Kalki Movie Review: A mediocre cop drama
Despite bringing a believable texture to the story with good casting, Prasanth Varma only delivers an ordinary film at best
Director Prasanth Varma's Kalki is set in the 80s in Kollapur, a village that holds a mirror to the feudal autocracy and oppressive monarchy of those times. The story (credited to kahaniya.com) begins with the killing of Sekhar Babu (Siddhu Jonnalagadda), the brother of feudal lord and MLA Narsappa (Ashutosh Rana). Although the murder remains a mystery, Narsappa blames his bête noire Perumandlu (Shatru) for the murder and what ensues is a series of gruesome annihilations between these two factions.
The government appoints Kalki (Dr Rajasekhar), an IPS officer and an encounter specialist to investigate the crimes in the village. The real plot begins when Kalki starts probing the case and an investigation with Deva Dutta (Rahul Ramakrishna), a journalist, leads him to discover shocking truths. He realises that he must get through a maze of accomplices to clean up the mess and how he does that is the crux of Kalki.
Director: Prasanth Varma
Cast: Dr Rajasekhar, Adah Sharma, Rahul Ramakrishna
Prasanth Varma has brought a believable texture to the story with good casting. However, he delivers an ordinary film at best. The narrative meanders along at a snail's pace and what could have been a racy, explosive drama turns into a long, uninteresting saga that is exhausting to watch.
Rajasekhar plays a campy character with his face often buried under layers of heavy makeup. Without a doubt, Kalki is one of the most poorly-etched characters he has played in his career. It is a pity that he hasn't been able to capitalise on the success of his comeback film, PSV Garuda Vega.
Even in this largely dialogue-driven film, the leading lady, Adah Sharma has hardly any lines of dialogue. She has nothing to do but shake a leg in a duet. Her portions do not add any value to the film and she is essentially reduced to a pathetic caricature.
Nandita Swetha lends undeniable credence to her role and to this thriller, especially in the second hour. Rahul Ramakrishna, despite his cartoonish action, is at ease in front of the camera and sneaks in a few laughs with his distinct dialogue delivery.
Ashutosh Rana has a menacing character to portray in Narsappa and he breathes life into it. Shatru, Nasser and Vennela Ramarao make their presence felt in brief appearances. Poojitha Ponnada draws special attention with her performance, while Siddu Jonnalagadda steals every scene he’s in.
Kalki is a mediocre cop drama that does not progress to a logical conclusion. It is filled with stereotypes, and given the standard set by Prasanth in his debut film Awe, this Rajasekhar-starrer ends up as a major disappointment owing to its silly coincidences.