Director: Maqbool Khan
Available on: Zeeplex
In one of the scenes in Khaali Peeli, Pooja (Ananya Panday) asks Blackie (Ishaan Khatter), "Bachpan se hi tu har picture ka end pehle hi bata deta thaa. Apne story ki ending kya hogi, Blackie?" Well, it's not just Blackie; even we, the audience know the final destination of this journey. But then, it's the 'hero' and his 'heroine' who keep us glued to the screen with their 'tapori' act.
What's Yay: Performances, Dialogues
What's Nay: Story
Kaali Peeli begins with Blackie (Ishaan Khatter) stepping out of the prison in a massy Bollywood style. He asks for a lit for his cigarette and tosses the matchbox straight into the hands of a constable stationed outside the jail. This reminds you of many 90s flicks, doesn't it?
Through a series of flashbacks, we get a sneak-peek into Blackie's childhood and how he became a street-smart taxi driver. In present times, one night, Blackie's life picks up speed when he commits a 'half murder' and a girl named Pooja (Ananya Panday), who is on the run after stealing a bag filled with valuables, ends up in his 'kaali peeli.' Intertwined by a 'past', the duo hit the road with goons and cops hot on their heels. Will this hero and his heroine get a perfect happy ending? The rest of the film holds an answer to that.
Maqbool Khan picks up tropes from the 70s and 80s and tries to give them his own twists for his leading players. While he is saddled with a predictable plot, the debutant director saves the day with his contemporary direction. The logic in the story does take a backseat at many places, but it's okay as long as we are having fun.
On the flip side, things get a tad repetitive at places. When the wafer-thin plot begins to bother you a bit, it's left up to Ishaan and Ananya to stop the film from going 'tehas nehas.' Thankfully, the duo fare well in this job.
Ishaan Khatter gets to showcase both his 'tashan' and 'emotion', and the young lad has a ball of a time as Blackie. His hold on the 'Bambaiyya lingo' is quite impressive. He dances like a dream and when his fists talk, you are all ears for that as well. His tranformation bole toh...alag hi-level ka!
Ananya Panday as Pooja is not your damsel in distress, and we thank the makers for that! She too, gets a chance to break a bone or two. Also, her chemistry with Ishaan Khatter is easy and breezy. In a nutshell, the actress fares a little better than her last two films (Student Of The Year 2 and Pati Patni Aur Woh).
Jaideep Ahlawat as the kohl-eyed baddie does his job well. Satish Kaushik as the lumbering sidekick is entertaining. Swanand Kirkire and Zakir Hussain also play their parts well.
Adil Afsar's cinematography captures the vibrant mood of Mumbai and of course, the 'kaali peeli'. Parvez Sheikh's action reminds you of the 'dishoom-dishoom' from the 90s. Rameshwar S Bhagat's editing scissors pulls off the tricks well.
While the songs of Khaali Peeli have eye-popping visuals and breathtaking choreography, the lyrics fail to find a place on your lips. On the other hand, the background score works well and adds some 'zing' to the narrative.
"Plan toh tera accha hai par thhoda filmi hai?" says Satish Kaushik's character to Ishaan Khatter's Blackie. To this, the latter quips, "Wohi toh lafda hai saahab, apna toh akkha bachpan Maratha ke baahar pachaas ka do pachaas ka do karke nikla hai. Main toh paidaishi filmy hoon."
If you are craving for some masala popcorn entertainer amid the pandemic, this Maqbool Khan's ode to the 90s will satiate your taste buds.
We give 3 stars out of 5 for Ishaan Khatter- Ananya Panday's Khaali Peeli.