A fun filled first hour’s merits are mildly negated by an uneven second and third hour. The emotional core of the film weighs it’s fun loving nature down by being contrived.
OVERALL SCORE – 2.75/5
Kirik Party is a coming of age drama directed by Rishab Shetty, written by Rakshit Shetty and The Seven Odds, starring Rakshit Shetty, Rashmika Madanna, Samyukta Hedge and Achyuth Kumar. The film chronicles the life of Karna, an engineering student who studies at Malnad College of Engineering.
I would like to begin the essay by accepting that my view of the film might be unpopular yet again. Rakshit Shetty has been one of the most bankable and likable actors of the Kannada film industry. He has impressed me with his choice of films and the trajectory his career has taken over the very few years he has been in the public eye. I appreciate his effort as a writer and a producer and would like to see him pursue more projects which challenge the audience and himself.
Coming to Kirik Party, the film can be reviewed with a simple analogy. Many readers have run or tried to run a marathon at least once in their lifetime. The rule of thumb with a marathon is to never stop running. When the first stop is made, recovering the pace and conditioning one had before the stop may be near impossible. Kirik Party as a film suffers from the same problem. The film starts off at a break neck pace and showers the audience with moments of well-devised humor and expertly built characters but slowly and surely it takes a long breather. Once the film starts to give the audience a few moments to breathe the pacing of it becomes entirely uneven, the plot loses focus and the film screeches to a walking pace at multiple occasions. It tries to pick itself up again with an injection of excellence but the effects of said injection are short lived.
The film has a lot to like. There are a myriad of intelligent lines along with moments of visual humor. The film has a hoard of sight gags, all of which cannot be spotted on the first viewing alone. These are great touches and it would be heartening to see more Kannada films take cues from what Kirik Party managed to achieve. It is more than obvious that the film was a labor of love. The artists behind and in front of the camera have tried to give it best and almost all of them succeed in parts. The whole however is not better than the sum of its parts.
Rakshit Shetty is entertaining to watch as a fresher and as a senior. His change in personality and body language between his phases are stark and add a lot to his characterization. His playful innocence which translates to hard hitting adulthood is achieved with one of the best moments of editing in a Kannada film in recent memory. This moment is preceded by hands down the best song and scene of the film. The two female leads play cliched characters and are underbaked. They are essayed out to be one-dimensional “cute” girls and it hurts the film by not adding gravitas to the emotional moments which play out at the end of the first, second and third acts.
The plot takes a back seat to multiple sub-plots which offer nothing of substance to the story at large. All the sub-plots do have moments of comedy and inventiveness but all of them stumble almost instantly as soon as they have a moment that can be appreciated, by having a moment of poor pacing and payoff. The cliched method by which the story ties itself off by the end cheapens Karna’s arc as a character, in my opinion.
The film has a lot going for it and a lot playing against it. It a push and pull between a humor-filled romp and an emotional coming of age story which is seemingly coming off at the seams. It is a film which can tickle most people’s nostalgia bones and leave them with a smile when the end credits roll but for me, personally, it left me thinking about the awesome movie which could have been. A super hit in his first attempt as a producer is a great achievement for Rakshit Shetty, here’s looking forward to his future projects.
OVERALL SCORE – 2.75/5