Movie Review: Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday's Khaali Peeli is a ride you can pass for another time
Khaali Peeli was marketed as a true blue masala entertainer that’s packed with all the quintessential elements of a Bollywood flick. It promised a decent starcast with good acting skills, a young romantic lead, music, action, values and much more.
Movie: Khaali Peeli
Khaali Peeli Director: Maqbool Khan
Khaali Peeli Cast: Ananya Panday, Ishaan Khatter, Jaideep Ahlawat
Khaali Peeli Movie Stars: 1.5/5
Khaali Peeli was marketed as a true blue masala entertainer that’s packed with all the quintessential elements of a Bollywood flick. It promised a decent starcast with good acting skills, a young romantic lead, music, action, values and much more. Now since that’s off our way, let me share the synopsis of the story.
The story is about two children Blackie and Red Riding Hood who meet in the dungeons of crime and child trafficking and prostitution. And as they say, they suffer the unavoidable love at first sight. Yet, destiny forces them to part ways, only to meet 10 years later as strangers in trouble. As they dodge bullets and criminals, they realise what they meant to each other. Rest of the story is as interesting as a wet-paper napkin!
Directed by Maqbool Khan, Khaali Peeli begins with a ‘chase-cut-period-jump’ trick to introduce the hero. Just like the old times, Blackie (Ishaan Khatter) is a criminal who is being released from Central Jail. In an Amitabh Bachchan meets Rajnikanth style, he lights his cigarette and throws the matchbox back to the police guards. Pooja a.k.a Red Riding Hood (Ananya Panday) reaches the jail drifting a black-yellow taxi. Hereon, we are taken on a flashback.
Blackie’s journey begins in a small town where he is Vijay, a teenager who convinces his father to loot a local jewellery shop. After getting apprehended, Vijay escapes from the police and catches a train to Mumbai in anticipation of becoming Yusuf, a child-trafficking goon who was once helped by his father. Vijay reaches Mumbai and meets Yusuf who recognises the kid and is only happy to take him in. Later, Vijay tells him about his career objective is to become Yusuf 2.0; only to be reminded by Yusuf that one should not cut a hand which fed them once. So much for sanskar!
Yusuf begins his crash course in goonda-ism by offering him an internship at Maratha Mandir where he sells tickets in black. Not because of any other reason but because of his occupation, Vijay transforms to Blackie.
To be frank, the best part of the film is that the actors have put in efforts to give shape to their characters. Yet, a weak script, screenplay, misplaced humour, caricaturization of the police force and the criminals makes you wonder if you are just watching a film inspired from the 80s; but with better car chase, fitter lead actors, and action sequences. Perhaps, that was what the makers were attempting – to fix what was wrong in the 80s masala flick but grossly misunderstood that the issue was just lack of good camera, action sequence or editing.
Blackie is reckless when driving a pregnant lady in labour pain, twisting and drifting his taxi that you wonder if Bond is in town driving a taxi. There are serious attempts at infusing humour. Yusuf is a dreaded, cruel criminal and yet he can be beaten into pulp by the duo of Blackie and Red Riding Hood. Which brings us to Ananya’s character, Pooja, who doesn’t have much to do during the film apart from delivering her dialogue with a tapori Hindi slang.
There are some questions that any attention paying audience may have which the makers didn’t even bother to answer. For instance, how can someone play a tabla and yet it sounds like drums? Or for that matter, how do you find an empty garage that’s huge enough for you to dance while you are being chased by bloodsucking goons and the Mumbai Crime Branch? Or how can you just change your clothes, infiltrate a Circus and perform a full dance sequence along with a background dancer. Nobody notices. I was just waiting for someone to jump in and say, Yeh Teja Teja Kya Hai?
In summary, watch this film only if you are a die-hard fan of Ananya or Ishaan. Otherwise, this is a ride that you can pass for another time.
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