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Khatta Meetha
Jun 27, 2015 06:20 PM 2523 Views (via Mobile)
(Updated Jun 27, 2015 06:20 PM)





What did we ever see in Akshay Kumar, folks? Ok, he has great teeth. And a better cleavage. But is this the man we gave us back-to-back hits in Heyy Baby, Bhool Bhulaiya, Welcome and Singh is King(excuse the spelling)?

The star whose asking price went through the roof at Rs 35 crore? Well, folks, I want to tell all of you, we've been had. And had bad. Khatta Meetha is proof of that. At over two hours, it is silly, noisy, and repetitive. It's also weirdly misogynistic.

At one point, Akshay slaps Trisha, poor Trisha, so hard that her papers fall on the floor. He then engineers something(even with a movie as bad as this cannot really reveal the story such as it is) that precipitates a suicide attempt on her part. She, of course, immediately forgives him even as she is breathing into her oxygen mask. Aaargh!

There are more aargh moments in the film. The sister is married to a political thug who first tries to hustle her into his car while she's waiting at the bus stop and then does unmentionable things to her(more spoilers, sorry) later.

The sisters-in-law are wicked witches and the father is a typewriting, book-reading former judge who now believes money is everything. The mother, poor Aruna Irani, keeps waiting for the chulha to be free so she can cook for her husband(why a family that can afford a Mercedes cannot afford a gas even if they live in Satara is beyond me).

Akshay himself is Sachin Tichkule, a former Gandhian(albeit in V-necked T-shirts saying Rebel in a flashback that shows him in college), and now a corrupt road contractor. Now clearly Priyadarshan has done his homework. Apparently the roads in the country are so bad because of every Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75, 000 is paid in bribes to various people.

So there is Tichkule's sad life, of building roads that he is never paid for, calling for several running gags with has-been jokesters such as Asrani and Johny Lever. There is also the sub-plot of his corrupt brother and brothers in law who specialise in making bridges and roads which collapse-no, before you get your hopes up, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron this is not. This of course means employment for several stock Priyadarshan characters such as Manoj Joshi and Milind Gunaji.

But it is all too terrible to comprehend. And certainly to watch. Yes, it may be good anthropoligical evidence for Kamal Nath to present to Montek Singh Ahluwahlia about why he can't meet his 20 km target for the National Highway Authority. But do we really have to sit through Akshay Kumar lecturing us about corruption in public life for that? Everything looks borrowed from previous Priyadarshan movies. The haveli is from Bhool Bhulaiya. The plot is surely from some Malayalam film Priyadarshan made or watched in his past life. And the whole idea of Akshay as loser is as old as Housefull and Singh is King.

Someone save his career please. Or maybe not. Anyone who milks an old, ill man for publicity deserves the nonsense that comes his way. As for Trisha, while I admire her taste in saris, perhaps not all municipal commissioners go to work carrying brocade bags and wearing a succession of Venkatgiris, Gadwals, and Patolas? But then neither do Rs 35 crore actors deliver dud upon dud filled with poor jokes, stale gags and anti-women acts.

Unless you're the aforementioned Kamal Nath and are interested in a treatise on why Indian roads can never be motorable-or even walkable-stay clear of this one. Someone tell Priyadarshan to watch Tere Bin Laden for inspiration-how to make a homegrown comedy with ingenuity and not so-called stars.

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Khatta Meetha