Khaidi No 150 review: Chiru's screen presence makes it a winner!
More than the content, it is Chiru who makes this a paisa vasool entertainer
Wednesday 11 January 2017
Khaidi No 150
Chiranjeevi, Kajal Aggarwal, Tarun Arora
A petty thief Kaththi Seenu (Chiranjeevi) escapes from Kolkota prison and plans to leave for Bangkok. He lands in Hyderabad to stay with his friend (Ali) before he leaves the country. While he was chatting with his friend, he witnesses a shootout and finds a person who looks like him in critical condition. He admits him in hospital and takes his identity. He comes to know the story of his doppelganger who is Shankar, an hydrologist fighting for the rights of the farmers of his village against a businessman (Tarun Arora) who is grabbing their land.
When a documentary is shown about the problem of the villagers, Kaththi Seenu realises the greatness of Shankar and takes up the fight. How a thief-turned-good-person Kaththi Seenu brings down the mighty corporate powers and wins the battle forms the story.
Megastar Chiranjeevi has returned to silver screen with this film after a sabbatical of nine years. Before he quit movies for politics, he was ruling as the number one star for more than 20 years. As he is back with this movie Khaidi No 150, the first question on everyone's mind would be - Is he as superb as he used to be?
Most of the Telugu audiences would prefer to know how Chiranjeevi has performed in dances, acting and fights. Enquiries about how good or bad the film comes much later. So, let us focus on that front.
Well, Chiranjeevi is still as good as he was. In his prime of acting career, Chiranjeevi was hailed as one of the greatest star-actors in India. He was best in all departments - acting, dances, fights and dialogue delivery. In Khaidi No 150 too, he has done dances (in couple of difficult steps including the famous 'Veena' step, he reminds us of his younger version) with so much ease, his comic timing is intact; he is good in emotional sequences. There is no discomfort in his expressions in any of the scenes except in fights (in action scenes he is not in form). Despite the fact that he was away from arc lights for a long time, he has given what his fans want .
Now let's move on to the content of the movie. Based on the Tamil blockbuster Kaththi, directed by Murugadoss, the film has dealt a relevant burning issue - of corporate companies' julum in snatching lands from the farmers for their benefits. Laced with right mix of commercial elements, the movie seems to have faithfully followed the original Tamil flick.
The basic plot of the story is pretty old. A person (thief) finding his conscience when he steps in another person's identity has been dealt with in many movies. And Ravi Teja's Veede (remake of another Tamil movie Dhool) also has similar issue of villagers and problems. A protagonist stepping in the shoes of his look-alike is a very old screenplay trick, Chiru did the same in movies like Rowdy Alludu. But what is newness here is the voice is more of socialism or communism in wrap of masala moviemaking.
The story begins with a prison escape. After a terrific beginning it flounders into another path - comedy. The movie only comes back on the track towards the pre-interval and the second half has many gripping scenes. Hero fighting the cause of farmers and villagers is told engagingly. Some episodes like blocking water to the city, coins sequence, etc are powerful moments. The second half is laced with such solid scenes. So despite lengthy runtime, weak romantic and comedy track, dull first half, the film works overall due to this. And added to this, there is Chiranjeevi and his charisma. Songs are a major strength to the movie.
Scenes that stand out are -
1) Revealing the village Neeruru's problem and Shankar's fight
2) Water blockage to Hyderabad episode
3) Final speech at press conference.
On the downside, the movie lacks logic. The character of Shankar should have been developed properly. The villain's characterisation lacks punch. The climax also seems hurried. Moreover, it seems more of a clever setup of scenes than a perfect script.
Other than Chiranjeevi, rest of the actors don't make much impact. Kajal Agarwal is okay as heroine. She is there only for songs. Not many romantic scenes. She is used mainly for duets. Villain Tarun who played the villain's role is a minus. Lakshmi Rai provides enough glamour with her item song. Ali and Brahmanandam's comedy is outdated and their performances also lack any novelty. Posani and Raghubabu have provided some laughs.
Devi Sri Prasad's songs have played major role in looking the film very appealing. His songs are terrific on the screen. They are shot well and the dances have added grace to them.. The movie boasts of top class cinematography by Ratnavelu. Production values are top notch too.
Some dialogues by Vema Reddy and the team are good. When Chiru is questioned by the villain about his failures, the fitting reply that he gives is best. Direction by Vinayak is satisfactory. He seems to have followed the same template of Murguadoss's movie.
Khaidi No 150 is faithful remake of Murugadoss's Tamil blockbuster. Chiranjeevi's performance, his charisma coupled with some solid episodes in the second half make this worth a watch. More than the content, it is Chiru who makes this a paisa vasool. His screen presence, music and dances have worked for good despite predictable script.
Khaidi No 150 review: 3.25 stars