Khiladi movie review: Ravi Teja does his best to boost this inane heist drama with his energetic performance.
Summary: Actor Ravi Teja, who delivered a superhit Krack in 2021, began his innings this year with Khiladi. Directed by Ramesh Varma, the film has Meenakshi Chaudhary, Dimple Hayathi, Anasuya Bharadwaj, Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore, Sachin Khedekar, Nikitin Dheer, Mukesh Rishi, Arjun Sarja, and Rao Ramesh in important roles.
At the heart of the film’s plot is Rs 10,000 crore, and all the characters in the film want to get their hands on the money. Guru Singam (Mukesh Rishi) is the Home Minister who has his eyes on the chief minister’s chair. To finance his dream, he plans to bring his black money to India from Italy. Mohan Gandhi (Ravi Teja), a conman, gets to know about the money and plans to steal it. How he steals the money from Guru Singam, and gets the better of super cop Arjun Bharadwaj (Arjun Sarja) forms the crux of the story.
For any heist thriller’s success at the box office, the screenplay is an important element. It has to be pacy, racy, and should have enough twists to keep the audience invested in the film. However, in Khiladi, Ramesh Varma, who wrote the story and screenplay apart from directing it, seems to be inspired by typical Telugu television serials. The logic of Telugu serials is simple — stretch the drama, add enough melodrama and introduce a few dream sequences. As an afterthought, he gives us a few twists, which you can see coming a mile away.
The action of the film, which could have been its saving grace, also falls flat.
While the story has its moments, the advantage is lost by adding unnecessary songs and inane subplots. Ravi Teja plays his part well as a conman. He tries to push up the stolid narrative with his energy but there is only this much he can do. Vennela Kishore, among others, impresses with his rib-tickling act, while Arjun Sarja is passable in cop avatar.