(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Thomson Reuters)
If it wasn’t for the chorus of “Khiladi Bhaiyya” that accompanies Akshay Kumar each time he makes an entrance on screen, I would’ve forgotten I was watching Ashish Mohan’s “Khiladi 786”. I might as well have been watching “Singham” or “Golmaal” or any of the comedies earning a box-office billion that dot our cinematic landscape these days.
The hero here is blase, and seems to have no other ambition in life other than to get married. The heroine refuses to get married at first and then transforms into a docile woman who allows herself to be led by the men in her life. Nothing here is consistent -- neither the story, nor the way the characters act.
Akshay Kumar is a Punjabi police officer, Himesh Reshammiya is a match-maker out to prove a point to his father, and Asin plays Indu, the fiery sister of a Maharashtrian don (Mithun Chakraborty). When Reshammiya promises the don (who goes by the name TTT), that he will find a groom from a “decent” family for his sister, he doesn’t realise the groom he has in mind isn’t what he appears to be.
When the two families meet for the wedding, they spend their time pretending to be who they are not, leading to a number of gags, most of which aren’t likely to tickle your funny bone. But, all is not lost. There is a 20-minute stretch, when the families meet, that will make you laugh.
Johnny Lever is hilarious in a cameo as a police officer and Mithun Chakraborty uses his comic timing to salvage some scenes, but otherwise “Khiladi 786” is tacky and not funny.
Himesh Reshammiya’s nasal tone just adds to the tackiness, but his role as Mansukh the match-maker is harmless enough to blend into the background. There is also the subplot of the protagonist’s long-lost brother, his African grandmother, Canadian mother and Chinese sister-in-law. I don’t need to tell you how offensive this film is to all these communities.
Akshay Kumar in this film is akin to Akshay Kumar in all his recent films. There is nothing new here. Asin needs a makeover and some acting and diction lessons. There is one consolation though, “Khiladi 786” is better than “Joker”.