Banner: Aditya Films
Cast: Karthie, Rakul, Abhimanyu Singh, Bose Venkat, Scarlett Mellish Wilson, Mathew Varghese, Surendar Thakur
Cinematography: Sathyan Sooryan
Produced by: Umesh Gupta
Directed by: H Vinoth
Release date: Nov 17, 2017
Karthi has come out with a cop drama aptly titled "Khakee". It is known that his brother Suriya's "Singham" series is a rage. However, Karthi has made it clear before the release that his film is a realistic cop drama, not made in the mould of "Singham".
Despite his attempt to keep expectations down, the film generated good buzz. Let's see how it has turned out...
Dheeraj (Karthi) narrates an incident in his life that was the most gruelling and exacting challenge in his entire police career.
The story moves to 1995 period. Dheeraj is a tough DSP in Tamil Nadu police department, he is always on the front to nab the criminals.
A series of dacoit attacks in several villages force Dheeraj to find out the main gang behind the killings and robberies.
He sets out on a major operation -- heading from then Madras to Rajasthan to nab the organized dacoit gang that hides in the Aravalli Range.
Karthi as a cop is terrific. His performance is very realistic and top class. He has shown his mettle in the gruelling episodes shot in Rajasthan desert in the second half of the movie.
Rakul plays the role of his lover and wife. Her role is quite a bore. Abhimanyu Singh as the dreaded dacoit is perfect.
Cinematography of the film is first rate. Cinematographer Sathyan Sooryan's brilliant work can be seen in post-interval action stunts and chase sequences. He has captured rural barren lands of Rajasthan in different manner that goes quite well with the overall mood of the film.
The film is too lengthy. The editor should have trimmed many unnecessary scenes. Production values are top class.
Initial 30 minutes
There haven't been many films made on dacoits in the recent times (like "Sholay", etc). "Khakee" deals with the subject of organised bandits and also reveals the history of dacoit gangs in India from the British era to the recent times.
Director H Vinoth has done huge research on several tribes of dacoit gangs, their crimes, how they indulge in robbery, how they hide, and their lifestyle.
Not only has he done deep research, but has shown all these in the movie, making it more like a docudrama in some places.
However, this theme has given a lot of novelty to a regular police drama. The template of any police story -- protagonist cop hunting down a criminal or gang by and large treads in a similar setup.
"Khakee" has dealt with the dacoits and places the hero and his team hunting down these dreaded robbers for more than 10 years. So, the regular cop drama has turned into a novel setup. So far so good. But the problem with this movie is that the director has shown too much of indulgence.
In his effort to tell the cop story in a realistic way, the story is extended beyond limit. The first thirty minutes -- where the hero romances the heroine -- are a big bore.
When we think that the director has finally come into the story part, he drags on and on with one episode after the other in the post-interval scenes. He should have cut lot of flab. These kinds of films require taut narration, not loose drama.
As the case goes on for years, the hero's life also goes through many issues. The police officers go through many problems in their lives. Still, they are committed to bring down this highway dacoity. This aspect is shown in more humane way by the director.
The interval bang of the film is one of the two highlights in the film. The other highlight is Karthi capturing a gang member in the desert that involves bus chase.
Though it is realistic, well-made, has many gripping moments, it also has flat narration. The turns are too predictable. By the time movie ends, we feel as if we lived the life of Karthi as shown in the movie. And the songs are quite boring.
Overall, "Khakee" is a realistic cop drama with a different setup and has some riveting moments with terrific performance from Karthi, but its overdrawn sequences and flat narration brings the mood down.
Bottom-line: 90's Khakee