Khatta Meetha: Grand Bland Satire!
By MovieTalkies.com, 23 July 2010
The winning combination of Priyadarshan and Akshay Kumar comes together once more in the just released 'Khatta Meetha'. While traces of the magic are still evident, 'Khatta Meetha' may not quite rank among the best efforts of the duo. The reason being that this satire on the rampant corruption in the Indian state machinery and the plight of the common man, lacks the bite that a good satire should have.
For that, one would have needed a much tighter and focussed screenplay. Of course, the Priyadarshan touch is much evident in his quintessentially quirky take on certain situations and characters, but it is not enough. This film needed a much sharper screenplay.
The issues that the film raises and talks about are hardly unique. But what would have made this movie unique would have been the director's take on them, his creative touch, which Priyadarshan is more than capable of. But what the film actually gets reduced to after a while is a lot of loud, overacting and buffoonery. The film begins promisingly. In fact, the basic premise of the film is actually quite interesting and should have provided an ideal take off point for the director. But the flight falters and so does the movie. And in that context, the film's title which promises bitter sweet experiences is not really lived up to.
The film's story is basically about a simple Marathi road constructor Sachin Tichkule (Akshay), who dreams of making it big. But the biggest obstacle in his path to success is his own nature. He can... neither give nor take bribes! With the rampant corruption in the state machinery, it seems impossible for someone like Sachin to move up in life.
If that was not enough, life throws up another obstacle in Sachin's path when his ex girlfriend, Gehna Ganpule (Trisha) takes over as the new municipal commissioner and there is obviously no love lost between the two.
'Khatta Meetha' traces the trials and tribulations that Sachin faces in his bid to go about his work honestly and the ingenious means that he adopts in order to survive. What unfolds is a series of comic and not so comic events, all geared around the issue of corruption and the common Indian mortal.
The first half of the movie sees Priyadarshan in great form. This is probably the most enjoyable part of the movie as well. His master touch is fully displayed in the manner in which he handles the introduction of the characters. Veteran Asrani makes one of his rare appearances in the movie and is a treat to watch.
But after a while, the proceedings get a little monotonous and the director is unable to maintain the momentum. Of course, Priyadarshan's knack for comedy is evident throughout the film, but it somehow never comes across as sharply as expected.
Where the cast is concerned, Akshay plays his role of Sachin Tichkule, the great Indian common man, with a lot of energy. He seems to have really got into the skin of the character and his dead pan, poker faced comic style works well for his character. But Akshay is handicapped by the lack of a strong script and becomes a little repetitive after a while.
Veteran comic actors like Asrani, Johnny Lever and Rajpal Yadav are superb. In fact, Yadav, who is a constant in Priyadarshan's movies, is in full form and literally lights up the screen with his appearance. Another actor to watch out for is Kulbhushan Kharbanda who puts in a terrific performance as Sachin's father. Together, these guys are a riot.
It is the female actors who are quite disappointing, beginning with Trisha as the commissioner and Urvashi Sharma as the sister. While South star Trisha who marks her Hindi with 'Khatta...' fails to impress despite having a strong role, Urvashi really does not have much scope to perform.
The rest of the cast which consists of Manoj Joshi, Makrand Despande and Tinnu Anand, are not exploited to the hilt by the director and hence seem wasted.
The cinematography by V Manikandan is good and the film's music by Pritam has a couple of catchy numbers which should go down well with audiences. Where the writing is concerned, the comic one liners and puns are all there in place, but the film turns out to be more a series of comic incidents instead of being an organic whole. And that is what stops the film from being a full blown 'khatta meetha' experience.