Sunday, October 10, 2010

Khaleja (2010) Dir. Trivikram Srinivas

At long last I have had the chance to see one of my most favorite Heroes on the big screen! Mahesh Babu is one of my first Tollywood crushes. There is so much to love about Mahesh. He is dorky-cool and so tall and handsome. I just love his smile and the way he delivers his lines. My favorite movies of his  are Athadu, Arjun, Murari and I love Takkari Donga too.  I haven't had to wait as long as other Mahesh fans for his long awaited release Khaleja. It's been three years since Athidhi released, but only 4 months since I watched my most recent Mahesh movie.  It was Vamsi and before you all feel sorry for me I have to say that movie falls into the so bad it's good category. What's not to love about sliding across a CGI alligator's back?
       I saw Khaleja first day first show with a very enthusiastic, full theater.
What a treat to finally see Mahesh on the big screen! Seriously it was thrilling. The writer and director of Khaleja is Trivikram Srinivas, he also teamed with Mahesh on Athadu and was the writer and director for Pawan Kalyan's hit Jalsa. Khaleja is Mahesh's first turn in an out and out comedic role. Judging by the crowd reaction in the theater I would say he succeeded greatly. The audience was in splits for 3/4's of the film. As a non Telugu speaker I missed out on much of the comedy, but was able to follow the plot and enjoy Mahesh completely. Apologies ahead of time if I am way off base in what happens, please set me right in the comments section.

        The film begins in a village in Rajasthan where people are mysteriously dying. The village elder sends a holy man of sorts, played wonderfully by Shafi, to search for a savior for the village. Then comes the Hero Introduction which is a slo-mo fight sequence of Mahesh fighting to get water in the Rajasthan desert. My favorite part is when he runs on top of a wall and you think he is going to jump on to a horse and ride away a la Takarri Donga, (seriously my heart was a flutter over that!) and instead he uncovers a motorbike and speeds off. It was a very funny bait and switch.
        While he is in  Rajasthan he runs into Sunil who is a reporter of sorts. I assume he is explaining to Sunil how he happened to be there and begins a flashback of him as a Taxi driver in Hyderabad. Here we find out how he meets Anoushka.
Anoushka creates havoc for Mahesh when ever she runs into him. I think 3 taxis get destroyed altogether and Mahesh ends up in the hospital after one encounter. Mahesh has excellent comedic timing and his dialog delivery is similar to Athadu and Pokiri but in a much more open and friendly way, if that makes sense. He still mutters and mumbles but with a happier smiley persona than the other films. After recounting all his bad luck brought to him by Anoushka, Sunil and Mahesh coincidently run into her in the Rajasthan desert. She had been brought to Rajasthan by helocoptor on a date and fearing for her honor, had run away from the guy. (These are the kind of plot points I have learned to just smile and enjoy and not question in Telugu movies, I am after all just along for the ride!) Now there are more hilarious  mishaps as Anoushka, Mahesh and Sunil travel throught the desert. 

     The interval fight is really cool. I loved how it is choreographed, Mahesh is attacked and injured but manages to fight back in that over the top Tollywood super hero way. It's pretty bloody and awesome! The injured Mahesh is found by the holy man Shafi and he is taken to the stricken village and nursed backed to health.  Now he is mistaken for a god by the villagers who beg him for help. He tries to convince them he is not a god but every time he tries to talk them out of it something happens that makes him seem like he is performing miracles. Now we find out too that Evil Business man Prakash Raj is behind the poisonings in the village and the rest of the movie has Mahesh and Prakash Bad locking horns.  Prakash really isn't in the movie enough and the final confrontation between him and Mahesh makes you wish he had more to do. He is awesome as usual.
   The music by Mani Sharma is just ok, he has had better soundtracks in my opinion.  I didn't like the first song Taxi Taxi at all. But the song Sada Siva  is unforgettable.  I just love that song. It's picturised mostly on Shafi and he does a great job with it.   Here is the song promo, full songs not available yet.  

I also enjoyed the picturizations of  Bhoom Shakanaka and Makathika. I think Makathika is my favorite. Mahesh looks fabulous and it is fun to watch him dance. I think Makathika is choreographed by Prem Rakshit if I'm not mistaken.

All in all I enjoyed my first Mahesh experience in the theater.  Because much of the comedy was dialog based I missed lots of the humor. I was envious of the rest of the audience throwing their heads back in laughter but now I feel like I have a whole new movie to experience and look forward to when the dvd comes out. I am also hoping for the day when subtitles are as routine for Tollywood movies as they are for Bollywood.


  1. Trivikram confirmed that Prem made the moves for Makathika, but it's Ahmed Khan who choreographed Boom Shakanaka :)

  2. Thanks for this review, J. I'm disappointed I didn't get to see Mahesh on the big screen - although maybe that's a good thing, since the tiny video of Bhoom Shakanaka is making me swoon, so imagine what the big screen version would do to me ;-)

  3. Thanks for the Info Louella! Simran_singh Mahesh was a visual treat for sure! Sorry you missed him...

  4. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाNovember 14, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Cool!! Nice running photo and black-shirt photo as well. I will try and see this one soon :-)


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