Khatta Meetha - Movie review

Published: Jul 24, 2010, 06:33 IST | Sarita Tanwar

Khatta Meetha is a remake of the Malayalam hit Vellanakalude Nadu, made by the same director

Khatta Meetha
U/A; Comedy
Dir: Priyadarshan
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Trisha, Rajpal Yadav, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aruna Irani and Neeraj Vora
Rating: **

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Khatta Meetha is a remake of the Malayalam hit Vellanakalude Nadu, made by the same director. The original was made in the late '80s. Twenty years later, the subject and the narrative seem to have lost steam. Priyan should have spruced up the script, which sadly reminds one of the typical South potboilers of a bygone era. Khatta Meetha revolves around a young road contractor Sachin Tichkule (Akshay Kumar) who's struggling to make ends meet. His family considers him the black sheep though the man has a heart of gold. Sachin resorts to all means to get some contracts -- even if that means locking horns with his college ex-girlfriend who's now become the Municipal Commissioner (Trisha). Finally, it is one tragic incident that brings him back to his senses and that's when Sachin decides to stand by the truth, standing against his own family.

WHAT'S HOT: Khatta Meetha offers a satirical view at present-day bureaucracy and the problems faced by the common man. The intent is sincere even though the film doesn't have much of a story, so the screenplay keeps the film going. The director tries to bring in pathos  in the scenes between Akshay and Trisha. The segment of Akshay's relationship with his sister (Urvashi Sharma) has its moments. The film's high point is the fight sequence in the climax -- it's brilliantly captured on camera. It makes you wonder why the actor isn't doing more action films. In fact, Akshay Kumar is the film's only saving grace -- it's his impeccable comic timing and screen presence that holds it together. Playing a common man isn't easy as there is no glamour and heroics to play to the gallery, but Akshay lives up to the challenge. South star Trisha makes a good impact -- she has a certain charm. Urvashi, despite an ill-scripted role, manages to hold her own.

WHAT'S NOT: Priyadarshan fails miserably when it comes to his script, which is outdated and archaic. The story doesn't move forward at all in the first half. The director's over-dependency on comedy scenes has cost him dearly because most of them don't raise any laughter. The road-roller sequence with Johny Lever had potential but it's never-ending to the point that it loses the impact. An unnecessary scene with Asrani talking on the phone seems to have been added at the last minute -- it's a track that has no relevance to the story. And we thought they did away with such 'add-ons' decades ago. Characters are added and then conveniently done away with (Tinnu Anand) without any reasoning. The film explores a variety of genres but they are all half-baked so they serve no purpose at all.

WHAT TO DO: It should be seen only for Akshay's spirited performance in a film that's neither khatta nor meetha.

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