Khaali Peeli premiered on 2nd October 2020 on Zee5. Directed by Maqbool Khan, the screenplay is written by Sima Agarwal and Yash Keswani, starring Ishaan Khatter, Ananya Pandey, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Zakir Hussain alongside other cast members
The Taxi Adventures
Khaali Peeli revolves around Blackie/Vijay (Ishaan Khattar) and Pooja Gujjar (Ananya Pandey), childhood sweethearts who are forcefully made to part their ways. Pooja, who has now turned 18, is all set to marry a man way older than her whereas Blackie works as a taxi driver, whose taxi’s price meter is set at Rs 5,000 and above! Now that both Pooja and Blackie are grown-ups, they don’t recognize each other and neither do these childhood sweethearts try to search for each other. As Pooja tries to escape her marriage, she comes across Blackie’s cab and asks him to help her escape. What follows is chase and escape Taxi Chronicles!
The movie is filled with Bollywood cliches and yes, the predictability factor is high but it is a good time-pass watch as it is no brain-teaser! While some scenes will make you smile, if not laugh, the film pretty walks on the old tried-and-tested Bollywood formula. It tries to bring Mumbaikar lingos on-screen and while Blackie seems to be nailing it here and there, Pooja fails and is often funny’ish! The film offers songs, dance, romance, fight, public display of biceps, and a female character with nothing to do but be an eye-candy.
As an old-style goon Yusuf Chikna, Jaideep Ahlawat plays his role in quite a badass manner and is the most watchable character of the film. His performance alone holds the power to carry forward the narrative but sadly, there isn’t much of him on screen. While the movie is built around its lead characters, Blackie and Pooja, they don’t add much weight or value to the story. However, the supporting cast including Ahlawat, Zakir Hussain and others stand out. Along with them, the child actors, who tell us the origin story of the lead pair, are adorable and perfect.
The film features a few shots and transition scenes that are praiseworthy, like the one where Blackie is driving and negotiating with Pooja’s enemies to get her back for double the amount of cash. The film is visually appealing at certain points but the cliche and commercialization bring its appeal down. One thing I am glad of is that the music composers and makers finally decided to change “Beyonce Sharma Jayegi” to “Duniya Sharma Jayegi” after receiving huge flak from audiences.
The film primarily misses out on having an engaging storyline, and even with a lot going on, it does not manage to hold on to our attention. The screenplay moves in a straight line with no twists and turns at all, embedded with dull moments and things we have seen too many times before. Ishaan comes up as with a great performance but not a memorable one and Ananya is neither great nor rememberable and, time and again, you’ll see Student of the Year 2‘s Shreya. Her character lacks any sort of depth, and it features bits and pieces of the same characters that she has played before.
Stream It or Skip It
SKIP IT! The makers cleverly make you pay the cost of multiplex tickets (300/-) to watch Ishaan and Ananya in a commercial drama film which, as I said, works on a tested formula and is extremely repetitive. With movies releasing every now and then which often target stereotypes and societal norms, Khaali Peeli brings you the same old taste in a package that’s shining but still old. Is it worth your money? Hell, no!
Khaali Peeli is now streaming on Zee5.
Read our other reviews here.