This typical masala entertainer is a no-brainer, but it doesn’t fail to tickle your funny bone. Apna desi action hero – Khiladi aka Akshay Kumar returns to relive his avatar after 12 years (his last Khiladi film being Khiladi 420).
Khiladi 786 opens with Akshay battling with goons, of course successfully, which calls for a celebration in the form of the title track – Khiladi bhaiya, similar to how Chulbul Pandey aka Salman Khan did in Dabangg. Before the song starts, Akshay intentionally looks into the camera and tells his audience – Khiladi is back! Thankfully, he didn’t say ‘and how!’
As you enter the theatre to watch Akki’s larger-than-life Khiladi act, a set of preconceived notions instantly run through your mind. After all, with the constant hammering of Himesh Reshammiya’s compositions and dialogue promos, what else can one expect? Considering the movies that Akshay has been associated with in the recent past, it’s now given that his future projects will mostly turn out to be showy, surreal and unbelievably unrealistic. But then you still anticipate a generous dose of drama and oodles of entertainment from the debonair actor. We guess that’s the Khiladi actor’s magic!
The story goes like this: Born to an owner of a marriage bureau Champak Lal (Manoj Joshi), Mansukh bhai (Himesh Reshammiya) has been a complete failure ever since he has grown up and tried to help his father in their family business. All the alliances Mansukh tries to get done have resulted in separation even before marriage. To prove his worth, Mansukh takes up the unusual challenge of getting an underworld don Tatya Tukaram Tendukar aka TTT bhai’s (Mithun Chakraborty) spoilt brat sister Indu (Asin Thottumkal) married to a cop called Bahattar Singh – 72 (Akshay Kumar) in Punjab. To add to his problems, Mansukh convinces TTT to pretend that he is a cop, but little does he know that Bahattar Singh, his father Sattar Singh – 70 (Raj Babbar) and his uncle – 71 Ikhattar Singh (Mukesh Rishi) are not cops, but a family of con-men.
You wonder what about Teehattar – the Hindi equivalent of 73? The mystery unfolds in the climax. The story takes shape as the two families from two different states pretend to be policemen, and the beans from each side ready to be spilled anytime, which can be life threatening for Mansukh.
What makes Khiladi 786 a one-time watch is the pace at which events unfold, leaving less time for the audiences to tally the flaws. Add to this, some much-needed tadka of larger-than-life action sequences coupled with inherently nonsense humour and funny one-liners, and the movie holds your attention, even if it does so in parts.
Debutant director Ashish R Mohan who seems to be hugely inspired by his mentor Rohit Shetty shows promise, as people and cars fly quite convincingly in this film. He shows off his comedy streak to some extent but for a film titled Khiladi, it lacks hard-core raw action, what people usually expect from Akshay Kumar films. Himesh’s music works big time for a relatively weak plot.
Akshay Kumar as Bahattar Singh suits the part, but he doesn’t bring out anything new. It’s the same Akki, boisterous, loud and hammy that he has been in his last few misfired comedies. Asin is good. But believe us, the surprise package is none other than Himesh Reshammiya himself, who has showed tremendous growth as an actor, and managed to bring in the maximum laughs through his caricaturish Mansukh bhai act, as he keep on saying – “Mere papa kehte hain ki shaadi-byaah ke maamle mein, aatein mein namak jitna jhoot chalta hai!” Mithun as TTT impresses with his straight-faced witty one-liners like “Dokyachi aai behen karu nako or Mulgi shikli, pragati zaali“.
The track of Asin’s jailed lover (Rahul Singh) has no relevance to the plot, while Raj Babbar and Sanjay Mishra are in their elements. The veteran Johnny Lever is wasted. You’ll be stunned once the secrecy of number 73 is revealed.
Overall, the film caters to the masala loving audience. Akshay himself admitted recently that Khiladi 786 is a masala film. Watch it for the comical sketches of its characters, Rohit Shetty style of stunts, Himesh’s groovy music, and most importantly for its genuine intention to entertain!