Nowadays, masala entertainers only shine when they have enough depth to separate themselves from the cliched melodramas. The film does give a background to the main leads but it isn’t enough to make your root for them.
Right after watching the trailer of Khaali Peeli, we pretty much knew it was going to be a mainstream melodrama seen plenty of times before. Even the producer of the film, Ali Abbas Zafar described the film as a “ traditional Hindi film, a mainstream potboiler.” Eventually, lack of imagination meets no logic and we get a ride filled with nostalgic trips from 70’s Bollywood films. An almost dead genre can only be interesting if it has some great specifics, that’s why it is obvious to say that Khaali Peeli is probably two decades late.
To my no surprise, Khaali Peeli is just a reprise version of Sadak. A taxi driver rescues a young woman from a brothel and both of them are being chased by the members of a dangerous man who owns the brothel. Except for this time, they both are childhood lovers but they don’t recognize each other because they haven’t met each other for ages. Vijay (Ishaan Khatter) ran from the clutches of the police and got landed in Mumbai where he met his idol, Yusuf (Jaideep Ahlawat). Yusuf told Vijay to start his career like the way he did by selling tickets of cinema in black, from that day Vijay is called Blackie.
The film tries to be unique by jumping back and forth in time, like in the very beginning, the film jumps back to 10 years, then 35 minutes, and then we are back in the present time. But, this isn’t able to make up for a melodrama with no depth. Nowadays, masala entertainers only shine when they have enough depth to separate themselves from the cliched melodramas. The film does give a background to the main leads but it isn’t enough to make your root for them. And one common trait of most of the masala films is to have no logic whatsoever. There’s an idiotic scene, completely unfunny in which Vijay manages to come out of jail and is able to convince a police officer to go inside the jail.
Director Maqbool Khan and writers Sima Agarwal and Yash Keshwani try to stir the comical level of the film by dropping catchy dialogues and some situations like an item song in which both the leads change their attire and the police never notices them. The makers worked heavily in constructing chase sequences but none of them were effective. Ishan Khatter as a taxi driver with swag has only a set of expressions to play and he isn’t able to make a lasting impression. Ananya Pandey is surprisingly given a few action sequences to play at the end just to match the current trends. Otherwise, her performance is pretty plain and lacks flair. Jaideep Ahlawat never loses his character and carries out his role as a dangerous man pretty effectively.
Overall, Khaali Peeli much like the meaning its title looks like it is made without any purpose, and even if it had one then it isn’t able to convey that at all.
Cast: Ishan Khatter, Ananya Pandey, Jaideep Ahlawat.
Director: Maqbool Khan
Streaming: Zee Plex
Verdict: Skip this.