Saturday, December 08, 2012

Khiladi 786 

The Pursuit of Rowdyness

Just because Salman Khan can get away doing total junk (mostly remakes of Southern hits), now the low standard of his films has become the benchmark for other leading men in search of hits.

Akshay Kumar's Rowdy Rathore came after a row of flops and put his career on the 100-crore track. But if Khiladi 786 kind of films are the next step, then the audience is doomed.

The film starts with a foot being thrust into the audience's face, and several stuntmen flying into the air. The man who regularly beats up bad guys-- who then obligingly flip around in the air before landing-- is called Khiladi Bhaiya-- maybe because Akshay Kumar wants to prolong the Khiladi franchise (not that any of the earlier ones were classics!). The film is called Khiladi 786, because the hero has 786 etched on his palm. Why?  No particular reason... or maybe to please the young Muslim male demographic; he also dresses like "Alibaba."  (He said it, or one would have been at a loss to describe his costumes.)

When he is not in bright kurtas he is in police costume, with top buttons undone and shirt tail out, walking with a hip-hop gait--he is a fake cop who helps real cops in Punjab by capturing contraband-carrying trucks. He is called 70 Singh, his father 71 Singh and so on... a mixed-race clan with one African, one Canadian and one Chinese wife included. And they all want an Indian bride for 70... or any bride at all, because nobody wants to marry into a family of crooks.

Meanwhile Mumbai gangster Tatya (Mithun Chakarborty) can't find a decent groom for his sister Indu (Asin), because of his criminal lifestyle, and also because she is a "psycho."  She also has an equally psycho boyfriend (Rahul Singh) in jail.

Failed matchmaker Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya--also co-producer, responsible for the idiotic story and ear-splitting music too) gets the two mad families together, by telling each that the other is from a family of cops.

Much confusion and hilarity should have ensued, but so soggy is the humour that Johnny Lever in his two-scene roles comes as a welcome relief. They all believe that shouting at the top of their lungs is comic acting. Directed by Asish R. Mohan, all that this wannabe Rohit Shetty film achieves is bestowing some kind of superman status on Akshay Kumar—when he hits a wall the entire structure comes tumbling down.  Also, Reshammiya perhaps giving up his hero ambitions to accept comedian parts. Fine, as long as he doesn’t write any more film stories like this one.


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