Rowdy Rathore meets Housefull: Khiladi 786 (WBRi Movie Review)

By Priyanka Dutta

Akshay Kumar and Asin Thottumkal Celebrating Khiladi 786 Music Release Success
Akshay Kumar and Asin Thottumkal Celebrating Khiladi 786 Music Release Success

Kolkata, Dec 8, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) The exceedingly long gap may have provoked the thought in many that the ‘Khiladi’ series has seen its end. But the first week of December 2012 saw Akshay Kumar back with his Khiladi persona riding on ‘Khiladi 786’ the latest Khiladi flick. Over the years, this Bollywood star has amazed many with his dangerous, death kissing and gravity defying stunts courtesy his stunts in the Khiladi series. But in this film he has gone a bit too over the top.

The latest film, Khiladi 786, opens in a Singh family. Bahattar Singh (72)  is the name of the character played by Akshay. He is the son of ‘Sattar Singh’ (played by Raj Babbar). Bahattar Singh is a good looking Punjabi guy who slips into police uniform and seizes for himself the smuggled goods. The reputation of the Singh family is such that no well-to-do family wants to marry off their daughters to the Singh household. It is at this juncture that Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya) comes into the scene. Mansukh is the son of a wedding planner who after messing up his father’s business is boycotted from the family. Now he is dying to add at least one successful wedding to his profile to prove himself. He finds a match for Bahattar. The lady in question is Indu (Asin Thottumkal) who is none other than the sister of Tatya Tukaram (played by Mithun Chakraborty) one of the most dreaded gangsters of Mumbai. Courtesy of their glorious background, Tatya’s family pretends to be a family full of cops. Moreover it is found that Indu is not in the mood of getting married. She pretends to be a cynic to avoid marriage. All these leads to the telling of lies after lies and things get messier. The rest of the film shows how things get back on track and what happens to the proposed wedding.

Akshay Kumar plays this particular avatar of Khiladi as Bahattar Singh in a way that reminds us of Rajnikant’s numerous superhero acts. He breaks cars with one sweep of his leg, flattens nearly a hundred men in a go and defies gravity at his will. He also has a romantic side which when dominant makes him hum love songs to woo the Marathi girl Indu. He does all of these with gusto but the wafer-thin character always shows lack of much depth.

Asin as Indu does not have much scope for acting apart from a few scenes. She has to look good and she does in the film, both in the tomboyish and traditional Marathi looks. Other actors like Raj Babbar and Mithun Charaborty enact their parts well. Himesh Reshammiya who is a dreadful as an actor however acts quite well in this film.

The dialogues in the film range from “Oh mein jat gamla pagla deewana” to “Oh kake Punjabi na toh chup chap aate hai…na jaate hai” to “sar pe haath rab ka, haath mein 786”. They are peppy but do not make that much of an impression so as to save the film.

Compared with other films in the Khiladi series, this film has no innovation in the action sequences. The action sequences have a similarity with the action sequences of Salman Khan blockbuster ‘Dabbang’. The director Ashish R. Mohan who has earlier worked with Rohit Shetty followed the conventional formula of the masala films and did nothing out of the box. This is the reason why the story is wafer thin, the characters are not well developed and the action sequences are nothing spectacular. It seems that his effort to blend ‘Rowdy Rathore’ with ‘Housefull’ has gone immensely wrong and the end result is that ‘ Khiladi 786’ became a tasteless mixture of the two genres.

The songs in the film like ‘Balma’, ‘O Bawariya’, Hookah bar are hummable but not for long as the lyrics do not have that much adhesive to stick to the mind of the audience for a long period. But the item song of Claudia Ciesla is comparatively worth watching.

A few parts of the film is though enjoyable but as a whole it is disappointing especially to those who, over the years, had been loving Akshay more as the ‘Khiladi Kumar.’