Review: 'Khatta Meetha' is more sour than sweet

Friday, 23 July 2010 - 11:06pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Khatta Meetha is a hotchpotch of too much drama and very little comedy. Not recommended if you have something better to do this weekend.
Khatta Meetha (U/A)
Cast:
Akshay Kumar, Trisha Krishnan, Makarand Deshpande, Rajpal Yadav
Director:
Priyadarshan
Rating: **
 
You walk into the cinema hall thinking you are going to have a good time with Akshay Kumar and Priyadarshan waiting inside. But hold on, you may be in for disappointment. Khatta Meetha is a tired, old cousin of laughter fest Hera Pheri which the pair gave us in 2000.
 
The film revolves around a good-for-nothing (at least his family thinks so) road contractor Sachin Tichkule (Kumar) and his extended family. The struggling contractor pushes his luck hard and gets nowhere. Heavily in debt, he doesn’t even have money to bribe officials. But his labourers mean everything to him, a fact he keeps reiterating, rather yelling, irritatingly, throughout the film.
 
A flashback sequence shows Tichkule as an idealistic college student fighting for what he thinks is right. He even loses the love of his life in the quest for justice, only to run into her years later, when she is the municipal commissioner and he a struggling road contractor.
 
Khatta Meetha is supposed to be a comedy but you are reminded of that only intermittently. The road-roller scene and the one where the veteran Asrani converses with three people at once are funny. Akshay Kumar’s comic timing is excellent as usual, but the repetitive dialogues make the film look worn out.
 
The director appears confused what his heroine should be: a girl-next-door or a fiery municipal commissioner. Newcomer Trisha fails on both counts. The lack of any chemistry between the lead pair is apparent, and the love angle falls flat.
 
The dependable Rajpal Yadav as Rangeela, Asrani and Johnny Lever have important roles in the film. But talented actors like Aruna Irani, Makrand Deshpande and Tinoo Anand are wasted. Urwashi Sharma as Kumar’s sister is okay. Kulbhushan Kharbandha as Tichkule Senior is unmatched.
 
But the biggest problem with Khatta Meetha is that there is no clear storyline. The director tries to deal with too many things apart from corruption and unrequited love. Along the way you wonder if the filmmaker did really set out to make a satire. The funny moments are forgettable as they get mired in unrelated sub-plots that make you wonder where the film is headed.
 
Khatta Meetha is a hotchpotch of too much drama and very little comedy. Not recommended if you have something better to do this weekend.

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