Kirrak Party movie review: This Nikhil Sidharth-starrer has its moments, but lacks requisite drama

Hemanth Kumar

Mar,16 2018 16:58:04 IST

3/5

Towards the end of Kirrak Party, there’s a lovely montage of Krishna (Nikhil) driving down the road somewhere in the Himalayas. Prior to his road trip, he has a tryst with his past which kind of reminds him who he was as a person not so long ago. In the middle of the trip, which turns into a soul-searching exercise, there comes a stretch which is dark and bumpy. He stares at what lies ahead of him and finally, he decides to turn around.

This particular scene is what the film is all about - to come to terms with loss, grief, and moving on in life. You know what he’s going to do next and how the film is likely to end, but here’s the catch - for a good 50 odd minutes, there’s hardly anything in the story that might make you believe that he’s going to change as a person. If Krishna is angry, we don’t get to see it. If he’s sad, it’s hardly shown on screen. Instead, it just focuses on the lives of a bunch of friends and their shenanigans in a college.

A still from Kirrak Party.

Kirrak Party is a film which doesn’t quite dig deep into its core emotion, and by the time it gets there, it feels a tad too late.

In the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Krishna (Nikhil), a Mechanical Engineering student, who befriends a bunch of other guys. We aren’t told who his friends are, or what their quirks are. For that matter, we don’t even get to know Krishna as a person. Instead, the narrative focuses on the clashes between first year students and their seniors. In the middle of all this is Meera (Simran Pareenja), a final year student, who has the heart of gold. Everyone is in love with her, but she prefers to cut off all the noise around her. But Krishna is unrelenting in his ways to impress Meera, and eventually, she begins to see a more positive side of Krishna. He makes her laugh and she’s glad to have him in her life. And just when their love story is about to bloom, life takes a different turn, and Krishna becomes a completely different person altogether.

The film is a remake of a blockbuster Kannada film Kirik Party, which turned its lead actors Rakshit Shetty, Rashmika Mandanna, and Samyuktha Hegde, to heartthrobs in Kannada cinema. On a different note, Kirrak Party shares a lot of similarities with a segment from Premam, although the vibe and the approach is completely different here. Nikhil’s version of Kirrak Party chooses to focus on the college life starting from the first semester of college, and how with time, students too become emboldened to indulge in mischief, including drunken nights, bunking their classes, fighting with other batches, stealing answer sheets among many other things.

It’s a coming-of-age tale of an innocent young man who becomes cold-hearted after a point. The question is - does it feel organic enough? While the reason behind why his personality changes is justified, the rest of the elements in the story don’t carry the same weight. For a while, it doesn’t feel like the story is going anywhere. It’s almost like a series of incidents and gags written to add to the backstories of the characters, without a strong thread connecting them. It isn’t until the entry of Satya (Samyuktha Hegde) in Krishna’s life that we see few things change both in the story and the mood it creates as a film-viewing experience. Without her, there’s nothing else in Krishna’s life which would make him think about his past.

For most part of the film, Nikhil carries it off quite well in his own style. His transformation from being a happy-go-lucky guy to someone who can’t control his rage is one of the highs in the film, but once he reaches that point, the story doesn’t do justice to what he has to offer until the final act. To give him credit where it’s due, Nikhil nails it in the end when he realises what he has been missing for a while. Although there’s no emotional outburst, the look on his face, as he contemplates to do the right thing, is quite striking.

Newcomer Simran Pareenja makes an earnest attempt, although her romantic track with Nikhil needed something more than just another young boy-meets-cute girl treatment. The whole point of Kirrak Party is that like the lead character Krishna, you too are supposed to miss his romantic interest. But that doesn’t happen. On the other hand, Samyuktha Hegde is a bundle of energy and she aces her role with ease.

Kirrak Party does have its share of good moments, especially in terms of how Krishna and Meera begin to fall in love with each other, and how, towards the end, Krishna realises his mistakes. But there are hardly any fireworks in the screenplay. Yet, when I came out of the film, it did something to me - the wave of nostalgia is hard to resist. It’s quite likely that your college life was quite different from what we see in Kirrak Party, but it does serve as a good reminder that there was a time when you were shielded from almost every grenade that life throws at you. Sharan Koppisetty, who directed the film, does well to capture college life, but the lack of drama and conflict in the lives of these characters weighs it down.

Updated Date: Mar 16, 2018 16:58 PM