Khakee Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2004
Nov 16, 2003 By Subhash K. Jha

Forget the messiahs and the mercenaries Bollywood police are normally made out to be. For, Santoshi dismantles the stereotypes in a tale that entertains as well as it reflects all that is wrong, and right, with the police.

The ageing and asthamatic DCP , Anant Srivastav ( Bachchan ) whose assignments have so far afforded him a cushy existence suddenly finds himself in charge of a crucial mission.

He is backed by the unscrupulous Shekhar (Kumar) and the overenthusiastic fresh recruit (Kapoor). The trio, along with two constables must escort prized catch, the most-wanted ISI agent Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni) safely to Mumbai.

The chain-smoking, well-connected enemy (Devgan) is out to foil their mission, and has a head-start most times.

Even before the operation gets underway, the police party is under the scanner. And what was meant to be a three-day journey turns out to be a drawn-out battle, which seldom loses steam, even if you know that ultimately good will prevail over evil.

The screenplay by Santoshi and Sridhar Raghavan (not to be confused with brother Sriram of Ek Hasina Thi ) introduces enough elements to spring a surprise every 10 minutes, with some exciting twists in the tale.

Tinu Verma has executed the action scenes well, particularly the one where the police finds themselves amidst a cattle fare.

Santoshi, whose earlier features ( Damini, Legend Of Bhagat Singh ) have earned National Awards for its actors, has an able cast, particularly in Bachchan as the ageing official and Kapoor as the idealistic rookie.

Devgan does well but his incessant smoking and styling as the evil guy looks a little hackneyed.

Four songs might not be much by Bollywood standards, but could have been easily chopped in this 3-hour absorbing drama.

What really goes to Santoshi's credit is that if at all something seems unreal in the beginning is justified in the end in this tight plot.

Subhash K. Jha