Kathal review: Netflix satire excels at humorous social commentary

In Kathal, the case of a local politician’s missing kathals (jackfruits) sends the fictional town of Moba into a frenzy as the police force diverts all their attention to the investigation. The comedy film is now streaming on Netflix.


Mahima Basor (Sanya Malhotra) is an inspector in Moba, a fictional town, who is looking to get married to one of the constables, Saurabh (Anantvijay Joshi).

The entire police force of Moba is instructed by the local politician Munnalal Patria to locate kathals that have been stolen from his garden.

To him, this case is of utmost importance and the police are forced to comply due to the power he holds. Mahima is specifically asked to solve the case.

She is reluctant to carry it out but also needs to follow her duties. When the case of a missing girl also comes up, she cleverly uses the kathals to carry out that investigation instead.

Meanwhile, a local journalist named Anuj (Rajpal Yadav) is investigating the Kathal case looking for leads, further complicating the situation.


Sanya Malhotra breezes through the film as the protagonist and her endearing personality perfectly suits the character. However, Rajpal Yadav steals the show as Anuj. Despite limited screen time, he is hilarious every time he’s on the screen.

He is usually used as a side character only present to add levity but Anuj actually has a crucial role to play in the narrative. It’s good to see him given more critical roles.

Vijay Raaz is also excellent as the shallow politician obsessed with his jackfruits. The casting for the film is commendable.


Kathal is a satire that criticises the neglect of the poor. It does achieve this extensively through its various characters.

Firstly, Munnalal’s obsession with kathals is a glimpse into how some figures in power tend to trivialise the issues of the poor.

Despite all the crucial cases present in Moba, he remains unconcerned and constantly urges the police to focus on his case, even asking the SP to resign if he fails.

Apart from this, through the constable Kunti, the film explores women’s lack of ambition due to societal brainwashing. She does not want a promotion as being transferred would prevent her from taking care of her mother-in-law.

Additionally, discrimination based on rank is also addressed. Constables are treated as lowly while inspectors are given much more importance.

The film’s success is its social commentary without ever feeling as if it’s trying to force morality. It’s equally enjoyable throughout.


The investigation plays such a huge part in the narrative but is underwhelming at best. Even though the commentary is the central piece of Kathal, this aspect could have been executed much better.

The evidence and the deciphering do not make much sense and just seem to fall into the hands of the cops. The conclusion isn’t impressive either.


Kathal is a light, breezy film that veils much greater issues. This genre is criminally underutilised in the industry and this feels like a breath of fresh air.

Kathal review: Netflix satire excels at humorous social commentary 1

Director: Yashowardhan Mishra

Date Created: 2023-05-19 17:54

Editor's Rating:

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