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Mahesh Khaleja : Has soul, style and substance
Release date: 07 October 2010
123Telugu.com Rating : 3.75/5
Director : Trivikram Srinivas
Music Director : Mani Sharma
Producer : Singanamala Ramesh, C. Kalyan
Starring : Mahesh Babu, Anushka Shetty, Prakash Raj,Sunil, Brahmanandam and others...
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Trivikram has served a seven course cinematic buffet with Maheshís Khaleja. Take a bow Team Khaleja! Dear reader, the might of Tollywood is now on display at your nearest theatre. Make sure to experience it with your near and dear ones. Wow! What a movie!!

Whatís it about: It is the tale of a common man fighting corporate greed. Raju (Mahesh) is a taxi driver who gets embroiled in the death of a scientist and his friend. As circumstances would have it, he goes to Rajasthan to hand over the insurance money to the family of Dilawar Singh (the scientistsí friend) who thuds to a terrifying death on the top of his taxi. In Rajasthan, Raju (again) meets Subhasini, who in her previous (four) encounters has bought him nothing but trouble. On their way back to A.P, Raju gets stabbed and (after a John Woo inspired ballet-like fight sequence with the baddies) is rescued by a mysterious Siddha (Shafi). When he regains conscious Raju is in a remote village in North Andhra region called Paali, which incidentally is sitting atop billions of dollars worth of Iridium. The villages call him saamy (God) and expect him to save their hapless hamlet from a mysterious disease that is plaguing them. The story (after many intriguing twists and turns) leads Raju into the path of the villainous G K (an excellent portrayal by Prakash Raj) who meets his end in the hands of Raju in one of the best climax sequences seen on a Telugu film screen

What is Good: Everything Ė just about everything, to begin with Mahesh is heroism personified. He gives his (Raju) character the impish charm of Tom Cruise and the reckless abandon of a James Dean. Trivikram adds nativity with (his brand of) situational humor that leaves you with numerous healthy chuckles through the film. Ram-Laxmanís fight sequences have grace and gore. Every one of them gives you an adrenalin rush the likes of which you have never experienced before. Anushka has a good role and breezes through it efficiently. But the star is Mahesh. He switches between rage and romance with an ease that borders on envy. He delivers Trivakramís one-liners with a terrific timing. The humor is healthy and it balances the breathless pace in the second half. Bhattís photography especially in the locales at Rajasthan is breathtaking and rustic.

What is bad: Trivikram takes illogical jumps in his narration. And he takes one too many at that. Anushka's fanciful chopper ride for a dinner date to Jaisalmer (from Hyderabad) is awkward. But in Trivakram's defense it does not hurt. It just looks silly, that's about it. Other than that Maniís musical score is a slight let down. If anything his background music is a revelation. But personally I have one grouse against Trivakramís judgment Ė and that is the sheer number of comedians he has piled on into the movie Ė Brahmanandam, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, M S Narayana, Ali and Sunil! It is not surprising that the movies these days end up as expensive as they are. The situation is all the more unwarranted especially when one has a director like Trivikram who can pen some really cool funny one-liners.

Final Point: Khaleja is proof that Tollywood can unleash a power-packed punch. Mahesh is hero material and in the hands of a director like Trivikram his characterís heroism radiates a white hot heat. Trivikramís story telling has soul. Mahesh has style and substance to spare. The end result is terrific entertainment. Donít take my word. Watch it and soak in the experience.

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123Telugu.com Rating : 3.75/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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