Freddy Review: Kartik Aaryan casts 'Kaala Jaadu' with his career-best performance


Film: Freddy

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Alaya F

Director: Shashanka Ghosh

OTT: Disney+Hotstar

Rating: 3 Moons

A dentist is among the most dreaded people in the world; of course, who would enjoy bearing the pain of tooth extraction and other dental treatments? But Dr. Freddy Ginwala is made of a different clay. In Shashanka Ghosh's dark and grey world, he is an innocent and harmless being just like his pet turtle. Is the surface that shallow? Is there a darker side to the naive and underconfident Dr. Freddy? Let's find out. 

Freddy, which premiered today on Disney+Hotstar, is centered around the simple and mundane life of Dr. Freddy Ginwala (Kartik Aaryan), a popular dentist in town. While he is successful in his career, he is a dud when it comes to his personal life. He finds it difficult to express his love and impress a girl. But, in no time, Freddy's life undergoes a 360-degree transformation with the entry of Kainaaz Irani (Alaya F). She is married to a restaurateur named Rustom but her marriage turns out to be an abusive one. 

Freddy falls for Kainaaz's beauty and innocence whereas she finds solace in him and his protectiveness. The main obstacle in their love story is Rustom. Will Freddy and Kainaaz unite? What about Rustom? Will the innocent and naive Freddy change his first nature to win over his ladylove? The film addresses these queries. 

The teasers of Freddy had set the benchmark high. In some aspects, it does meet the mark and when it doesn't, it falls flat on the face. Shashanka's directorial is a mixed bag. While he scores high on building up the atmosphere, he fails to deliver in terms of engaging and crisp narrative. Like a see-saw, Freddy fluctuates from bad to decent pretty rapidly. Speaking of the positives, the film builds and grows in the second hour when the drama begins to unfold. Despite unintentional humourous moments, it manages to hold your attention for the longest time. The titular character has been written meticulously and it reflects in the film. 

What doesn't work for Freddy is the outdated concept. The primary suspense is revealed in the first hour itself, leaving the bare minimum to imagine. As mentioned above, Freddy has unintentionally hilarious and stupid dialogues and sequences which will leave you chuckling. Yes, the drama does get better in the second hour but it is not enough for a thriller that promises to portray Kartik as a psychopath. There's nothing mad or crazy in the script which will make the audience believe so. At a point, Shashanka's direction will make you feel as if Freddy is the OTT adaptation of Splitsvilla made for a family audience.  

Freddy, despite having some lovely performances, happens to be a mixed bag because of the dialogues and sheer lack of taking the film seriously. The director throws the entire weight on Kartik's shoulders and goes lenient in the department where maximum efforts are required and expected. It ain't as menacing as the teasers promised. Suffering from severe male gaze syndrome, the camera angles aren't pleasing always. Alaya F's Kainaaz, who would be dressed in simple churidars and sarees, moves to hot shorts and stylish clothes after a 'big revelation'. Who wants to see such transformations in 2022? Nonetheless, Freddy is a one-time watch, strictly. 

With Freddy, Kartik once again proves why he is the new-age superstar. Shedding his urban and flamboyant personality, he gracefully embraces Dr. Freddy's mannerisms and thought processes. Surely, his fans will get to see a completely new and refreshing avatar of the actor. In an age where heroes are expected to fight countless goons and baddies, Kartik's Freddy is a gentler, softer and more real being. Oh, this is definitely not throughout the film. His transformation from kind to ruthless is worth applauding. Casting 'Kaala Jaadu' on the viewers, the actor shows immense growth. 

Alaya F tries hard to save the day with an earnest performance as Kainaaz. Despite all the efforts, her character comes across as caricaturish and stupid. She gets the most annoying dialogues to say throughout the film and one cannot stop laughing. Her conversations with her partner in the second half are irritating and hilariously bad. Karan A Pandit has the most irritating character to play. 

The music of Freddy plays an important role in helping the ship sail to the shore successfully. The cinematography, apart from some male gaze indication scenes, is good. Especially the rain portions and murder sequences. It captures the beauty of the locations the film has been shot at. 

Freddy is out-n-out a Kartik Aaryan show. Come for Dr. Freddy, stay back for him. 

PeepingMoon gives Freddy 3 Moons