|HOME | MOVIES | REVIEWS|
|March 24, 1999||
A big no-no
International Khiladi is pretty turgid stuff, replete as it is with scenes of action, romance and drama. And if you are going for it, along with the cost of the tickets and extras, do carry enough for a pair of aspirins too.
Mind you if we seem disparaging, it does take some courage for anyone to pass something like this to the theatres. Of course, we concede, there may be an audience even for this... But as we saw it, ow! it was a poor excuse of a film and an insult to one of average intelligence.
Now let's muse awhile on the strange behaviour of Indian heroes who play the goon. Like does dear Akshay Kumar, acting an underworld don here. Extortion, smuggling, kidnapping and murder are fine. But rape? Oh no. That hurts his sensibilities. To the point he'll kill the rapist. Finicky chap, is our hitman.
And up pops a chit of a girl (Twinkle Khanna) who can't decide whether she wants to be a clapper girl for a boring television serial or a journalist. She shows great persistence in trying to get an interview with the don. She misses meals for three days and plants herself in the pouring rain. Admirable persistence. It's another matter that she never gets around to taking that interview, she just falls in love.
But work and pleasure don't mix apparently and the hero is accused of killing the girl's brother and raping her. And more stuff in the same lurid strain. If that kind of thing interests you, you have a hot film on hand; if not, well, you've taken along the aspirins, haven't you?
Now make no mistake, since there's an 'International' in the title, there had to be a foreign element, right? And getting very PC here, beside the pale skins you also have some representatives of Negroid stock too. Among them are four women who look pretty vicious and who pass their time by snarling at the camera and beating up the opposite sex. And their names aren't even funny -- Champa, Chameli, Lily and Shanta.
Gulshan Grover is clearly past retirement age. He gets more painful with each film. Here he insists on talking a English-Hindi mash that uses Hindi syntax, eg, "I ne you ko kaha." It is irritatingly hard to understand and it finally makes you willing to cheerfully lay him one with a two by two the next time you meet him.
The other significant character, Rajat Bedi, has an interesting character, with a twist in his role. Trouble is, Bedi has little to sustain him in the industry other than this little number.
The special effects are pathetic, the stunts bloody silly. Why, you have a fight going in an aircraft flying at high altitude and they forget to shut the door. Moreover, when the heroine gets tossed off the plane, the hero grabs a parachute and jumps out too.
Akshay Kumar's 20,000 feet jump was publicised a great deal, but then we've already told you that the special effects are pretty bad. You end up wondering why the two are hanging around in the sky waiting for a plane to catch.
There's also a scene reminiscent to one involving a train in Speed. Here, Twinkle is handcuffed to a rod on a small ship and the hero's valiantly trying to rescue her. He breaks the rod and... Well, whatever happens, the effects, as we repeat, are terrible.
Mukesh Khanna makes a career of ageing. He needs to get out of the Pitamaha Bhishma role, but he does far better than the others. Shahbaaz Khan, as the inspector general, looks stiff and bored most of the time. Two songs have reached the chartbusters, the rest shouldn't. International Khiladi does use some verdant locales, among them some in Toronto, Canada. That's about the nicest thing we can say about this flick.
For, besides that, there's nothing to speak about there. You have bombs going off everywhere and those nasty, nasty politicians grimacing as usual at the camera. And, finally, to leave you with a fine idea of the film's finer attributes, we must tell you of a scene that has four policemen gang-raping a woman in a crowded train. Now, need we say more?
Tell us what you think of this feature
SHOPPING HOME | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS
PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK