Starring Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Panday in principal roles, Khaali Peeli (2020) has been winning audiences’ hearts ever since it premiered on 2nd October on ZEE Plex. The commercial potboiler, which created great buzz right from the day of its official announcement, was one of the hugely anticipated films of 2020. Living up to the huge expectations of the audience, Khaali Peeli has now emerged as one of the most-watched movies in lockdown.
Khaali Peeli, which had a digital premiere and global theatrical release in selected cities on October 2, has also become the first-ever Bollywood film to have a multi-format release. Right from critics to audiences, everyone has given it a big thumbs up.
Talking about the runaway success of the film, noted trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “That Khaali Peeli was made for the big screen is evident from the content. Yet, if proof was ever required, it came in the form of 6 (out of 6) houseful shows of the entertainer in the only Drive-in cinemas it was released in the country. Had the film released in normal times, there is no doubt it would have been a big winner!”
Film critic Joginder Tuteja adds, “I guess the best part about the release of Khaali Peeli in the drive-in theatres has clarified a couple of things. Firstly, the audiences are really hungry for films to come in and at least have a theatrical experience. We saw how the drive-in shows were totally sold out and the response was good. Secondly, I think now this whole nepotism thing can be buried because we had got Ananya Panday and Ishaan Khatter, and there were so many accusations of nepotism. These guys have gone out there and audiences have also gone to watch what they have to offer. Even from the performance’s point of view, this film is a masala film and from that aspect, both of them did pretty well. They have shown it’s not just because they were born in a film family and getting the eyeballs, fact is that the audiences also liked what they had to offer. So, good thing is that A – the drive-in experience worked, B – the entire nepotism thing has gone for a toss, and then lastly, the performances have been liked and we are also seeing in certain quarters. Whether we see in IMDB or elsewhere, it actually quashes that as well. The IMDB rating shows 2/10 but if you ask the real audience, it’s totally different, which again shows that how screwed can this entire rating business get, when it comes to people who are actually watching the film vis-à-vis people who are likely not and are just going ahead and screwing up the ratings. So, a lot of positives have come out of this. This is the first film which has actually started monetizing in some way theatrically, even though it was a minuscule amount but at least the start has been made.”
Bankrolled by Ali Abbas Zafar, Khaali Peeli has been directed by debutant Maqbool Khan.