A comeback after 10 long years. We’ve missed you, Chiru. And god, we REALLY missed your dance moves. Thanks for coming back!
Khaidi No. 150 releases 34 years after the blockbuster Khaidi. These two entirely different movies share one extra commonality other than the name. Chiranjeevi’s grace. I’ve never been his “fan”, but I like the Megastar and the phenomenon that he is. Although I don’t go gaga over his movies, I can understand why his “fans” do. I walked into the theater without any expectations, without having watched the mother-copy Kaththi, and I am happy to report that I liked the film despite its flaws. What with all the hype and expectations around his 150th film, I cannot say this is one hell of a film deserving all the hype and expectations but, it’s worth a watch. Why? Read on.
The film has nothing you haven’t seen before. It follows a predictable path. Good versus bad, poor versus rich, one man trying to make a difference…you get it? The first half of the film slacks; I was waiting for it to pick up speed, to get to the point, to start talking about the issue that is heart and soul of the film. It gets there but not before meandering all along the way. I really liked the second and the third blocks of the film, which is where the film is the most substantial.
The film throws light on the lives and deaths of farmers and everything in between. Some solid dialogues as a medium, Khaidi No. 150 talks about a very important yet casually neglected section of our society. More than half of our nation belongs to this section alone and every single one of us depends on their sweat for our bread, our very survival. And we play silent witness to their gradually, surely declining lives ending in suicides. And after we do that, we get back to leading our own sad, depressing and ignorant lives.
On at least three occasions, I could hold no more and let my tears fall. You know, I have a love-hate relationship with films that deal with sensitive, crucial and above all, basic topics like this. Since when did we lose our natural empathy for others? Why is it taking the hard work of a few hundred men and women, all day all night, to make us sensitive, or in cases, even aware, of such basic things we need to care about? On the other hand, pat comes the reply to all these questions, from within my own mind – “isn’t that what cinema is about?”
I’m digressing here, or probably not. Anyway, allow me to break from my philosophical reverie.
Khaidi No. 150 may not be the best of films. I just may not watch it again, ever. Despite my considerable efforts not to compare this with Megastar’s previous blockbusters, I will also say that this film didn’t leave on me the kind of impact, for instance, Indra or Tagore did. But for the while it lasted, it was a good time overall. I don’t regret watching it. And hereafter, I know in my heart that whenever I have a meal, I will be grateful for every farmer that ever helped me stay alive, helped the nation stay alive.
I am going with 3.5 out of 5 for this one!