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FILM REVIEW: Kalki 2898 AD

When Mahabharata meets Dune & Mad Max Cast: Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Shri Kamal Hasan, Shri Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Shri Rajendra Prasa...

When Mahabharata meets Dune & Mad Max

Cast: Shri Amitabh Bachchan, Shri Kamal Hasan, Shri Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Shri Rajendra Prasad, Saswata Chatterjee, Shobhana, Disha Patani, Pashupathy


Rating: 2.75*


Kalki is, no doubt, a larger-than-life film, but doesn’t a larger-than-life film need a little bit of humanity? The film’s visual effects are, no doubt, good (for an Indian film), but apart from that and Amitabh Bachchan, there is nothing redeeming in the film. Amitabh Bachchan is the film’s saving grace, and his fight sequences with Prabhas (he needs to emote sometimes) are the film’s highlights. 


The film has lacklustre dialogues (maybe the Hindi dubbed felt that way with a lot of English thrown in). Editing could have been a bit crispier and hence makes the three hour film feel exceptionally longer. The performances with the exceptions of Amitabh Bachchan (who towers above the rest), Kamal Haasan (who has only two scenes) and Deepika Padukone (playing a pregnant Sumathi) were splendid. Rest are all passé with a galaxy of stars making cameo appearances that includes film makers Ram Gopal Varma & S. S. Rajamouli. Prabhas, like Salman Khan, is a one-dimensional performer. Saswata Chatterjee’s performance is extremely funny — unintentionally or intentionally and he gets a meaty role in the film. Shobhana is okay. Pashupathy as Veeran impresses and so does Anna Ben as Kyra.


Many of the film’s scenes are blatantly copied from Hollywood films (such as Star Wars, Mad Max, and Dune) and director Nag Ashwin doesn’t even try to cover it up in any way whatsoever. The film’s Mahabharata sequences are somewhat good. The direction & screenplay are passable. The film is made for the kids it seems. The visual effects are good, There is a song sung by Amitabh Bachchan in the film. Nag Ashwin’s world-building is, undeniably, good and his imagination — while being constrained to mainly Star Wars — is commendable.


Kalki 2898 — AD is the first one of many such films that come close to matching Hollywood standards, especially the sets and the cars. The climax has a lot to reveal with lots of twists and turns and moves at a frantic pace. It gives no time to think. Yes, do not miss the beginning.


Bhairava, tired of the oppressive confines of his homeland and the perilous life of a bounty hunter, yearns for a more comfortable existence in the Complex. His quest for a new life inadvertently entangles him with a group of rebels dedicated to freeing humanity from the grip of malevolent forces. It also connects the Kurukshetra war which happened 6000 years ago and moves 874 years ahead.

By Ravit Mishra

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