Nine long years after he quit films for politics, Tollywood's Megastar Chiranjeevi rolls back the years, dances like an evergreen icon, packs a punch during the fight scenes and weeps like a baby during emotional ones in Khaidi No.150.
Chiranjeevi plays to the gallery and does whatever his fans expect him to do. He does it with some style too, with constant references to 'Boss is Back' playing right through the film. Is Khaidi No.150 an entertaining film? most certainly. Is it a good film? Probably not.
Kaththi Seenu (Chiranjeevi) is a prisoner who breaks out of jail and tries to escape to Bangkok. He manages to get a fake passport done but just before he's about to board, he spots Lakshmi (Kajal Aggarwal) at the airport and is reminded of his childhood crush.
He tears his boarding pass to Bangkok to pursue his love (Bizarre for a convict on the run). Quite predictably, the number Lakshmi gives him connects to a dog sanctuary. As the frustrated Seenu ponders his next move, he witnesses an attempt to murder of Shankar (Also played by Chiranjeevi), an activist fighting against corporates for the rights of farmers.
Seeing a golden opportunity to escape prison, Seenu admits Shankar in the hospital under his name, and takes Shankar's place instead. What follows is the implications of this switch and how it turns Seenu's life upside down.
Like any mainstream film, Khaidi No.150 has plenty of whistle-worthy moments, with Chiranjeevi shaking a leg with glamourous actresses and delivering punch dialogues. Devi Sri Prasad's music is decent, with the background score especially striking a chord.
But if you look beyond the 'commercial' elements which are clearly designed to please the fans, Khaidi No.150 hardly has anything to offer. The storyline is haphazard and lacks punch. It gets so predictable that anyone familiar with Telugu cinema can tell what's coming next.
The cinematography disappoints and the film's visual element is a huge letdown. The timing of the song 'Ammadu Let's do Kummudu' is terrible, as it comes in the middle of an intense scene. The song jerks the narrative and the film fails to gather momentum after that.
There's a total lack of creativity from director VV Vinayak. lt seemed like he was banking completely on Chiranjeevi's brand power rather than trying to make a meaningful film. There's a lack of attention to detail and the emotions are soulless.
Chiranjeevi delivers exactly what made him a megastar in Tollywood. His dialogue-delivery is brilliant and he dances and fights in his inimitable style. But it's sad to see him doing the same thing he was doing 15 years ago. At a time when contemporary stars are pushing the envelope and experimenting with inventive cinema, Chiranjeevi continues with a song-and-dance-and-fight role. to his credit, the megastar looks in excellent shape for a person in his sixties, but he would do well to take a leaf out of Amitabh Bachchan's book and try to do films like Paa or Piku. Kajal Aggarwal, on the other hand, is reduced to an inconsequential role. Even the antagonist Tarun Agarwal has little to do in this one-man show. Ali and Brahmanandam provide some comic relief, especially Brahmanandam in his role as Doberman!
Khaidi No.150 is more about Chiranjeevi and his return than about the story or cinema. A large section of the audience might still go for it for a sense of nostalgia and in that sense, the comeback film might go on to break box-office records. But as far as good cinema is concerned, this film wouldn't stay long in your memory. Yes, the boss is back, but as an audience, you want a bit more than that.
|Film: Khaidi No.150
Cast: Chiranjeevi, Kajal Aggarwal
Director: VV Vinayak
Rating: ( 2.5 stars)