Review roundup: Khaki

Director: Bipin Bhaskar
Producer: Valiyaveettil Siraj, Sinik V Siraj
Cast: Prithviraj, Mukesh, Manasa, Anand Raj, Nedumudi Venu, Meera Vasudev, Chandra Lakshman, Jagathy Sreekumar, Janardhanan, Sudhish, Shajon, Bindu Panicker
Music: Deepak Dev
Lyrics: Girish Puthencherry

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‘Khaki’ is a well made film from a debutante director, Bibin Prabhakar. The film has all the elements to make it a better hit. It has a neatly laid out plot, well written dialogues, punching sequences, good action and family sentiments. Even though the film has all in a little overdoses, this is the one which really don’t bore you too much. The film is typically made in a much tried and tested commercial plot which caters to every section of audience. And the rest of its performance in box office largely lies in the crowd pulling capacity of Prithviraj as a hero. That is, the film is a test of his popularity.

The only novelty in Khaki is that despite having action star Prithviraj, young film maker resists from big action episodes by relying more on ‘cerebral conflicts’ between his character and his family. The film focuses primarily on two brothers of the Padathu family, Ramakrishnan and Unnikrishnan, both working with the police department. Ramakrishnan, a Head Constable, nicknamed as ‘the spineless police’, considers his job as a means to look after his family and it is by his seventeen year service in the department , that he managed to educate Unnikrishnan and their sister Meenakshi. His younger brother Unnikrishnan (Prithviraj) a Sub Inspector is just opposite to him, being is an idealist and gutsy to the point of being reckless, taking on everything bad in the society from Kanjavu Mafia to video pirates and sex racketeers.

As they began to start working in the same police station, Ramakrishnan a practical minded policemen, tries to prevent his brother from tearing faces of the influential malefactors and to enter into disarray with them. But Unnikrishnan when at work sees Ramakrishnan only as a subordinate and does not allow anyone to go over law.

Honest intentions take the back seat here as these cops succumb to a system rife with corruption, bribes and the ubiquitous underworld nexus. One of the very first figure with whom Unnikrishnan comes to clash is the very influential City Corporation chairman Jagannatha Varma and the political kingmaker ex-MLA Karunakara Menon who incidentally is Ramakrishnan’s father-in-law((played by Jagathy).

Parvana, a television journalist plays Unni’s love interest, who often assists him in his endeavors. Unnikrishnan arrests Jagannatha Varma and crooked Karunakara Menon for immoral trafficking and attempting to molest a young girl. Things take a dramatic turn, with the arrival of Parthiban, the king of the Kanjavu Mafia to take revenge on Unni and his family. And the entire family is now in the run between protecting the family ties and saving the brothers from disgrace.

The highlight of the movie is definitely the scripts and dialogues by T.A.Shadid. The director shows his inexperience in many scenes of the first half, but ends it up as a pretty slick, commercial product. The humor in certain situations is conveyed quite well through the dialogues. Background score by Deepak Dev is so delicate and emotionally driven that it catches the characters by their collars.

Prithviraj continues in his usual self playing the stubborn office in the fifth film. Even though he dons the character well, never do we see anything different in his histrionics from those that we have seen before. Mukesh definitely scores with his usual flexibility of handling softer emotions. Manasa as Parvana makes an eye candy appearance while Chandra Lakshman as Meenakshi and NedumudiVenu as Balakrishanan Nair make their usual presence. Sudheesh, Bindhu Panikkar, Janardhanan, P Sreekumar and Meera Vasudev are all are effective in their respective roles. Ranjan Abraham in editing and Saloo George in camera gave sufficient support to the debutante director.

Khaki emphasizes how important a proper storyline is to make a better movie. Innumerable are the films that start off with a bang and end in a whimper, giving you the sense that the writer and director, having brought the tale to a particular pass, did not quite know how to conclude it. Even though Khaki also falters somewhere in the later half, Shahid and Bibin do not lose control of the story and the buildup to the climax is linear

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