

In the past few years, we’ve desperately wanted some movies which we appreciate not because of grandeur or cinematic exuberance but for their depth, acting and charisma and this is where Kaalakaandi can surprise us, by flipping the dynamic for most A-list actors and delivering the message that it’s good to experiment.

Sure, there’ll be viewers who’ll talk numbers and revenues but for once, can we actually let our inner hypocrite take a backseat and enjoy cinema for its sheer realism, satire, and banality like we’re supposed to?

At the helm of Kaalakaandi is Saif Ali Khan and his exceptional record with evergreen cult classics like Dil Chahta Hai, Being Cyrus, Omkara, Go Goa Gone and more and the only numbers we need to focus on are of the people who are willing to appreciate this type of cinema and their ever-increasing frequency.

Millennials don’t want Scorpios flying in mid-air, we want good movies.

Bring back the cult classics, we’re jusssssst fine with them.


Image Credits: Google Images


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