Khaali Peeli

From the trailer itself, it was very clear that Khaali Peeli is your run-of-the-mill masala entertainer. And the movie has no plans to confuse you with this tone of the film. The very first scene itself is that high-on-masala moment where the hero walks out of the jail in slow motion showing off his physique and swagger. But very soon after establishing the equation between our hero and heroine, Khaali Peeli enters that space where everything is far too silly and there is nothing here to make it that whistle worthy entertainer like a Rohit Shetty film.

Vijay aka Blackie who drives the Taxi in Mumbai is our hero. He is a crook who just wants to make money by any means and in one scene he even charges 5000 Rs to take a pregnant woman to a nearby hospital. On the night of a Taxi strike, he happens to meet this girl named Pooja who was running away from her marriage along with a bagful of money. Blackie was interested in the money and Pooja wanted to escape from the goons who were chasing her. The chase that follows and what all gets unveiled in that journey is what we get to see in this action thriller by Maqbool Khan.

In the initial bits of the film, we are getting a feeling that this is going to be fun as the boy and girl aren’t showing any romantic inclinations towards each other and there is a trust issue between the two. But pretty soon the back and forth narrative in the movie reveals the important connection between the two that they were childhood sweethearts. And we get to see an account of how much they knew and loved each other in those young days. This part was executed in a far too cheesy way. I was willing to buy the coincidence that the villain, hero, and heroine had an interesting personal connection. But this Bichda Hua Pyar angle was a little too much for me to tolerate and the scene where Pooja reminds Blackie about their past reminded me of Tashan where everyone in the theater howled listening to the flashback of the characters played by Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor.

I must say that Maqbool Khan has some really interesting visual ideas (don’t know whether it is plagiarized). In one scene we see Blackie talking to one guy from Yusuf’s (the villain) gang and they have cut the visual at the center of the screen vertically, giving an illusion that they are both in and around the same car. But this is a moment that comes in between a chase that has no life in it. The familiarity and heavy broad strokes are the main issues here. There is no twist in the tale here to give us any sort of excitement. And to make it even duller they are throwing in random songs. When you are running away from police and goons and decides to get inside a Mela, normal people would try to keep a low profile. But our lead couple had a different plan; jump on the stage and take the lead in the main dance performance. Beyonce would have facepalmed seeing the intelligence.

Ishaan Khatter is trying his best to bring in the swagger factor. But somewhere I feel the writing wasn’t really providing him with stuff that usually works in the commercial potboiler format. Unlike a Tiger Shroff, he is someone who has both acting chops along with the acrobatics. But here the makers were obsessed about bringing out the style in him without providing any sort of substance. Ananya Pandey’s Pooja is supposed to be a character that is running away from a pimp in Kaamathipura who is trying to make her marry a pedophile, but her performance felt like Geet running away from her family to marry Anshuman. Jaideep Ahlawat plays the role of the bad guy Yusuf and as always the guy did a really good job in an effortless way. The Satish Kaushik comedy track is horribly bad and I just don’t understand what made them go ahead with that lame sidetrack comedy.

Khaali Peeli is one of those films where you will sit through the film without any emotions because mainstream cinema has fed you the same thing in zillion other ways. Maqbool Khan has used this back-and-forth style to narrate the story where you will see wordings such as “10 Years Ago”, “45 Minutes Ago” “After 1 Hour” etc on the screen in a huge font size at regular intervals of time. And in the end in my head, I made a jump cut to “3 Hours Ago” to the point when I purchased the ticket for Khaali Peeli as I sighed in real-time.

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Final Thoughts

Khaali Peeli is one of those films where you will sit through the film without any emotions because mainstream cinema has fed you the same thing in zillion other ways.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.