‘Khaali Peeli’ – The masala Bollywood movie starring Ishaan Khatter & Ananya Pandey, was released on Oct 2, 2020 digitally on Zee5 and at drive-in theaters in Gurgaon and Bengaluru. The movie was also released in theatres in the US and New Zealand.
It is the first movie released offline since the Covid-19 lockdown and therefore the movie pundits were waiting to see how it fares at the theatres. It is said that ‘Khaali Peeli’ is a remake of Vijay Devarkonda’s “Taxiwalla” which collected 25 crores gross worldwide. Check out how much did the movie collect over its first weekend.
The movie has been hit by controversies right from the beginning when a few scenes were cut from the movie and later on since the teaser of the movie was released the controversies just kept rolling in. One of the songs in the movie “Beyoncé Sharma Jaayegi” was criticized online for racist lyrics, as pointed by many. It also came under trademark violation when News18 pointed out that Jay-Z has the trademark for the name “Beyoncé” and hence the same can’t be used without their permission.
Subsequently, the lyrics were changed to “Duniya sharma jayegi”. This came after a previously failed attempt by the producers to change the name in the song from “Beyoncé” to “Beyonse”.
Earlier the movie teaser, released on 23 August 2020 on YouTube, received 1.7 million dislikes in its first week of release, due to the nepotism debate. It went on to become the second-most disliked video on youtube. But enough background, let’s get to the movie
The movie has received a mixed response from the audience as well as the critics, which, in my opinion, is good news for newcomers especially considering the fact that the atmosphere was emotionally charged against them due to the nepotism debate.
The movie was released digitally on Zee5 and it was also released in the US and New Zealand markets as Indian cinema halls remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The movie was shown on 11 screens in the US and it managed to collect a meager sum of $363 (approx ₹ 26,500), however, it managed to slightly better in New Zealand, collecting approx ₹ 30,000 from 7 screens, which clearly shows the solid impact of COVID-19 fear amongst the audience.
The movie’s story revolves around Blackie (Ishaan Khatter) and Pooja (Ananya Pandey), separated as kids in the city of Mumbai and later re-united under extremely stressful circumstances and obviously not recognizing each other (until the magical moment). After that, there is a lot of drama and a series of car chases in a ‘Kaali Peeli’ taxi, hence the name ‘Khaali Peeli’.
There is a lot of masala in the movie – romance, action, songs and dance (which just happens anytime anywhere and not in the same sequence) but if you just want to enjoy the movie without analyzing it too much then you won’t be entirely disappointed.
You will see Ananya shooting a ‘Gulel’ while flying in the air and a garage that you can see only in Bollywood movies which has the right ambiance (and space) for a song and dance and how 2 people running away from goons get into a stage performance in the center of a carnival. It’s a movie screaming “I am a Bollywood Masala Movie” from the very first scene so if you go to watch it like a masala movie you might as well enjoy it too.
Other than Ishaan and Ananya the movie also features Jaideep Ahlawat (Yusuf Chikna), Zakir Hussain (Inspector Tawde), Satish Kaushik (Inspector Bhim Singh), Swanand Kirkire (Choksi Seth), Suyash Tilak (Mangesh), Anup Soni (Ravi / Babuji) and Kabir Duhan Singh, etc in key roles.