Popcorn Motion Pictures P. Ltd. and Galaxy Entertainment Corp. Ltd.'s KHEL is a love triangle and a thriller rolled into one.
It relies heavily on the tried-and-tested stuff, but the stylised and contemporary packaging, besides a well executed second half, changes the graph of the film for the better.
KHEL tells the story of two thick friends ï¿½ Dev [Suniel Shetty], a business tycoon, and Rohan [Ajay Jadeja], a simpleton, who lives all by himself.
Rohan comes across Saanjh Batra [Celina Jaitley], an interior designer. Saanjh gets attracted to Rohan's simplicity and honesty and falls in love with him.
In a change of events, Rohan gets arrested on charges of murder. Dev and Saanjh are crestfallen. While Rohan is sentenced to life imprisonment, Dev and Saanjh, while sharing a common grief, become close friends.
The new A.C.P., Rajveer Scindia [Sunny Deol], comes across Rohan's case. Rajveer is of the belief that a criminal may go unpunished, but an innocent victim of circumstances should never be punished.
Upon investigating Rohan's case further, certain evidences force Rajveer to start thinking that this is no ordinary game. What happens next?
The story of KHEL has precious little to offer in terms of novelty. In fact, writer Dilip Shukla has woven the same old situations in the screenplay that have been witnessed since time immemorial, thus leaving the viewer with a been-there-done-that kind of feeling.
To be honest, the screenplay, especially in the first half, is archaic.
But the story takes a turn for the better when Ajay Jadeja accidentally murders the girl he's trying to save from the clutches of flesh traders. The interval point is also exciting and the viewer looks forward to an exhilarating second half.
Post-interval, the introduction of Sunny Deol's character takes the film to a new high. His introductory sequence should send the masses into frenzy.
The second half succeeds in holding the interest of the viewer mainly because of the clash between Sunny and Suniel. The climax [at the engagement ceremony] is well penned and well implemented.
Despite a routine script, the film does not turn into a mess for two reasons ï¿½ debutante Yusuf Khan's stylish direction and the bravura performances by Sunny and Suniel.
KHEL marks the directorial debut of well-known editor Yusuf Khan and must say, the director knows his job well. Although his choice of the subject is faulty, he more than compensates with the way he has executed certain sequences, more so towards the second half. Besides handling the second half with maturity, Yusuf has presented the goings-on in a trendy fashion.
Music is functional, with 'Chad Gayee' and 'Chori Chori' being the pick of the lot. The background score is effective. Cinematography is sparkling. Special mention must be made of the exotic locales of South Africa, which have been captured luminously on celluloid and add gloss to the film.
It's after a long time, after GADAR to be precise, that Sunny Deol is seen in a role of substance. Though the actor makes an entry only towards the second half, his fans will not feel dejected because he delivers a punch-packed performance. His action sequences ï¿½ the first, his introduction and the second, between Suniel and him in the climax ï¿½ will be very well received.
Suniel Shetty is excellent playing an anti-hero [after DHADKAN]. The suppressed anger he conveys through his expressions [towards the second half] shows the growth of the actor. His new look will also add to his fan-following.
Ajay Jadeja does not deliver at all. He is blank throughout and his dialogue delivery is flat. The makers should've dubbed his voice from a professional dubbing artiste.
Celina Jaitley looks gorgeous, but needs to work on her acting abilities and train herself in voice modulation. The rawness shows in several sequences.
Suhasini Mulay [as Suniel's grand-mother] is first-rate. Mohan Joshi and Akhilendra Mishra [both lawyers] don't get much scope. Vijay Raaz [flesh trader] is wasted.
On the whole, KHEL is a fair entertainer its target audience being the masses, not critics or multiplex-going audience. At the box-office, the holiday period will help the film take a good start and eventually, it will find patronage in the interiors.