Behind the Movie Khaleja: A wait of three years for Mahesh Babu, most acclaimed writer cum director Trivikram Srinivas handling the megafone, Producers Singanamala and C. Kalyan spending a budget of nearly Rs. 50 Crores, hot and gorgeous Anushka in the female lead and Mani Sharmaa music already making waves in the market...what hype does a movie require more than all these? With heavy expectations burdened upon the entire team...Khaleja arrived today in theatres. Let us see, did it live up to the expectations? If so, then how?
In the Movie Khaleja: G. Seetharama Raju shortly called as Raju (Mahesh Babu) is in Rajasthan searching for a desert village called Girdalpur where in he needs to handover an Insurance cheque of Rs. 5 Lakhs to the family of Dilawar Singh who was killed by some unknown gang along with a Geology Professor Paranje, when both were traveling as passengers in the taxi of Raju. During this hunt for the village, Raju meets his old friend cum love interest Subhasini (Anushka), who is struck up in this desert by a trap of industrialist GK (Prakash Raj)'s son (Amit). Subhasini is the daughter of one more industrialist DP (Tanikella Bharani) who is to get into a one Lakh Crore business contract with GK.
When both of them are to reach the village, all of the sudden goons attack and try to kill Raju but saved by Siddha (Shafi) who is in search of a savior or god to save their village Pali in Andhra Pradesh which is attacked by a deadly disease due to contamination of water by industrial waste produced from a near by plastic factory which is owned by none other than GK. When Mahesh reach village Pali with the help of Siddha, he was seen as a god Shiva by village head (Rao Ramesh) and villagers.
From here on Raju starts finding out the reasons for the deaths in the village and some deadlly reasons come into the fore which are related to Iridium mineral deposites available beneath the village which are eyed upon by GK. How did Raju save the village and its people? is what forms the climax.
Values of the Movie Khaleja: What makes 'Khaleja' different from Mahesh Babu's earlier movies is the way of Charcterization. Trivikram, the gem of a director has attempted this project only with Mahesh Babu's image in view. Mahesh Babu looked handsome with shining face and trendy costumes with a changed body language and dialogue delivery. In action sequences he excelled more than the dances in songs. Mahesh's comic timing has been improved tremendously and the lighter mode of his typical mannerisms attracted vigils and claps. Anushka hasn't got a role to perform. She was just for the sake of songs, as usual hot in looks with awesome body maintanance. Shafi has got a role of his life after 'Chatrapathi' and his dialogues were etched with power and emotion. Rao Ramesh has continued his role of 'Magadheera' and he was also okay. If Sunil and Ali shared the comedy part, Prakash Raj was at his regular best as villain. Tanikella Bharani, Brahmanandam, Archana, Kota were also okay.
Story wise Trivikram has picked a line that was heard and seen many a times in South cinema. But, he has come around a different way of projecting it on the screen and here is where Trivikram's extra ordinary script writing skills came into light. Characterization of Mahesh was never tried in Tollywood till now. Trivikram's major fort of dialogues aren't really top rate this time. Not more than three to four scenes, Trivikram's pen has literally failed. Mani Sharmaa's music was just okay, both back gropund and main score. Picturization of 'Sada Siva' was expected too much but ended to be moderate. Cinematography by Yash Bhatt was superb in dealing the Rajasthan scenes while Editing by Sreekar Prasad was too much cumbersome in second half. Production values of Singanamala Ramesh and C. Kalyan were also A class.
Out of The Movie Khaleja: The first question that teases your mind after watching 'Khaleja' is what it made Trivikram to take 3 years of time for completion of 'Khaleja'? Excpet Mahesh Babu's characterization, we find nothing great from him. With villagers calling Mahesh as God and Mahesh skipping from his duties feared of calling himself as God requires enormous strength to make audience accept the fact that, a man who helps the needful is always a God. This is where Trivikram's postitve characterization has become confusing for audience. Audience are more taken by Shafi and Rao Ramesh's divine words rather than Mahesh's human powers as a God. Story wise, the way Trivikram threaded the characters to catch up the links with passage of main story is a decent attempt.
Major setback from Mani Sharmaa and weak Choreography by Ahmed Khan, Raju Sundaram and Prem Rakshit haven't helped the movie. Yet, Mahesh Babu takes you on a different track with his mannerisms and touch of class. Sunil and Ali helped him in first half while Shafi and Ali helped him in second half. Action sequences by Peter Haines and Ram Lakshman became overt in climax.
Good comedy, Mahesh's looks, unveiling of story, love track between lead pair and a bang interval make the first half. Second half is all about how Mahesh becomes a Godly Man for Pali villagers and the remaining story unfolds leading to a lengthy and exhaustive climax.
Mahesh Babu's screen presence, Anushka's hot looks, Rao Ramesh and Shafi's important roles, Trivikram's narration, comedy in patches are positives for 'Khaleja' while Mani Sharmaa's music, too many action episodes, lengthy climax, confusing God-Man concept, heavy content serve too much negative for 'Khaleja.'
Opening collections will obviously be scored high because of Mahesh Babu's presence but a long run for the movie is surely doubtful. All it depends upon, how audience take up Mahesh Babu and Trivikram in second half.
Cinejosh Verdict of the Movie Khaleja: Not that worth for the long wait of three years.
Reviewed by Srivaas