Khatter and Ananya both have tried to pick up the ‘tapori’ lingo and even though it doesn’t sound the most natural, the dialogue delivery is clean and fairly good if not brilliant. In fact, sometimes the scenes feel rehearsed.
One thing that glues the film together is the chemistry and rapport shared by the leads. The scenes showing the childhood love story of Blackie and Pooja do not fail to bring an innocent smile on your face no matter how many times you may have seen something similar.
The tangent of comedy in the film seems far too stretched sometimes and seems like the plot is trying too hard to make you laugh. Though, some dialogues seem witty.
Khaali Peeli is a commercial Bollywood film which takes you into the world of the 80’s. For those who want to rejoice or dwell into that kind of a fashion, dive right in. The background score of the film is not entirely endearing but a track like ‘Shana Dil’ makes up for it. It has a very fresh vibe and appears in the film at a time when it makes you smile and giggle. ‘Love mei toh lafda hai, khaali peeli khatra hai, phir bhi yeh daring kare hai Shana Dil’. Khaali Peeli literally means without any aim or just like that. This feeling resonates throughout the course of the film. Directed by Maqbool Khan, this film is set in Bumbai and gives a very 80s Bollywood vibe with fresh offbeat songs.
Blackie (Khatter) is a taxi driver who lands himself in trouble often. He was brought up in shady scenarios learning everything except what a child is supposed to! Pooja (Pandey) on the other hand is a mischievous and ‘mufat’(straightforward) girl on the go who is jaunty at the same time. Yusuf bhai (Ahlawat) is the clutching, quintessential villain whose entry is marked by the sinister background score. The casting is impeccable with actors like Kaushik, Soni, Kirkire and Hussain, but they have a very limited screen presence and time. And while most of these fine actors deliver per their full potential, the characters are sketched out poorly.
Ishaan gets to broaden his horizon in his second film by being a typical hindi film hero with messy hair, formidable biceps and dance moves. Ananya on the other end of the spectrum gets to break free from her stereotypical choice of roles in previous films like SOTY2, which only gave her a chance to represent first world issues unlike Khaali Peeli in which she is playing a girl being brought up in a chawl.
The action that is supposed to bring the masala in the film is not entirely gripping and would not make you jump out of your seats per se but it somehow serves the narrative of the film because of how ‘Khaali Peeli’ its entire approach is. The first half of the film has the right pace even though the film starts with a very prototypic intro sequence.The first half does divulge the act till the intermission, however as soon as the second half begins, the plot becomes highly predictable till the very end. The film has a classic ‘Chor-Police-Daaku/Villain’ theme with a hint of romance and comedy.
There are some scenes that might make you slightly melt like the mela scene where Blackie and Pooja discover that they are childhood gully sweethearts. The chemistry feels natural. This is perhaps the aspect of the films from the 80’s that continue to make us giddy. Having its own share of controversies like CBFC cuts for ‘vulgar dialogues’ and ‘sensuous scenes’ or change in the title of the song ‘Beyonce Sharma Jayegi’, this film sails through as a one-time no brainer watch for a ‘Khaali Peeli’ sort of weekend in the pandemic.
The film is dated in its approach and there is nothing fresh as such to look forward to. The plot is something we’ve all seen before and is quite predictable. Is it pathbreaking? No, but by now one knows what to expect from a Bollywood masala film. However, it makes for a one-time watch with good company.
Now available on ZEE5/ZEEPLEX.