Kirkit is for real - straight out of the pages of your class V Social Science textbook, in which you had that chapter called 'Unity in Diversity'. In case you were bunking class (in body or in spirit), or in case you have forgotten what you had learnt, Shashi Preetam is here to jog your memory, in a wholly unfortunate effort.
So there are these 5 spoilt rich brats from Mumbai - cosmopolitan, fed on dietary supplements and well worked-out, ubercool generally. And then there is a groups of boys from Hyderabad, who are the daroo-in chai
drinking, small time kirkiri
doing and potti patao
ing types. These two bunches collide head on first en route
to Goa, and then again when they land up in the same hotel and there's only one room available, and then again when they are both interested in the same girl in a nightclub.
Their squabblings and penchant for gully cricket actually (yes, yes!) manifest into a national level cricket match on which millions rest, as the hotel's managers (Gulshan Grover and Sanjay Kapoor) cleverly whip up their rivalry, labelling them Mumbai Vadapavs and Hyderabadi Biryanis, and marketing the contest into a huge money-spinning event. Not just thaaat
. The teams also get embroiled in a political conspiracy hatched by the owner of the hotel (Jackie Shroff) to divide the nation using the dangerous medium of cricket.
Kirkit is like one of those "special" biryanis they make you pay extra for: the ones with half a boiled egg on top and no meat inside, and that are such a torture to eat - you keep wondering if you've finished your way through the plate, but no, it's just another false alarm. Kirkit, too, is full of false alarms and fake endings. And the comedy is the most oppressive thing about the movie, with all the double entendre
one-liners and toilet humour needing special skills to survive it. And its music can safely be called THE comedy track of Kirkit. The lyrics in particular sound like someone is having way too much fun changing stations on the radio.
This batty film incidentally marks Sayali Bhagat's performance of a lifetime. She plays Aporno, the head of Blue TV, and she's the Evil Woman aka Bad Lady aka Danger Aunty in the film. She goes all the way - scary lenses, scarier mascara, and the scariest acting (and we don't mean that positively). Her eyebrows could give a Kathakali dancer tough competition.
Runner-up on the ghastliness scale is Johnny Lever, sexy drag queen, trying to look like Zinta in Chanel. He is followed by Johnny Lever as a tantrik with black face paint holding a skull, and then, by Johnny Lever as a politician who likes mud. The undue Johnny leverage continues for at least half an hour post interval, for some strange reason. You have no choice but to clench and bear it.
The saving graces of Kirkit are actors Tanikella Bharani, Kota Srinivasa Rao and Jackie Shroff. The former two, in their roles as auto drivers who are actually real estate mafia, are awe-inspiringly convincing. The latter, as the owner of the hotel and the evil kingpin businessman Richie Rich who seeks to divide the country and earn money from it, does a commendable job, too. An added attraction is counting the number of times Jackie's trademark muffler blows into his face while he's delivering his dialogues.
Visually Kirkit definitely does not even pass muster. But if you go to watch this film as a Hyderabadi
, with proper Hyderabadi sentiment, then your favourite visuals would definitely involve those where Preetam has taken the trouble to film real Hyderabadi bhai logaan
with their real reactions.
Still, someone scanning the screen for a 'sign of home', of familiar Hyderabad, will find nothing exceptional - except some faces that he could just as well see on the road. Kirkit is anyway not about anything truly Hyderabadi - it goes beyond to say something of social interest, that unity lies in diversity. Right message, wrong movie.
Kirkit lacks the local flavor and rowdiness of an Angrez
or a Hyderabad Blues, and it tries to be too many things and fails to be anything at all. It is most definitely not the typical 'fun' film. At the same time, it cannot reach the level of other films of its class, in terms of ideology and reach. And even though it is a very brave attempt, gift-wrapped in cricket and glam-sham, it still sounds preachy.
Maybe Kirkit is an attempt at a 'different' film. Well, give us the regular.