There are movies, and then there are movies. And then there are events. The Megastar returning to the silver screen after a 10-year hiatus is most certainly the third category. And given the mad rush in the theatres today and the collections from the premieres across the world, it is clearly an event that is unlikely to be repeated in several years.
Before the movie released, though, there was much speculation. Why did Chiranjeevi pick a remake for his comeback? Why did he have to try to romance Kajal who's already worked with his son in two films? Why did he choose Vinayak, who delivered a huge dud with Akhil
last year? Why does Chiranjeevi not act his age? The film's unit, though, seemed strangely confident and had only one answer - that this script was perfect for his comeback, and would satisfy his fans and the general audience alike. And we have to agree that the unit was right.
Khaidi No. 150 starts with Katthi Seenu (Chiranjeevi) escaping from a prison in Kolkata. He then comes to Hyderabad where he finds Shankar (Chiranjeevi), a look-alike. When Seenu finds out that Shankar is due to get a cheque worth Rs. 25 lakhs from the government, he starts acting like Shankar to get his hands on the money. Meanwhile, he finds out how Shankar is waging a lone battle against a corporate strong man Agarwal (Tarun Arora) to save the farmers of his village, and decides to take up the cudgels on his behalf. The remaining story is about how Seenu manages to win the battle of the farmers in his own inimitable style.
Khaidi No. 150 is no great shakes as a script. It feels like almost every movie you've seen where the hero plays a double role. And in true Vinayak style, he also manages to mix a bit of a message into the story - this time it is about farmers whose lands are being taken over by corporate bigwigs. Vinayak clearly knows the expectations, and plays it ultra-safe by creating a film with the right mix of comedy, dance, action and social messages. The last 20 minutes, right from the Ammadu song, feel like they drag, but that is inevitable when the rest of the movie exclusively focuses on entertainment. The interval bang is awesome - when Chiranjeevi says "After a gap, Boss is back", there is no way the fans cannot scream their lungs out.
Performance-wise, there are no prized for guessing who dominates Khaidi No. 150 - it is a Chiranjeevi movie from the beginning to the end, and the man is totally up to the hype. He's lost weight and become fitter for the role, and dances and acts like he was never away. Kajal and Tarun Arora go through the motions wherever required. Ali and Brahmanandam get meaty parts, too, and do well. The rest of the supporting cast do well, too.
Technically, the film is top-notch - be it Ratnavelu's visuals or Devi Sri Prasad's music or the fights, they are all as grand as they are expected to be for a superstar vehicle. The fights deserve special mention - the interval bang and the coin fight are both sure to send the masses into a tizzy.
Be warned - this reviewer is a massive fan. If you're someone who does not enjoy regular masala fare and does not understand the hype around the Megastar's comeback, don't even bother. But if you enjoy a mass entertainer and understand even a bit of the hype, try and book tickets for whatever show is available early next week - 'cos we don't think there are any tickets left for all of this opening week. Boss is well and truly back!