• Wednesday, July 24, 2024


‘Kalki 2898 AD’ review: Futuristic drama offers new film experience


By: Anjali Mehta

INDIAN films set in the future traditionally not doing well is why big budget release Kalki 2898 AD was always going to be an expensive gamble.

From the eye-catching sets and special effects to a flashy star cast, no expense has been spared on the action drama combining ancient Indian mythology with a dystopian postapocalyptic world.

Set nearly 900 years in the future, the story revolves around inhabitants of the world’s last surviving city, which is in the middle of a desert, ruled by a shrivelled old tyrant (Kamal Haasan), trying to rejuvenate himself.

Meanwhile a successful bounty hunter (Prabhas) is roped into hunt down a pregnant woman (Deepika Padukone) on the run. It isn’t long before he realises his much greater purpose, which is connected to a long distant past. Meanwhile, an ancient figure (Amitabh Bachchan) condemned to immortality awakens.

Like most movies that attempt to try something different, Kalki 2898 AD becomes a rollercoaster ride of highs, lows, wrong turns and new elements not seen before in Indian cinema.

After a relatively messy and slower first half, it picks up pace and rolls around towards a rousing finale. The spectacular visuals paper over the various cracks that appear throughout this well intentioned entertainer, which deserves credit for venturing into new territory.

The great production design, striking special effects, eye-catching costumes and powerful performances from a cast on top form make up for the lack of strong writing in the film. Amitabh Bachchan in particular is brilliant in his unique role and will delight his legion of fans.

It is obvious that elements of Hollywood films like Mad Max and Dune have inspired much of this movie. The music could have been stronger and there was definite scope for Kalki 2898 AD to be around 20 minutes shorter in length.

That doesn’t take away from this film offering fans of Indian cinema a new experience, even if a little patience is needed to get through it.

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