Director: Dhiraj Kumar
Cast: Sharman Joshi, Priyanka Singh, Aishwarya Devan
When it comes to a suspense thriller, it’s the end that justifies the means. Case in point, David Fincher’s cult classic Fight Club that is a masterclass in such a genre.
But does the ending of Kaashi: In Search of Ganga justify the means? The answer would be NO. Sharman Joshi’s acting talent is gone to waste yet again with Kaashi, which is not the ‘All izz Well’ that the actor desperately needs for the resurrection of his career.
Kaashi is set in the city of Benaras and centers around Kaashi Chaudhary (Sharman) and his sister Ganga (Priyanka Singh). The plot thickens when Ganga suspiciously goes missing under unforeseen circumstances.
The catch however lies in the fact that those associated with Kaashi believe that Ganga never existed to begin with. What follows is a brother’s rage-filled hunt to find his sister, the one thing that matters the most to him.
However, the brother-sister bond was not tactfully dwelved further upon like it should have. Instead, we got a half-baked love story between Kaashi and a journalist Devina (Aishwarya Devan).
To get a gist of their relationship, Devina’s only job is to run behind a hot-headed Kaashi wailing “Kaashi rukho!” as he goes about beating anyone and everyone in his wake. When it comes to the action sequences, the choreography is so cringe-worthy that even Salman Khan will be like, “Kuch bhi banaate hai yeh log.”
Sharman Joshi’s acting prowess has been seen in movies like 3 Idiots and Rang De Bansanti and with Kaashi, the actor tries his darndest to give an earnest performance. But it is the weak script and even worse actors as supporting characters that limit him. His temperament from the naive, innocent fella to the rage-inducing animal had all the potential but was instead wasted.
Priyanka as Ganga should have gotten more screen space given how she was the second lead protagonist, but unfortunately, the writers completely forgot about her just like you will after you watch the film. You feel no sympathy for Ganga, who is missing or even Kaashi, who at a point, seems disinterested from finding his sister. Aishwarya has an important key role to play but her one-tone acting could not be bared for more than 15 mins.
Even veteran supporting characters like Govind Namdev, Manoj Joshi and Manoj Pahwa are treated as absurd characters and don’t add any credibility to the sinking ship that is Kaashi.
The melodrama were a plenty in Kaashi with a delusional script that had no rhyme or meaning. Even the direction by Dhiraj Kumar and the editing is questionable. The courtroom scenes deserve a special mention as they were a mismatched jigsaw puzzle. The atmosphere of the haphazard sequences aptly described the mood of the film which was, ‘Bas kar yaar!’
The one positive aspect that I could find through the loopholes in Kaashi was how Benaras was visualised on screen, in its truest sense. However, nothing else works for the film.
A scene which made everyone laugh in the midst of what was supposed to be a serious investigative film is when Kaashi and Devina land up at a hotel to inquire about Ganga and when the receptionist states the hurdle of confidentiality; all Devina has to say is that she had come to suprise the guest instead. And guess what, the receptionist just gave them the information! As easy as that!
The unfortunate factor in Kaashi is that they could have created magic if enough focus was given on the actual mystery. However, just like Kaashi, we too were left dazed and confused.
Kaashi is a mystery better left unsolved.>