‘Sakkini Daakini’ Review: A Brilliant Coming Of Age Comedy Drama

It has been a while since we have come across a good action-comedy drama. “Sakkini Daakini,” is one such film; an example of what you see is what you get. In this case, it is a good thing. An official remake of the Korean film Midnight Runners, this Telugu language film was released theatrically on September 16th, 2022. The film is directed by Sudheer Verma and is an easy-breezy watch. It is rare to see a foreign film being adapted for an Indian audience faithfully, especially if the film is in the coming-of-age genre.

“Sakkini Daakini” begins with Damini (Regina Cassandra) and Shalini (Nivetha Thomas) arrive at the state police training academy. Damini joins out of family pressure as her parents are decorated police officers. On the other hand, Shalini joins the training academy under the kabbadi scholarship and at the moment is aimless about her career or future in general. They both start by being in the bad books of each other and end up being each other’s roommates, to their dismay. Damini, who has plans to go abroad to study, is also a neat freak who constantly carries a bottle of sanitizer just out of sheer habit. Shalini, though, is clumsy, goofy, and a foodie, she tries to mess with Shalini and her habits to make her look bad. Both the ladies soon start messing around with each other frequently, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the academy superiors. The constant back and forth leads to a big confrontation inside the mess, where they get into a physical altercation. Soon the superiors get hold of them and threaten them with a warning. They soon stop bothering one another, but on the last day of physical training, Damini fractures her knee, and to her surprise, Shalini helps her, gaining the trust of the academy chief. Damini and Shalini soon become cordial with one another, which makes way for a solid friendship. On one of the off days at the academy, they head to a pub to have a good time. On the way back, they are nearly saved by a woman. This woman pushed them toward the footpath as a drunken driver was about to run over them. Within minutes, they witness the same girl being forcefully taken away. Shalini and Damini conclude that this is a case of kidnapping, and they must approach a police station to file a complaint. The police refuse to file a complaint, to their frustration, and soon the women take it upon themselves to investigate the case and find the culprit and save the girl. What happens when Shalini and Damini unearth a bigger racket regarding women’s egg harvesting rings that forms the plot of the film?

“Sakkini Daakini” is one of those rare films which does justice to its narrative. The screenplay and story by Akshay Poolla craft this interesting tale of two women who are trying to find justice in a world around them filled with goons and criminals, some of whom are highly educated people. Akshay writes a straightforward screenplay that does not divert from the actual plotline, keeping the narrative simple and enjoyable. Thankfully, there is no time spent on any relationship woes these women face, for the story solely focuses on their goals and what they want to achieve for themselves. Through their superiors, Shalini and Damini learn the importance of having a fixed goal in life, which will help formulate a plan for their lives. It is refreshing to watch a film emphasizing goals women should have for themselves other than having a partner, getting married, or having kids. As a woman, it is empowering to watch. Kudos to the writer for not discriminating between men and women in the screenplay. Surely there will not be any discrimination inside the actual police training academy, but to showcase that on screen is a delight to watch. For a change, women are goofy, funny, and given quirky one-liners. The screenplay is indeed tight, concise, and realistic. In its running time of 1 hour and 58 minutes, the writers waste no time in establishing all the characters and getting going with the actual plot set in the second half of the film. The women’s taking the entire film on their shoulders in the coming-of-age drama is nothing short of a treat. Sakkini Daakini is a good comedy, and kudos to the writers who did not ruin the essence of the story by adding unnecessary comedy tracks. The comedy sequences don’t feel forced. 

The action sequences by Venkat steals the show. Again, it is such a joy to watch women fight and break the bones of ridiculously bulky men who are the embodiment of evil. They save other women by pushing themselves into a web of crime that could kill them. The fight sequences are choreographed to perfection. The editing by Viplav Nyshadam must be appreciated, for it takes skills to keep the film within the time limit put across by the director/producer. Director Sudheer Verma does an excellent job of putting across a story about two women, which is not about gaining a man’s attention or about beauty. For a change, it is about women wanting to achieve something for themselves career-wise.

The racket which Shalini and Damini discover and their willingness to help other women from going through traumatic experiences which might potentially kill them is commendable. Shalini and Damini do not think twice before going after the culprits, making “Sakkini Daakini” a good and exciting watch. The writer and the director had a good screenplay in their hand. They did not ruin it and did not make it preachy with a long monologue by one of the leads in the end. This film is a must-watch because it is delightful to watch women get roles like these and their ability to take the entire film forward.

Sakkini Daakini is now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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