Review: Barah baras baad, Khiladi ka number aa gaya. Bollywood’s original Khiladi is back from self-imposed exile; still with a heart of gold, the pride of a true-blooded Singh and mighty-muscles of steel. And of course, a truck-load of even more Singhs – welcome the players. But before we lose count, let’s ‘count’ the global Singhs – each of them with a Number for a name. To start with, Bahattar (read: 72) Singh, aka Khiladi bhaiyya ( Akshay Kumar), his father Sattar Singh ( Raj Babbar) with his Canadian wife and African mother. Add on Ikhattar Singh ( Mukesh Rishi) and his Chinese wife. Just in case you realize number 73 is missing, keep guessing.
The Singhs are a family of proud con-cops (partly for a cause), and while 72 Singh can single-handedly thrash thugs at supersonic speed, he believes in driving women around in what he calls a mardon ki sawaari – a vibrantly colourful truck – on date nights. No wonder, matrimonial rejects are aplenty (everyone wants a sawaari in a Ferrari, you see) and Khiladi bhaiyya is left ‘lonely-lonely’, with little or no action in his love life. Enter Mansukh Desai (Himesh) a wedding-fixer, who takes on the challenge of finding a girl to match his machismo. And he finds one in the feisty Indu Tendulkar (Asin) – Mumbai’s wanted don, TT’s (Mithun) sister. Well, she turns out to be nothing short of a psycho baiko, in love with a part-time-prisoner called Azad.
Akshay is in his top-form, his punches are as power-packed as his one-liners. With kurtas as colourful as his character, nonchalant charm and playful references to recent hits (Rowdy Rathore, Housefull 2, Singham), he proves to be sabse bada khiladi, yet again.
Asin has, without a doubt, looked her best in this film. As Ms. Khiladi, she’s pulled out a few guns, stepped on the gas (crashing and speeding up cars) and romanced her balma. Mithun, dons the role of goonda, but with his funny liners, he leaves us with a lot of laughs. Himesh is decent as a caricature-ish Gujju boy.
Debutant director Ashish R Mohan’s masala potboiler style is unmistakably reminiscent of his guru, Rohit Shetty’s films. There are flying cars, flying bodies, flying fists and a flying Singh too. He shows flair for comedy, but for a film titled Khiladi‘, it lacks hard-core action, heat and the adrenalin rush that is synonymous with Akshay’s Khiladi series (maybe intentionally). With a feel of hip-hop, rap, rock and our good ‘ol Burmanda, Himesh’s music pumps life and energy into the story.
For those looking for some logic-less laughtime, groovy tunes topped with some todh-podh – this one could bring some action to your weekend.
Story: Akela hai Mr. Khiladi, Ms. Khiladi chahiye. It’s that simple, really.