In many films like Rangeela, Munnabhai MBBS, the language of Mumbai’s ‘Mumbaiiya’ accent left a different mark. But for some time, films with ‘Mumbai’ accent were rarely seen in Bollywood. But in the film Khali Peeli released this week, the language of ‘Mumbai’ accent will be heard a lot. Ali Abbas Zafar, who directed films like Sultan and Tiger Zinda Hai, made his producer debut with Khaali Peeli. Will Khaali Peeli starring Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday manage to entertain the audience or not? Let’s review.
Khaali Peeli is a crazy knight adventure story of a boy and a girl. Blackie (Ishaan Khatter) is a cab driver in Mumbai who operates the famous black-and-yellow taxis of Mumbai. One night, the taxi drivers are on strike. During that time a pregnant woman and her husband have to reach the hospital in any condition, so Blackie takes them to the hospital and in return Blackie gets 5 thousand rupees. When he is returning, he is caught red-handed by some cab drivers and complains to his union leader (Ashish Varang). While saving himself from all this, Blackie accidentally gets stabbed by a cab driver and after that he somehow manages to escape from there. He decides to stay out of town for a few days until the matter settles down. Meanwhile, he bumps into Pooja (Ananya Pandey). Pooja, who lives in a brothel run by Yusuf Chikna (Jaideep Ahlawat). Here Yusuf gets her married to one of his clients, Pooja runs away to avoid her marriage. Pooja escapes to Blackie’s taxi, then Blackie agrees to drop her out of town, in return Pooja promises to pay her a handsome price. Blackie learns that there is a lot of money in Pooja’s bag. He always wanted to become rich and hence, he devises a plan to hand him over to Joseph’s goons. What happens next after this, it will be known after watching the rest of the film.
The story of Sima Agarwal and Yash Keswani rests on a weak script. Sima Agarwal and Yash Keswani’s screenplay avoids giving the film a somewhat outdated feel. However, the script loses its charm in the second half as nothing exciting happens after a point. Sima Agarwal and Yash Keswani’s dialogues (additional dialogues by Suraj Jiyani) are adorned with smart, tapori style one-liners.
Maqbool Khan’s direction is stylized and neat and he tries his best to make even the simple screenplay worth watching. And in doing so, he is also successful till the first half. But how long can a director handle a film when the content itself is nothing special? Apart from this, a lot of cinematic liberties have been taken in the film. Initially no one pays attention to them but later it becomes a bit difficult to digest them. Though it is a masala film hence there is darkness in it but it may cause dislike for the audience.
Despite being irrational, the first half of Khaali Peeli is quite entertaining. The trademark masala film stamp appears in a few scenes, notably Blackie transforming from a child into an adult. Funny conversations and flashback portions between Blackie and Pooja add to the entertainment in the film. The intermission point is quite dramatic. The second half is short but from here the film falls apart. The final scene of the film is also not that special but on the contrary it is quite long and predictable.
Talking about acting, Ishaan Khatter seems quite confident. He gives a Mumbaikar feel in every respect and adds a lot of entertainment to the film. Ananya Panday also looks stunning and does a better job than her last two films. She also looks great in her action scenes. Jaideep Ahlawat suits his role but is defeated by the script. Swanand is gritty and his track does not reach any logic. Suyash Tilak and Zakir Hussain (Inspector Tawde) are good. Satish Kaushik’s comic timing is spot-on but his character has been added in the film just for that. Vedant Desai (young Blackie) and Deshna Duggad (young Pooja) do very well. Ashish Warang, Anup Soni (Blackie’s father Ravi), Vaishley Thakkar (Khala) and Kasturi Banerjee (dancer) are decent.
Vishal-Shekhar’s music is very disappointing. The film should be a chartbuster. ‘Duniya Sharma Jayegi’ is fine. ‘Shana Dil’ is played in the background and it is forgettable. ‘Tehs Nahas’ is a force to be reckoned with but well choreographed. Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara have a better background score.
Adil Afsar’s cinematography is stylish in some scenes. But the scenes should have been brighter. It’s nice to see Parvez Sheikh in action. Natasha Charak and Nikita Mohanty’s costumes are glamorous, especially those worn by Ananya Panday. Durgaprasad Mohapatra’s production design is realistic. Rameshwar S Bhagat’s editing could have been slower, especially in the second half.
All in all, Khaali Peeli is a very weak plot film filled with a lot of cinematic liberties which doesn’t leave much of an impact. Apart from this, the decision to release the film on OTT platform also on pay-per-view model, that too with such a high price, may also go against the film to a large extent.