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Masand: 'Khatta Meetha' is a schizophrenic film

Rajeev Masand | http://RajeevMasand

Updated: July 23, 2010, 10:34 PM IST
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Masand: 'Khatta Meetha' is a schizophrenic film
Disguised as a comedy, Khatta Meetha is in fact a drama about the deep-rooted corruption in our system.

Cast: Akshay Kumar,Trisha Krishnan, Makrand Deshpande

Director: Priyadarshan

Whatever else you do, don't forget to carry cotton for your ears when you're heading off to watch Khatta Meetha, director Priyadarshan's loud and outrageously insensitive new film.

Set in a small town in rural Maharashtra, the film stars Akshay Kumar as Sachin Tichkule, a desperate road-construction contractor who's buried under heavy debt, and too broke to even pay for his workers' meals.

For some reason the film's director thinks Tichkule's hapless condition can be a license for him to scream and shout out his dialogues at the top of his lungs, sparing no thought whatsoever for your eardrums.

Disguised as a comedy, Khatta Meetha is in fact a drama about the deep-rooted corruption in our system. Tichkule clashes with the town's new municipal commissioner (played by Tamil actress Trisha Krishnan), who refuses to turn a blind eye to the dishonest practices of contractors with regards constructions. Tichkule delivers an impassioned monologue about the number of palms that need to be greased within the municipal office itself for the smallest job, and that alone is the film's most resonant scene.

But Khatta Meetha, a remake of Priyadarshan's own Malayalam film, Vellanakalude Naadu, is a seriously schizophrenic film. Supposedly serious scenes like the murder of the family driver, and the rape and death of the protagonist's youngest sister, are followed by comic sequences involving characters directly related to the victims. The film is packed with embarrassing profanities that are meant to make you laugh; and a scene in which a sleazy construction worker peeps into a woman's bathroom to watch her change is also treated humorously.

To give credit where it's due, Akshay Kumar is the film's only bright spot. He throws himself sincerely into the movie's slapstick gags and makes even the most predictable pratfalls amusing.

I'm going with a generous one out of five for Priyadarshan's Khatta Meetha; this is cinema at its most tasteless.

The movie ends with a music video in which Akshay Kumar dances to a song titled I'm allergic to bullshit. If indeed those words were true, we wouldn't have to watch this film!

Rating: 1 / 5

Feedback review winners

Piyush Bhageria, Kolhapur
K.S.Sundaram, Bangalore
Nithin, Hyderabad
Dhruve Gandhi, Jamnagar

First Published: July 23, 2010, 10:34 PM IST
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