Khiladi 786 a tedious exercise in kitsch

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      Starring Akshay Kumar, Asin Thottumkal, Mithun Chakraborty, and Himesh Reshammiya. Rated PG.

      In Khiladi 786, Akshay Kumar returns for the eighth time in a film with the word khiladi (player) in the title, and for the umpteenth time as the hackneyed buffoon he plays in all of his films. This movie tediously recycles all the elements of standard Bollywood slapstick fare, with preposterous fight sequences, garish dance numbers, and heaps of ethnic stereotypes.

      The Khiladi films are not connected by plot or character name. In this one, Kumar plays Bahattar Singh, whose large family has always bent the law by posing as police officers. They stop cross-border smugglers and steal their cargo. To be fair, they give a cut of their profits to the actual police and to the surrounding villagers in rural Punjab. Like all the men in his family, Bahattar can’t find an Indian wife.

      Meanwhile in Mumbai, the gangster Tatya Tukaram Tendulkar (Mithun Chakraborty) is having trouble marrying off his sister, Indu (Asin Thottumkal) who scares off prospective grooms with her fast driving and violent tendencies. Enter failed matchmaker Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya), whose incompetence has had him shutout from the family business. Within the first fifteen minutes you know exactly how this story will play out.

      The soundtrack of this film, also composed by Reshammiya, will likely yield several hits. Continuing with Bollywood’s trend of having white women as dancers, the song “Balma” features an “item-girl” cameo by German model and Indian reality star, Claudia Ciesla. It’s a tribute to the great Indian composer R.D. Burman with some distinctive hints of the ‘70s in its beat. “Sari Sari Raat” is the best song in the soundtrack, but all of them sound better without the film’s visuals.

      Kitsch can be fun when it’s playful and clever. Here, it is not. Without one genuine laugh, this film is long and grating.


       Watch the trailer for Khiladi 786.






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      Dec 10, 2012 at 12:34pm

      movie was great. This editor is obviously biased. i quote his hate against the actor "umpteenth time as the hackneyed buffoon he plays in all of his films"


      Dec 10, 2012 at 3:16pm

      Oye Syed! Have yo uwatched some of Akki's movies in which he has played serious roles? A number of Khiladi movies themselves are samples of it. It is clear that you poured your venom on a non-Khan actor and it is obvious why. Your midget paiKhans have turned up more kitsch than Akki has! Get your facts straight.


      Dec 13, 2012 at 9:16pm

      I agree that Akshay is a buffoon. It's impossible to watch this man act without wanting to grind my teeth! He's totally unqualified for even current amn standards of Bollywood. And with a lack of charisma - my poor teeth!

      Btw I really enjoy Syeds reviews! Theyre funny AND intelligent. Sadly unlike old Akshay!


      Dec 13, 2012 at 9:19pm

      Eh Raja! Your comment is racist and VERY offensive.