Rating: 6/10 (Boss is Back)
After a gap of 10 years, Megastar Chiranjeevi, the man who ruled Telugu cinema for two decades is finally back. His 150th full fledged film Khaidi no 150 has hit the screens today. How is this Telugu remake of Kaththi? Find out in my review.
Story: Kathi Seenu (Chiranjeevi) is Prisoner (Khaidi) no 150 at a jail in Kolkata. When the cops need help tracking down an inmate, he helps them but subsequently escapes. He reunites with his pal Malli (Ali) and they plan to go to Bangkok. At the airport he falls in love with "Subba" Lakshmi (Kajal) and stays back. That night some men try to kill a man and Seenu sees them and decides to save the man. He is shocked to find out the man looks exactly like him. He takes refuge in an old age home posing as that man.
A multinational company wants to take down the village that these old people belong to and just as Seenu is about to cheat them and run away with loads of money, he finds out that the man who's place he's taken is K Shankar (Chiranjeevi) a hydrologist from Neeruru village in Seema. After learning about the fight for their cause, Seenu has a change of heart and decides to fight for the farmers cause and how he defeats Agrawal (Tarun Arora) and helps the farmers case forms the rest of the story.
Performances: The goosebumps and euphoria of seeing Megastar back on the silver screen after 10 years is inexplicable. I'm not a Chiranjeevi fan but he certainly has a certain aura about him that makes any anti fan and neutral fan like him. Right from the word go, it is Megastar's show all the way. It's like he never even left Tollywood and just picked up from where he left off 10 years ago. Chiru the complete actor is on full display here. Be it fights, songs, comedy timing, dialogues, emotions, the Megastar still has it. It is truly a treat to watch him back on the screen after so long and truly proves that he is the undisputed king and legend of this generation of Telugu cinema. At age 61, he is extremely handsome and stylish. The only negative is that he looks a bit fat in some scenes and the dance moves are disappointing. But his ever reliable grace in his dances is still intact. The Boss is truly back with a bang.
Kajal is hardly there for more than 10 minutes in the movie and is just there for the songs. But she gorgeous and true eye candy in this movie.
Ali provides laughs as Malli. Bhramanandham and Raghu Babu provides some decent laughs in the first laugh. Posani and Adhurs Raghu also do their bit to get some laughs.
Tarun Arora as the villain is disappointing. Despite looking stylish, there's no room for any comparison to Neil Nitin Mukesh in the original and a better villain could have done wonders to the hero villain tussle.
Ram Charan brings the house down on fire with his special appearance in Kummudu song. VV Vinayak has a blink and miss appearance as well.
Technicalities: Music and background by DSP is disappointing to say the least. Besides the music from the trailer, he doesn't even come to close to Anirudh and how his BGM elevated Kaththi to the next level. Songs are huge speed breakers to the narrative and are not picturized well. Dance moves for Chiru aren't anything great and most of the steps are routine. We as an audience expect better steps from the Megastar. Cinematography by Ratnavelu is excellent. Dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra and Vema Reddy are good for the most part. The dialogues Chiru utters in the post coin fight scene at the court about himself will receive maximum claps and whistles from fans. Art by Thota Tharani is excellent as usual. Editing by Gowtham Raju is fine. Fights by Kanal Kannan and Ram Lakshman are very good and are in typical Chiru style. But if you've seen Kaththi, then there's no comparison between the fights and the background music that went along with them. Production Values by Ram Charan on Konidela Productions banner are grand and extravagant. Charan hasn't spared a single rupee and made sure that his dad has a stunning comeback and re-entry of sorts.
Analysis: I have seen Kaththi because I am a Vijay fan. So the comparisons are inevitable for movie goers. Kaththi is arguably the best Tamil film I have ever seen. Everything about the film was perfect and message and taking was incredible.
When I heard Chiru's comeback film was a remake of that movie, I like many other Telugu cinema followers were skeptical if the film would suit Chiru's image in this day and age and whether it would be good.
If you've seen Kaththi, then Khaidi no 150 is nothing but a mere scene to scene copy of the original with just more comedy scenes. But it's Megastar who carries the film the whole way.
VV Vinayak does a great job in sticking to the original and doing justice to it. He has added some more masala to film and gave it a commercial feel with all the elements rather than the script based and message oriented Kaththi. Vinayak has showed Chiranjeevi the way his fans would want to see him after such a long gap and succeeds mightily.
The movie takes off in a stunning way introducing Megastar and Ratthalu Ratthalu comes in right away. After that the movie moves into comedy mode at the old age home. The movie really only comes into it's own during the village flashback and carries itself till the pre interval. While some scenes are not as convincing as Kaththi such as the pipe media interview and the village flashback, the film for the most part works and that is due to Megastar's unmatchable charisma and screen presence. From start to finish, he carries the movie on his shoulders and makes a thunderous comeback.
On a whole, Khaidi No 150 is indeed a great comeback for Chiranjeevi. The film effectively runs on Megastar's craze and excellent performance of both roles and still proves that he still has the power to pull the audience to the theaters.
If you've seen Kaththi, then keep your expectations in check as you might be a little disappointed. If not then, then you're surely bound to be entertained to an extent.
If you're a Chiru fan, then this film will be a delicious Biryani for you, and if you're not a mega fan or Chiru fan, Khaidi no 150 is still worth a watch just for Megastar after a long gap. Like Chiru said, after a gap, Boss is Back! I'm going with 7/10. Happy Sankranthi folks!