The long wait for a Mahesh starrer flick is over as Khaleja hits the marquee this weekend. For the last two-three weeks, I’ve been pretty excited about this film which later faded away as the movie released and most critics panned it hard.
The D-day was here and I finally settled in the jam-packed theatre with zero expectations, in other words I was expecting another Sainikudu. The movie started and the excitement of the audience reached its peak as people started screaming even at the censor certificate.
“Idedo dayyala, bhootala cinema laga undi…” I recall someone saying that at the other corner of the theatre as everyone kept a mum waiting keenly for the star to take them away with a storm and indeed he does with a desert storm.
Mahesh plays the role of Alluri Sitaramaraju, in short Raju, who works as a taxi driver. With his life being threatened by the antics thrown by the Iron Lady, Subhashini (Aka Subbu) played by Anushka. Subbu doesn’t intentionally mean harm to anyone but whenever she thinks of doing good, things go the other way round.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Raju is made to visit Rajasthan to give an insurance cheque to a family. On the other hand, Subbu’s father finds Amit, son of GK (Prakash Raj) as a perfect match for her just for the sake of expanding his business prospects with GK. On a romantic helicopter ride, she gets to know about Amit’s intention of having sex with her and runs away from him.
Everything in the preceding paragraphs were just layers of a bigger story, the basic plot is about a village where people die mysteriously. They find their god in Raju and the rest is how he manages to unravel the mysteries behind the deaths and rescue the villagers.
My interest levels at different parts of the film
The story is indeed tricky to read but when you actually go along the flow of the screenplay, its easier to follow. Trivikram is known to make intelligent yet highly entertaining films, Athadu being a classic example.
Apart from Trivikram’s excellent direction and screenplay, his dialogues were crisp and at the same time entertaining. The one liners thrown by Mahesh here and there kept everyone in splits, adding to this we have Brahmanandam, Ali and Sunil, each one of them coming with the best of their comic timing.
Comedy is definitely the USP of this film as the director sticks with situational comedy rather than giving any special scenes to make you laugh. It’s all planted here and there like a landmine which could explode anytime!
The best part about the movie is that the language used is known to us. No typical words to highlight, no heavy dialogues, only plain and simple conversations.
Mahesh comes out in flying colours with Khaleja. On the 70mm screen after three long years, it’s difficult to bring something new to the audience who are already familiar with his Pokiri-kind mannerisms but he steals the show with his new ‘avatar’ and perfect dialogue delivery. Anushka on the other hand looked gorgeous and kept the romance quotient of the film going though her presence was strongly suppressed in the second half.
Shafi as Sidhappa was excellent and enacted the role of a baba in search of god with perfection. Ali, Brahmanandam, Sunil, Raghu Babu, Rao Ramesh and Prakash Raj did their respective roles well in the given time frames.
I started off with zero expectations but I ended up pretty happily. It’s a movie where you leave the theatre with a smile on your face.
To sum up, Khaleja has great action sequences with a comic touch. Watch it to see a new Mahesh!