Kabadadaari Movie Review: A middling remake of a middling film
This lackluster remake lacks even the little joys of the original
To watch (the original) or not -- the remake conundrum is back. It’s a question that pops up whenever there is a remake on the cards. Most remakes turn out to be faithful duplicates -- exceptions like Dharalaprabhu or Maara are rare. So chances are that watching a remake feels like a repeat of the original movie with different faces. But as a reviewer, there is always the desire to know what value a filmmaker adds to an existing story or script. So, I watched Kavaludaari before Kabadadaari, and let me just say it’s an extremely, with a few extra e-s, faithful remake. If Kavaludaari is fresh in your mind, you should probably wait for it to become hazy before catching the remake.
Director: Pradeep Krishnamoorthy
Cast: Sibiraj, Jayaprakash, Nasser, Sampath, Nanditha Swetha
The major disadvantage of a shot-by-shot remake is that the flaws are more damaging. Even more so with Kabadadaari because Kavaludaari is a film that relies too much on its red-herrings. Not to mention, it has a very contrived narrative in the first place.
A traffic cop who wants to investigate crimes chances upon one and decides to pursue it. And the clues are just lying about for the hero to discover. The writing is lazy and the proverbial twist isn’t riveting enough to hold the film together. And Kabadadaari doesn’t change much of this. Even the mild charm the visual gimmicks had in Kavaludaari gets lost here, purely because we have seen it already.
Some of the minor writing tweaks actually make these issues more glaring. To be fair, some changes do try to iron some kinks out, especially in the third act, but not to spectacular effect. Kabadadaari acts as a case study in what an actor can bring to a script. The Kannada film had a very cohesive, nuanced performance from Rishi as the disinterested traffic cop fighting for a chance. With Sibiraj, however, the emotional beats go haywire. Jayaprakash and Nasser give better performances, but not enough to save the film. The biggest strength of Kabadadaari is Simon K King, whose thundering score tries hard to infuse suspense.
There’s a moment in Kavaludaari where Shyam (the traffic cop) and Muthanna (a retired police officer) are on a stake-out. As they wait, they share a few laughs over Muthanna trying to kill a fly. It’s a moment that adds a lot of depth to their relationship. A moment that felt so honest and natural in a film that doesn’t otherwise reflect those emotions. Kabadadaari, however, lacks even these small joys that Kavaludaari had. What more can one say about a middling remake of a middling film?