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1.5 Star popcorn reviewss


Ever since the time Pushpa had released last year, the PAN india circuit has been busy. The makers are realising the potential and going ahead and either shooting the film in Hindi(KGF2, Radhe Shyam) or they are dubbing the films in Hindi. But the market and saleability of the leads would also need to be taken into consideration. At the end of the day, anything in excess is bad and all movies from down South need not necessarily turn into PAN India successes. But following on the footsteps of Pushpa, the telugu film Khiladi went the PAN India route with its Hindi dub. The Hindi version sank without a trace. The film made its way to the OTT space this week when it premiered on Hotstar. And I finished watching Khiladi last night. Is the film worth your time, stay tuned.

Story & Screenplay

Khiladi follows the story of a murder suspect involved in a money laundering case. The story is designed to be a mass masala entertainer but it turns out to be a patchy affair without any punch. The screenplay is again a mixed bag. One of the issues which I am lately beginning to observe in the massy films is the element of comedy. While a multi-genre film is fine but the element of comedy always seems forced and infact cringy too. That is what formulates a majority of the first half, some cringy comedy scenes which could have been done without. The drama also pretends to be smarter than it actually is. There are many loopholes through the first half which ends with an unexpected twist, but if you look closely there is no logic to it. While the first half did have my attention moderately, the second half nose dives to a level beyond my patience. It is just a collection of scenes which are carelessly pieced together. There is just zinch excitement or even a moderate hold on the writing. Absolutely random things begin to happen in the name of entertainment. After a point I was just waiting for the film to end while going through the motions. To top it, this was a PAN India film. Good God Gracious! What a poorly written screenplay.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are masdy and cater to the masses but that is about it. The music is decent although it does deter the flow of the drama(and thankfully so). The BGM is loud at various places. Director Ramesh Varma absolutely loses the plot here. His direction is all over the place and this is just a royal mess which has been created.


The performances are average but atleast a couple of them make the film somewhat watchable. I found Unni Mukundan as Ramakrishna sincere. Anasuya Bharadwaj as Chandini, Vennela Kishore as Bobby and Murli Sharma as Puttaparthi are decent. Mukesh Rishi, Nikitin Dheer and Sachin Khedekar are wasted. Dimple Hayathi as Aditi does a fair job. Meenakshi Chaudhary as Pooja is first rate and one of the actors which I liked here. Ravi Teja as Gandhi does what he knows best although this performance of his is way below his last outing Krack.


Khiladi is a train wreck in the name of entertainment. Available on Hotstar.

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