Khakee - Movie Review

Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:00
Khakee (2017)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Khakee
Cast: Karthi, Rakul Preet Singh, Ranjith, Abhimanyu Singh, Bose Venkat, Scarlett Mellish Wilson, Mathew Varghese, Rohit Pathak, Jameel Khan, Kishore Kadam, Surendar Thakur and others
Dialogues: Shashank Vennelakanti
Music: Ghibran
Cinematography: Sathyan Sooryan
Fights: Dileep Subbarayan
Edited by: Shivanandeeswaran
Production company: Aditya Music
Produced by: Umesh Gupta, Subash Gupta
Written and directed by: Vinoth H
Release date: November 17, 2017
Running time: 161 minutes

"Khakee" narrates the story of a police team that brought down the notorious robbery gang. The film is based on some real life incidents that happened in Tamilnadu. The story is set in 1995 to 2005 period in Tamilnadu and the subject deals about highway-dacoity. This new subject theme reminds us of a Kannada film called "Dhandupalyam", a story about real-life exploits of a notorious gang that raped and killed women. In "Khakee", director H Vinoth has touched upon the subject of a gang that killed men and women before looting their houses. 

Narrating the story in flashback mode, now middle-aged protagonist recalls one police operation that changed his life in irrevocable manner. He is a newly-recruited DSP Dheeraj. In year 1995, he is sent to a village in Tamilnadu where frequent robberies and killings were happening. Dheeraj takes up the challenge and finds that there are many organised dacoit gangs with the history ranging from British era. He seeks a huge team and machinery to track down the various robberies that happened in several states but the police boss refuses to allot. However, when a ruling MLA is murdered by the dacoit gang, the government grants permission to this operation. The same gang kills the wife of his fellow officer and in the same incident, Dheeraj's wife Priya (Rakul) is also attacked. The officer is now determined to bring down the gang and he heads to Rajasthan where the suspected dacoits are supposedly hiding.

How he accomplishes this mission in a period over 10 years and what personal losses he had to endure during this mission is told in a gripping way. 

Despite impressive start, "Khakee" takes long time to get to the point, as the director focuses on a dull and clichéd romantic thread on Karthi and Rakul. For more than half hour, Karthi romances Rakul (she is a dull student, he goes to her home pretending to give her tuition) in old-fashioned way that dilutes the tone in the beginning. Thankfully, it sets on the high-way of the story soon and ends with a gripping interval bang.

How Karthi and his team finds out the gang and the history of many dacoit gangs in India is told in very informative, engrossing and racy manner. Post-interval, the entire story focuses on the operation - his team heading to Rajasthan and capturing the dacoit gang members in thrilling way - that has some highly engaging episodes. The episode in which hero and his team get trashed by the Rajasthan villagers, the team capturing a key member from a vegetable market and trying every trick for information during the interrogation, and a bus-chase sequence in the desert are shot quite well. 

At the very beginning of the story when Karthi is being trained as the cop, there are satires on movies that show unrealistic method of gathering information from a crime scene. That scene establishes that the director Vinoth is telling police procedural drama in more realistic method. From court-rooms to police functioning, there is lot of detailing in the film. 

But the film is too long. Like the hero who goes through taxing experience in over period of ten long years, we feel the movie is too lengthy and is going on and on. 

Karthi has pitched in first rate performance. He has invested in the movie completely. He is spotless. Rakul's character lacks dhum. Abhimanyu Singh fits the bill. Among other actors, the actor who did Karthi's friend shines.
Technically, the film is of superior quality with superb camera work from Sathyan Sooryan. The setting of Rajasthan desert, the barren lands and the gritty mood is translated on to the screen well. Background score is apt but the songs are big let-down. The item song puts one into slumber mood. Production values are first class. Editing is racy during action pieces but the overall length is inexcusable. 

Director Vinoth has made the movie in a realistic manner. He has knack for detailing. 

Bottom-line: 'Khakee', a police procedural story that deals the dacoits, is gritty and gripping in most parts. It is more like commercialized 'Dandupalyam' with a top hero. Lengthy but watchable.

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