Movie Review: KHILADI 786 by FENIL SETA

I strongly believe that it’s not the plotline that makes or breaks a film. There are films boasting of skeletal and beaten to death plots but have worked wonders thanks to an effective script and execution. Khiladi 786 sadly isn’t one of those films. When one is attempting to present a fairly predictable story, it’s important that the dialogues and one-liners entice loads of laughter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen and what one gets to see are the same old sequences/jokes repackaged to the viewers!

The story of the movie: Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya) is the worthless son of marriage bureau owner Champak Lal (Manoj Joshi) who has unintentionally ruined many marriages fixed by his father. To prove his worth, Mansukh takes up a tough challenge – he attempts to get Indu (Asin), sister of dreaded don Tatya Tukaram Tendulkar (Mithun Chakraborty) hitched with the Khiladi 786, Bahattar Singh (Akshay Kumar), a cop in Punjab police. Realizing that nobody is willing to marry Indu because of his gangster image, Tatya or TT as he calls himself accepts Mansukh’s suggestion and masquerades as ACP in front of Bahattar and his family. On the other hand, Indu is a firebrand lady who decides to try every trick in her book to scare off Bahattar. How these mad characters create problems and come out of it is what Khiladi 786 is all about.

Himesh Reshammiya’s plot gives a déjà vu of No Entry, Welcome, Ready, Housefull 2 and many other films that focused on a bunch of characters hiding a terrible truth from a dreaded person, leading to hilarious situations. Only few dialogues work here and there. Otherwise, the one-liners are not impressive and don’t entice laugh. Even the situations are ordinary and one knows where the film is heading. Hence, it’s not the waferthin plot that’s the culprit…it’s the substandard script that makes Khiladi 786 a disappointment.

On the positive side, there are flashes of originality which works big time. The characters in Khiladi 786 are damn interesting and the ‘multi-coloured’ family of Bahattar, comprising of women from China, Canada and even Africa, was well thought of. Also, their names (Bahattar, Sattar, Ikhattar and so on) were a good idea. The entire track of Azad (Rahul Singh), who plays Indu’s lover, was hilarious and also the bond he shared with the jailor (Mukesh Tiwari). Mansukh and his quest of getting a jodi hitched and the relevance of 786 in context to ‘Kharoch-proof’ Akshay Kumar’s character were the other factors that were original and which saves the film from becoming an ultimate disappointment. However, things like these weren’t enough and the film on the whole fails to work.

Performances are upto the mark. Akshay Kumar plays the Dabangg ‘inspector’ beautifully. He’s a pro when it comes to performing such characters and Khiladi 786 is no exception. His entry is powerful and he shines in the songs too. Asin as always looks beautiful and performs well. Mithun Chakraborty looks dashing as the Maharashtrian don. Surprisingly, Akshay and Mithun hardly exchange words throughout the film. Rahul Singh is hilarious and surprise package of the film. Earlier this year, he impressed in Chaar Din Ki Chandni and Jalpari. Here’s an actor to watch out for! Mukesh Rishi, Gurpreet Ghuggi and Raj Babbar were okay. Sanjay Mishra (coffin and ‘kafan’ seller) does fine in his small role. Mukesh Tiwari and Rajesh Khattar (Inspector Jugnu) shine while Johny Lever (Inspector Kambli) raises laughs with his ‘Kejriwal’ dialogue. Bharti Singh and Mushtaq Sheikh disappoint and the twist in their tale was meaningless. Claudia Ciesla sizzles in the item song Balma.

And lastly, Himesh Reshammiya proves he can act well! It’s great to see that he has shed his larger-than-life hero image and settled for supporting roles in the ‘Ashish Chowhdhry’ category, which is a good thing. Except for a scene in the end, he was effortless and seemed ease while acting. He has composed songs too and except Lonely, the rest deserve to be chartbusters! Sanjoy Salil Chowdhury’s background score is loud at places but works in a film like this. Jai Singh’s action is apt.

As aforementioned, story is predictable, though few nuances stand out. Kushal Ved Bakshi’s script, Bunty Rathore’s dialogues and Ashish R Mohan’s direction could have managed to turn this film into a thorough entertainer but fail to do so. Hence, though the film has quite a few plusses, it doesn’t work as a whole.

On the whole, Khiladi 786 offers nothing new in general. Story is predictable and script and direction do little in salvaging the situation. Music, performances and flashes of originality here and there save the film from becoming an ultimate disaster. The film needed someone of the caliber of Anees Bazmee or Rohit Shetty and Sajid-Farhad. At the box office, Khiladi 786 has opened below expectations and thanks to a mostly negative feedback, the film hardly has any chances of becoming a commercial hit. This time, the Khiladi disappoints!

My rating-** out of 5!



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