Khatta Meetha, director Priyadarshan's remake of his 1988 Malayalam hit Vellanakalude Nadu, was SI Heroine Trisha's Bollywood debut. My daughter had been complaining she missed Bollywood after so many Telugu films, and it had Trisha. So we went. I don't really want to get into comparing every Bollywood film I watch with Southies (I don't think its fair, they have become so different) but this had so many SI elements and it being a remake of a Malayalam film I might as well do the comparison. Afterwards, I watched Vellanakalude Nadu to see what Priyadarshan's original vision for the film was. It would be my first Malayalam and obviously my first Mohanlal film.
I really love Trisha best in comedic roles like NVND and Athadu, and I have enjoyed most of Priyadarshan's collaborations with Akshay Kumar. Judging from the trailers I was fairly confident we were in for a silly 3 hours.
First of all it wasn't bad, but I don't see it being a hit. It was not a silly comedy but more a dark satire, so I think the advertiseing for it would set people up with a different expectation at the outset. Especially if they were like me, unfamiliar with the original going in.
Note to Producers : Judging from the audience responses on the First Day First Show video posted on BollywoodHungama, don't have the song rolling over the credits be called "Bullshit" as its the last thing people hear before being asked about the movie.
Setting and sets were good. Some of the shots of the towns streets looked like the same set used in a few scenes from Love Aaj kal.
I didn't find it to be a very funny movie except the elephant scene and some of the ones with Rajpal Yadev. Some fairly serious things happen in the movie, so light and fun it's not.
There were many dialogs and speeches about corruption in the bureaucracy and how Akshay's charactor was corrupt because its the only way to get things done.
I know that there is a lot that goes into deciding what films to do. Priyadarshan and Akshay usually equals a hit film, but there was really nothing in this particular role for Trisha to show off what she can do. I hope she gets the opportunity to do another Hindi film and chooses a role where she can really shine.
There were parts of this movie that could have been better if they were Tollyized ( I just made that up!)
First of all Akshay needed a moustache, chest hair and a dhoti.
There was plenty of opportunity for revenge, for example:
Akshay's Sister gets married off to the SI equivalent of a political rowdy. When she is killed after being essentially prostituted out by her husband, Akshay doesn't have the typical Hero reaction. He steals evidence of corruption from B-I-L, gets chased and sort of beats up B-I-L (mostly swinging bag of evidence around and wildly kicking) but no REYYYY! no going crazy with grief and no OTT violent revenge. The B-I-L does get justice so to speak but not at Akshay's hands, so much less satisfying in my opinion.
There is a machete attack but on a secondary charactor and unlike a Tollywood film, the hero, Akshay is unable to stop it, just runs after the bus yelling.
My daughter pointed out that the interval didn't come at a cliff hanger like we are used to in Southies now. It stopped at half way without thought to the scene. At least that's how it seemed to me.