Khatta Meetha poster

Khatta Meetha

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Khatta Meeta is an attempt to portray political satire on the current situation of corruption and dirty politics in the country. The comedy is tasteless, and has no direction and the story serves no purpose.

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Director: Priyadarshan
Running time: 152 minutes
Genres: Slapstick
More Movie Info

Khatta Meetha - Preview

A few days ago, Rajeev Masand, a well-known movie critic tweeted -

Need innovative ideas 2 promote films in competitive times. But Akshay Kumar grinning like a jackass at RKLaxman's hospital bed is a new low

This was in reaction to Akshay Kumar's hospital visit to Padmavibhushan R K Laxman after he'd suffered 3 strokes. Father of the Bollywood nation, Amitabh Bachchan, took offense at the language used by the honorable member of the critiquing fraternity. To which of course, the reprimanded critic had to respond.

What a fun day it was in the twitverse!? Turns out there actually is a fraternity of the critics who stood by Masand in these times of having to face the film fraternities wrath. Everyone and anyone connected to the episode ended up being called a Jackass. So much for propriety. And we have Ranvir Shorey making a very valid query -

Hey I have a sincere question: Why aren't 'film' critics considered part of the 'film' fraternity?

Look at the dark humor in it, right? In the twitter-world, the film now has much more publicity than it would have had otherwise. The most fundamental result of any controversy. And get this... Mr. Laxman hasn't a clue and couldn't be bothered either.

He’s never been much of a Bollywood man and was always selective about the cinema he patronized."He can only follow colloquial Hindi,” explained Kamala,"that’s the language his common man spoke in the teleserial Wagle Ki Duniya.”

`

Oh, and when you read further down, look at what Priyadarshan-Akshay Kumar are promising...

The film’s a cerebral comedy about corruption in the system, especially in the construction of roads, everybody can see what condition our roads are in... during the rains, the potholes are unbelievable

In a way, it is only a good thing that the brilliant cartoonist doesn't recognize Akshay and in all likelihood might not watch the film. Just look at what our supposed-common man is upto -

Or should we thank the makers for visualizing every common man's fantasy of wearing sleeveless Rajasthani outfits? Or is he just aspiring to be the"star", Akshay Kumar?

I guess I should apologize for my overly sarcastic tone. I cannot but help, being disgusted and in-a-way insulted at the thought of a loud and over-the-top Akshay Kumar even attempting to capture the nuances of a man on the street, especially the one created by R K Laxman.

deep breathe in

long breathe out

SO...

For what it's worth though, the music is peppy and sounds like it has repeat value. In fact, milliblog loved the Marathi track, the editors at bollyspice are thoroughly impressed with 'aila aila' musicaloud recommends it too. Apun ka choice vouches for the fun element in the album. The only negative review is from IANS.

Oh yeah, and by the way. With the film making a political and societal statement, is Priyadarshan actually making a film with a purpose? Well, let's hope the unimaginable can happen on July 23rd.

This article is by guest author Swetha Ramakrishnan. Swetha Ramakrishnan is currently living and working in Mumbai. She's a self-confessed film enthusiast and can most likely be found talking to anyone and everyone about popular cinema and her love for SRK. Swetha Ramakrishnan also blogs at http://swetharamakrishnan.blogspot.com/.

One would expect the Priyadarshan and Akshay kumar combination to be able to come up with something potentially entertaining. For my sake, while standing in the line for tickets I was praying Khatta Meetha would be the funniest movie of the year. It wasn’t. I’ll tell you what surprised me, though. Not the fact that people were rolling over and laughing on stale jokes, not even that the first day, first show was almost housefull. It was mostly because the audience cheered loudly, whistles et al, at intervals of 5 minutes for everything Akshay Kumar said.

All there is to Khatta Meetha are a bunch of hyperactive characters, trying to pull off a “political satire” with slapstick comedy and no storyline. It is a remake of Priyadarshan’s original Malayalam film Vellanakalude Nadu, which was highly successful in 1989. Adapted to a Marathi setting the movie is about a notorious road contractor Sachin Tichkule (Akshay Kumar) and his journey through corruption and red-tapism.

He struggles with his job, regularly cons people off their money, but it’s Akshay Kumar. He is the ever so earnest protagonist who is only notorious because he needs to make the audience laugh. His comic timing is just about decent but the jokes are too stale. Priyan’s stock characters, Rajpal Yadav and Asrani, are no better. Even his antagonists, Akshay’s brothers and brothers-in-law, have negligible screen presence, and all their interactions take melodramatic, loud acting to a new level.

Trisha Krishnan seems like a dummy in the hands of the script, or lack thereof. It seems like she was placed in the shoot and asked to recite her lines, because she constantly shifts between being the girl next door-wannabe abhla nari, and a curt municipal official. She carries off neither roles, nor certainly a role that commands for her to be taken seriously.

The most frustrating part of the movie is how earnestly it tries to comment on contemporary corruption issues. Priyadarshan tries to pull it off by shifting in a jarring manner between loud comedy and even louder intense scenes. None of which seem to fit in the larger context of the film. Sure, the movie brings out the truth about road construction and dirty politics, but what’s new about it? Rajneeti would have been a quieter option.

Maybe we can give him some credit for trying, but I’m guessing that got washed away the minute we heard about the comparison between Sachin Tichkule and R.K.Laxman. For God’s sake, they are not the voice of common men in the same way. Sachin Tichkule is Akshay Kumar with a good comic timing but no sense of a good script, loud dialogues, a few provocative songs and a blind audience following.

The movie attempts to say a lot in the 2 and half hours it runs, but with repeated action. It’s a cycle of noisy dialogues, slapstick jokes, cut to serious scenes with forced intensity and back to comic relief. The chemistry between Akshay Kumar and Trisha Krishnan is cold, with their constant bickering and his sexist attitude towards her. It seems like a bigger farce when they get together at the end of the movie, out of the blue, without any real explanation.

The only thing that seems mentionable here is that Akshay Kumar carries off the common man attire in an apt way. When you see him in a dull shirt, a cheap pen in the pocket and chappals, you believe he looks the part. When he screams in frustration that he cannot to afford to pay any more money, amidst his bureaucratic mess, you understand. But that alone is not enough to pull the movie through. It seems dated because it might have been blindly adapted from 1989 to 2010. The setting seems old; the women characters behave like they live in the 40s and the social issues have been overdone. Remember Hera Pheri? Surely Priyadarshan and Akshay Kumar are capable of much better.

This article is by guest author Swetha Ramakrishnan. Swetha Ramakrishnan is currently living and working in Mumbai. She's a self-confessed film enthusiast and can most likely be found talking to anyone and everyone about popular cinema and her love for SRK. Swetha Ramakrishnan also blogs at http://swetharamakrishnan.blogspot.com/.

37 reviewers(?) - 4 yays 2 so-so 31 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Interestingly the initial half an hour of the movie is pretty good which introduces every character in a fine way and you start liking the new background of government contractors and builders. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Akhlaq, BollyPlus : ...Direction is top-notch; Priyadarshan is in full form after quite a while. The crude and in-your-face treatment works big time.... full review

Thumbs up, by Somak Basu, Gomolo.in : ...Khatta Meetha is a brave and honest attempt on the politics behind road construction and pool projects in our country... full review

Thumbs up, by K N Gupta, SmasHits.com : ...the movie fails in basing it on a worthwhile story... full review

So-So, Filmi Tadka : ...South actor Trisha Krishnan is a big let down and the only contribution she makes to her character is to wear some glamorous clothes in some scenes.... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The film is too long and has too much of high-pitched drama, leaving room for too little of the laughter circus... full review

Thumbs down, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...The dialogues are good but that cannot help a failing screenplay.... full review

Thumbs down, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...the story keeps veering from one plot-hole to another without ever getting anywhere... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...It’s easier to dismiss a movie that doesn’t work if it just wants to be a no-brainer comedy. It isn’t as easy to look away when it actually wants to be about something... full review

Thumbs down, by Prarthna Tiwari, Bolly Spice : ...once brought deep into the serious issues you're dragged out for mindless comedy portion which don't grab your attention and simply frustrate you as you know more important matter are yet to be solved... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...it's the writing -- sorry, the absence of it -- that makes matters worse. The beginning is good, the middle falters and the end is exasperating... full review

Thumbs down, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...screenplay is very monotonous... full review

Thumbs down, by Bollyfan, Cinemaa Online : ...While he goes on a Lovesick-Gandhian-Corrupt-Vitriolic-Lovesick trajectory chronologically, she goes on a Lovesick-Pragmatic-Paragon of righteousness-Suicidal-Lovesick one... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Galhot, cinemaah : ...script fans out into dozens of directions and just never reaches anywhere... full review

Thumbs down, desi hits : ...Akshay Kumar is and always will be a good actor... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...Johnny Lever, who grates on the nerves just like the road-roller he's been summoned to repair... full review

Thumbs down, filmi cafe : ...Trisha (in a dubbed voice) makes an average debut but the blame goes to makers for casting her in a role of a Muncipal Commissioner. She appears too young for it.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Garimella, fullhyd.com : ...Among the film's strengths is an unmistakable middle-class air, that keeps the characters and situations identifiable, especially the whole oppressive bureaucracy bi... full review

Thumbs down, by Pankaj Sabnani, Glamsham.com : ...It has the right intent but offers nothing which we haven't seen... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...he should be able to re-structure footage, re-edit his past Hindi films as well, and release them over again with different titles. They all feel the same... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...a seriously schizophrenic film... full review

Thumbs down, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...a former Gandhian (albeit in V-necked T-shirts saying Rebel in a flashback that shows him in college), and now a corrupt road contractor... full review

Thumbs down, by Mihir Fadnavis, india.com : ...Akshay is a comedian with talent who rarely uses it for anything worthwhile, and in 'Khatta Meetha' he makes a halfhearted, paycheck-collecting effort that's actually in perfect keeping with the rest of the movie's tired, recycled tone... full review

Thumbs down, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Suddenly when the director realizes that too much time has been exhausted in conveying too little, the screenplay is conveniently rushed. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Komal Nahta, koimoi : ...while the upright father is shown to be constantly making snide remarks about Sachin, he never resents what his elder son and the two sons-in-law do!... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...Plot twists such as this and others, meant just to propel the story further and without any logic, add to the length of the film—more than 3 hours... full review

Thumbs down, by Sarita Tanwar, MiD DAY : ...Akshay Kumar is the film's only saving grace -- it's his impeccable comic timing and screen presence that holds it together... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...The first half of the movie sees Priyadarshan in great form. ... full review

Thumbs down, by IANS, NDTV : ...Here the clutter and the clamour just make you feel the director needed to respect his own tone of sobriety in this longish tickling treatise on malpractices in the middle class.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Asrani, Rajpal Yadav scream - screech their lungs out.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ajit Duara, Open Magazine : ...Akshay Kumar is a difficult actor to watch at the best of times.... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Passion for Cinema : ...could well be considered by the Guinness Book of Records for the LOUDEST movie ever ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...There are times when Tichkule's rant feels timely and relatable.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anil Merani, StarBoxOffice : ...There are a couple of funny scenes.... full review

Thumbs down, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ... Trisha Krishnan, the southern actress who makes her bollywood debut with this Priyadarshan’s flick, carries the role of a sari clad woman with élan. But as an administrative officer of the government, she seems to be too lenient.... full review

Thumbs down, by Pratim D. Gupta , The Telegraph : ...in the middle of those plots, there is a half-an-hour episode of Akshay winning a road roller in a court case and how it’s in such bad shape that he cannot even move it off the municipality premises.... full review

Thumbs down, by TheThirdMan, Upper Stall : ... Akhsay Kumar overplays, contorts his face and has you gobsmacked as he plays a college student ... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Elisa S. Chappell

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Forced
  • Language: Little crude
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One scene with bare back
  • Concept: Vague
  • General Look and Feel: Slapstick

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Direction:
Story:
Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Dialogues:
Screenplay:
Music Director:
Lyrics:

Khatta Meetha - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Director:
Cinematography:
Music Director:
Running time:
152 minutes
Language:
Country:
Genres:

Comments (6)

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Perfect review... I am slowly losing faith in Akki as this is his 3 flop in a row :(

The movie is not so bad but it's a one time watch movie.

Common man attire? What about the Ray-ban glasses stuck to his face?

Quite an accurate review otherwise. :)

@Lost in confusion
You have it bang on, because that is exactly what Akshay might be thinking. I don't think he does movies now to prove anything. It's more about the money and the banner.

@Joydeep
Maybe for people who are Akshay Kumar fans, it could be a one time watch.

@Bollyfan
Yes, the RayBan glasses do pose a few question, but he does have common man sandals, and a reynolds pen, which the last time I checked was Rs. 6. So it does follow certain common man rules atleast!

@Ailumramu
Realism isn't expected from a Priyadarshan movie. We were expecting comedy, but even that seemed to be lacking because it was too slapstick. Although I agree the movie does have it's own followers, because the movie was packed first day, first show. And the audience was cheering and dancing along with Akshay Kumar!!

ailumramu : Rajpal Yadav's act was tasteless. Peeping Toms are creepy...not funny.

Swetha : "Realism isn't expected from a Priyadarshan movie" is too sweeping a statement and way off the mark. The guy has made Thalavottam, Kireedam (remade into Gardish), Saza-e-Kalapani and the recent Kancheevaram for god's sake. Even Vellanakalude Nadu, The source for Khatta Meetha, is supposed to be a very realistic film.

Moreover, slapstick isn't "not comedy". In fact, slapstick is one of the most difficult forms of comedy to pull off. Watch some old Blake Edwards films (The Great Race is a must-watch) or those featuring Lucille Ball. Closer home, Priyan's own Hera Pheri & Rajkumar Santoshi's Andaz Apna Apna are great examples of classic slapstick. Khatta Meetha was a confused film. It was lost between slapstick, a tragi-comic drama, a romance & satire. It ended up being none.

Bollyfan: You get me wrong. For a hindi cinema audience, who have not watched Kanchivaram, Thalavottam and etc, Priyadarshan is equated with comedy films. And I am talking of a mass opinion, which does not expect realistic portrayals. His comedies have been entertaining, but in Bollywood even his attempt at a political satire was far from realistic.
And my point was, Slapstick in Khatta Meetha was stale and not funny at all. Barring the fact that it is a genuinely enjoyable form. Plus, the original had an entirely different reception and agenda altogether.

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