2h 34m, U/A Certified.
What Is the Film About?
A huge sum of two thousand crores is sent to India from Italy. It is to be used politically to make the current Home Minister the state’s Chief Minister. How Gandhi (Ravi Teja), a regular family man with a kid, gets involved in this extraordinary situation. Why is the CBI after him? What happens to him and his family, in the end, is the movie’s over plot.
Ravi Teja is an entertainer, and there is always an undercurrent entertainment segment for him where he acts in his typical style. It is no different here, and we see that for a significant portion. Leaving it, the star is given a slight variation where he showcases a new side. Be it the ‘dancing side’ in Disco Raja or the angrier persona in Krack, so on are some of the examples. In Khiladi, Ravi Teja gets to play an additional over the top person.
Now imagine a situation where Ravi Teja is already energetic and over the top in his typical style. And he has to further up the ante to show the difference. The final result is far from satisfactory as we can see there is too much overaction. The director gets the blame here for not etching the role appropriately, but ultimately, the hero is doing it, and he too shares it. Khiladi is, therefore, a forgettable part for the star.
Ramesh Varma is the man behind Khiladi. He made his debut with the movie Oka Oorilo way back in 2005. Khiladi is his second film with Ravi Teja after Veera. As one can see, there is not much to talk about the director filmography and success. When one watches Khiladi, we further know why?
Khiladi begins on an interesting note in the short jail sequence. It sets a feeling that we will see a narrative that won’t be routine, perhaps. However, we are soon jolted to commercial reality with the whole stretch of the family drama, comedy and romance for the next one hour.
It would have been fine if the comedy or romance worked, but they fall flat. The real purpose seems to be visual titillation via all these scenes. We see that amplified in the songs through the exposing.
Amidst all these routine bits, we get some suspenseful moments in between. It helps sustain the interest and give hope that something big is in the store. During the pre-interval, the hopes are raised with money back into the scheme of things for a brief period. We finally think that a thrilling ride is finally set to begin, but the hopes are dashed with the silly interval that follows.
The real problem with Khiladi starts in the second half of the movie. We get a glimpse of the issue in the first half, but they are blown out of proportion during the second hour. It is an overstuffed story and screenplay.
Director Ramesh Varma and his team have packed the script with too many characters, subplots and related twists. At times, one gets a clueless feeling from the people behind the whole thing. It is why despite a relatively fast pace, one feels exhausted.
Neither the action (lavishly shot and good in parts) nor the thriller narrative holds our attention. It is all due to the poor screenplay and over the top acting and execution.
There is hardly any respite story-wise until the end. Such is the ferocity that the songs genuinely feel like a relief in the proceedings.
Overall, Khiladi is an overstuffed, over the top entertainer that tests patience and kills interest despite a fast pace and lavish making. It is one of those films that goes wrong a little too soon and never turns the tide back. If you are a fan of the star, pretend the movie didn’t exist.
A massive star cast in the movie is fronted by two young heroines, Dimple Hayathi and Meenakshi Chaudhary. While both are utilized to the hilt on the glamorous side (a lot of overexposing), the former has a slightly better role as part of the story.
Senior hero Arjun plays a typical CBI officer part. He has done similar roles with slight changes in the past, and he goes about the proceedings clinically. Apart from him, none of the rest of the cast has properly developed roles to make an impression. And this includes the likes of many notable names such as Unni Mukundan, Rao Ramesh, Sachin Khedekar and Mukesh Rushi etc. Vennela Kishore is getting typecast and the bumbling funny guy in the office. It is the same in every other film without any difference at all.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Devi Sri Prasad is on routine lines, but the videos save the day. They are hot in a mass appealing way. The background score, too, is comparatively better. The cinematography by GK Vishnu and Sujith Vassudev is alright. Some parts give the lavish vibe and the big-budget feel, but the typical commercial bits make it look ordinary. Amar Reddy Kudumula’s editing further adds to the messy feeling
Production Values (At Places)
Action Scenes (In Parts)
Video Songs (For Masses)
Cutting down on some needless twists and the characters would make for a leaner, thinner, and slicker narrative.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Khiladi Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti
Khiladi is a typical commercial entertainer that has gone wrong all the way. It is an execution failure more than the story. Ravi Teja is usual self full of energy. But, there is only so much he can do. The only aspects that live up to pre-release expectations (for masses) are the songs. They are too hot.
— Khiladi is coming to an end. Final report shortly.
— Attasuadake song has good dance choreography. The other heroine Meenakshi Chaudhary makes it a hot number.
— The way it is heading, the Director is totally clueless at this point.
— The reason why Khiladi goes to the prison is revealed.
— Khiladi second half started. Gandhi’s real story and why CBI is chasing him is being revealed.
First Half Report:
A large part of the first half of Khiladi is dedicated to comedy and romance which is below par. Some intrigue develops around the pre-interval mark when we get to actual story involving money. But, it leads to an even silliest interval sequence.
A lot depends on the second half now to recover Khiladi.
— Arjun Bhardawaj (Actor Arjun) enters the show as a strict CBI officer. The story takes a serious turn now. Ravi Teja needs to rescue Rao Ramesh from a serious trouble.
— Ravi Teja -Dimple’s lip-lock shot is placed in the hot mass number ‘Full Kick’ song. Dimple Hayathi does plenty of skin show in this song.
— It’s flashback time for Mohan Gandhi (Raviteja). He falls in love with Murali Sharma’s daughter Chitra (Dimple Hayathi) in first sight.
— Khiladi show started. Meenakshi Chaudhary, a psychology student helping her friend with a thesis on Gandhi (Ravi Teja) who is in jail for a family crime.
Khiladi Movie Review, U.S. Premiere live updates will begin shortly. Stay tuned.
After an unexpectedly long break, Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja is back with a new outing Khiladi. He joins hands with his Veera director Ramesh Varma for the film.
Ravi Teja’s last outing Krack came a year ago for Sankranthi 2021. It turned out to be his career biggest hit despite the limitations at cinemas. He faces a similar situation now with Khiladi. It is a proper big-budget film after some gap and also comes at a time when cinemas are not entirely hundred percent allowed.
The promotions haven’t been up to the mark and the movie gives the impression of rushed release, still, Khiladi is getting decent books. It is because the movie is a big screen mass affair. If it gets a positive talk, it would instantly grow in strength at the box office.
The grand making, casting with many known faces, glamorous heroines and production values are the main calling cards for Khiladi. They are enough to draw the masses in initially.
Ramesh Varma’s last outing Rakshasudu was well received. He would be hoping to repeat the same with Khiladi. Music director Devi Sri Prasad’s name and work will also be an integral factor in bringing the audience to theatres.
As always, Mirchi9 is here to give a ‘first-on-net’ Khiladi Movie review. Watch this space for our updates.