Khaidi No 150 movie cast: Chiranjeevi, Kajal Agarwal, Brahmanandam
Khaidi No 150 movie director: V Vinayak
Khaidi No 150 rating: 3.5
Whether it is escaping from prison or being taken back to prison, Chiranjeevi’s Khaidi No 150 brings back a lot of memories (Spoiler alert). Khaidi No 150’s narrative pace is analogous to the famous Khaidi of 1983 walking into the police station, patiently listening to the officers yet reluctant to reveal his identity. After a long pause recalling his atrocities, his cover is blown off and all hell breaks loose. The 150th Khaidi of today can bring on the excitement just like he could in the past.
Kaththi Sreenu (Chiru 1) is a small-time thief who helps police catch an escaped prisoner even as he plans his own. He runs away from the prison, only to get caught up in a crime scene involving his doppelganger Shiv Shankar Varaprasad aka Shankar (Yes that’s Chiru 2 and yes that’s his actual name in life). Chiru 1 switches identity with Chiru 2 and a quick flashback forces him to assume the latter’s character to fight corruption.
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Chiranjeevi has a knack of choosing social themes wisely, to whatever extent the plot goes. His idea to pick up Murugadoss’s Tamil script Kaththi served his purpose in many ways. From Tagore to Stalin to Sreenu, Chiranjeevi picks up roles that scream out a social message. With corruption as the skeleton, these stories played on different issues plaguing the society. However, Khaidi No 150 walks a few miles more to bring Marx’s “Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat” conflict on the screen. FYI: Chiru 2 is a Communist by ideology who fights crony capitalism (the corporate establishment). From terming the underpriviliged as “extremists” to a sickle used by farmers to slash throats, there is a Left narrative overflowing in the script. His line, “Shaking the political establishments from Delhi to here,” is also a throwback to his brief political stint. With the overarching role, Chiru makes the most of the script to project his return and he does it naturally. But it’s hard to tell whether he chose the crucial issue like farmer suicide that is plaguing the nation and the Telugu states to rebuild his political platform or if it was a script he randomly liked.
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Nevertheless, Chiru packs enough punch in the dialogues that it makes the narrative spike up in places evoking some cheering from the crowds making the plot a mild tearjerker. The comeback film made his character(s), of course, shadow other roles, which just remain as dots in the storyline. Kajal is one such actor who is wasted in the film. Though Chiru has a couple of lines and facts (like in Tagore) thrown at the audience, the comedic track, embedded with stalwarts like Brahmanandam and Ali, couldn’t conjure that gut-hurting laughter.
Of course, there are some minor misses, the first half is tad slow and the post-interval part is where the actual plot exists, which is rushed. The narrative gets a bit predictable too.
DSP songs do pump up the narrative but a slight disappointment is that dancer Chiru of Indra and Tagore is quite not in shape for a new step. There is modified Veena step and a “buckle lift” step with his son, Ram Charan Teja, who makes a 30-second cameo in a song, but the same agility and lithe is missing.