Friday, July 23, 2010

Khatta Meetha review

Director: Priyadarshan
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Trisha Krishnan, Neeraj Vora, Rajpal Yadav, Urvashi Dholakia, Makrand Deshpande, Manoj Joshi, Johny Lever
Stars: *


Peppered with blandness

For a while now, director Priyadarshan has been making films akin to how a careless, bored cook would dish out stale food, re-heating it, hoping no one would notice. Akshay Kumar, on his part, stays consistent in delivering duds. However, with Khatta Meetha, their pair touches a new low, churning out a film that is mind-numbingly bad. After remaking each one of his Malayalam hits in Hindi, and finding some measure of success with them, Priyan now with Khatha Meetha attempts to recycle some of Mohanlal's 80s films that were true gems and extremely relevant to their times. However in the hands of an out-of-form Priyan, Khatta Meetha ends up worse than a David Dhavan film on a bad day. As for the peg of R K Laxman's common man, it is precicely the aam janta who ought to protest against such scams in the name of a film.



The action happens in a small town in Maharashtra, where down-on-luck road contractor, Sachin Tichkule (Akshay Kumar) is struggling to find a few lucrative contracts. His ancestors belonged to the royalty, so his family -- which includes his parents, sisters, their husbands --- stay in an antique building, even if they aren't that rich anymore. Tichkule may be a common man, but he has a bunch of contract workers who rather uncommonly keep breaking expensive things in different homes and commiting deliberate mischief - like peeping into bathrooms when women are bathing and so on - and you're expected to sympathise with such characters! They have to starve, because the Municipal body won't pass Tichkule's bills for the substandard roads he has built, even if the roads he makes has led to serious accidents. And how is he justified? Oh, because his brother-in-laws are more corrurpt and have also murdered a guy, so he's proportionally better-off. The new Municipal commissioner, Gehna (Trisha) is his ex, with whom he had a sour parting. The flashback, showing Tichkule as an idealitic, is another ludicrous piece of writing in a script that has so many big holes, it ought to have been broken up into a grave and given a burial right at the start.

The film keeps getting progressively worse and predictable. There's a scene where Tichkule is upset with Gehna for not passing his bills. So he dupes her into taking money, calls up the anti-corruption officers and gets her arrested. She ends up in hospital after her attempted suicide. Feeling sorry, Tichkule lands up at her bed, and narrates his sorry condition to her. And guess what, she not only forgives him, they even break-out into a song!

If Akshay Kumar and Priyan's last few films can be categorised into 'dumb, dumber & dumbest, this one would beat the others hollow. I found exactly two scenes mildly funny - one of them involving Johny Lever. For the rest, the film is offensive in how much it insults the audience's intelligence. Also, the film throws around random Marathi words, as if that was going to bring any realism! And Akshay Kumar repeats his 'Tichkule' surname so many times, and is so obviously delighted with it, it almost feels like the makers thought they'd bettered Archedemes' 'Eureka'.
All the characters ham to their heart's content. Each one screams at the top of his/her voice, perhaps knowing that the audience might go into a slumber otherwise. Such films beg that oft asked question - what is ailing Hindi films these days?

-Sandhya Iyer

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandy, no mention of Trisha? Her role that thankless? She's shown she's capable of more in Teluga films too bad she's had such a dismal hindi debut.

July 23, 2010 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous sandhya said...

Trisha was okay - the film itself was so bad, and every aspect of it so repulsive, that there's nothing much that can be said about her acting.

She plays a Municipal officers, so her pouting and general body language was a tad out of place I thought.

July 23, 2010 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger nadi said...

'peppered with blandness'

i like that !

do you write poems?

July 24, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous sandhya said...

No nadi - I have sadly no skill for poetry :-)

July 30, 2010 at 10:56 AM  
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