Planet Bollywood
Khel (New)
Producer: Popcorn Motion Pictures and Galaxy Entertainment
Director: Yusuf Khan
Starring: Sunil Shetty, Sunny Deol, Ajay Jadeja, (introducing), Celina Jaitley (introducing), Supriya Karnik, Suhasini Mulay, Gulshan Grover, Vijay Raaz
Music: Dudes Music Company
Lyrics: Parveen Bhardwaj, Baboo Mann, Faaiz Anwar, Salim B
Genre: Action
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 02 October 2003
Reviewed by: Ron Ahluwalia  - Rating: 4.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Congratulations to the entire team of Khel for making a movie that lives up to its name! Indeed, in a movie about deceit, the audience has been well-tricked! Presented to the world was a movie that was to be a cut about the rest; a movie that would not only be technologically superior than its contemporaries, but would set greater standards for story, plot development, and performance. Instead, Khel turns out to be one of the most predictable and mundane thrillers (read: despicable excuse for a worthwhile 3 hours) made in recent times. Despite a tagline like, "No Ordinary Game," Khel is pure case of old wine in a new bottle that┬┤s gone sour and ought to be flushed down the toilet!

The plot (as old as the hills, but there is a plot): Dev Maalya (Sunil Shetty) and Rohan Poddar (Ajay Jadeja) are childhood friends. Dev is a multi-billionaire, whereas Rohan lives off the trust his father left him. Both fall in love with Saanjh Batra (Celina Jaitley), an interior designer with an overbearing mother (Supriya Karnik). The catch is that Saanjh loves Rohan. Because Dev┬┤s love for Saanjh is deeper than the Mariana Trench in one sight, he becomes obsessed with her and conjures up a diabolical khel against Rohan, so that Saanjh will hate Rohan, and fall in love with him (what a shock!).

Dev succeeds in sending Rohan to jail for 14 years for killing a bar dancer (this would be part of the khel), and in wooing Saanjh. However, the entrance of ACP Rajveer Scindia (Sunny Deol) turns Dev┬┤s world upside-down. He previously met Rohan in Nasik where he was subjected to Rohan┬┤s heart-of-gold like qualities. Thus, he commits himself to proving Rohan┬┤s innocence, resulting in the creation of cat and mouse screenplay. The movie is topped off with one of the most ridiculous climaxes of all time.

The screenplay of Khel is completely been-there-done-that. Writer Dilip Shukla provides nothing to satisfy the audience's hunger for novel and engrossing concepts and scenes. The movie is so predictable that one can actually predict the upcoming scenes with tremendous accuracy. The climax lacks intensity and praise worthy dialogue. Listen to Ajay Jadeja┬┤s final line to understand the complete stupidity of what should have been Khel┬┤s shining moment.

The music of the film is hindering to the all ready pointless plot. The song "Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai" could easily have been edited out. Otherwise, no song has the ability to stand out as a true chartbuster. Even "Sharrata" is not as catchy as it could have been.

The debut vehicle of director Yusuf Khan, Khel does not completely disappoint in this department, however, the choice of subject hinders the possibilities of providing a thorough entertainer to the masses. Each scene in the movie is so lame, that whatever little talent Khan does expose, is overshadowed.

 The technological aspect of the film is a major plus point! The overall editing is crisp--for the most part. The computerized graphics are well appreciated and the sets are artistically sound; the eye-candy is magnificent. Special mention must be given to Sunny´s introductory action sequence: that´s the only novel concept in the movie. Khel´s cinematography is out of this world, as the picturesque locals of South Africa have been marvelously captured on screen.

Finally, the performances given by the cast are of a mixed variety-- more terrible than even average! The debutants are certainly not movie material, which can be noticed by their lack of presence in the second half! Ajay Jadeja looks like a buffoon. He is reminiscent of R. Madhvan (which cannot be a good thing). He lacks sense of style, dialogue delivery, and he has wooden facial expressions (especially in the scene where Sunil pretends to kill him).

As for the model, Celina Jaitley is one of the most beautiful faces in Bollywood today, with some of the most expressive and intoxicating eyes! Her facial communication is first rate, however, her voice reminds the viewer of a seven-year-old child with a sore throat. With extensive training, Celina could go places.

For Sunil Shetty, this is his second negative character, and his second obsessive lover role. (Funny how is name was Dev in Dhadkan, too.) His body language is amazing and his facial expressions are truly evil. However, he must beware of his dialogue delivery, such as his pronunciation of "Batra." He should also take care that his hair not change colors throughout the movie. One more point: he should stay away from flashy cigarette smoking, a la Ranjikant.

Sunny Deol is the only actor who comes off with an impressive performance. He carries of his role with flair. Despite entering the movie in the second half, Sunny upstages his co-stars completely. Yes, this sort of character has been seen in many movies before, but Sunny adds his own Punjabi tadka to spice things up. His scenes with Gulshan Grover deserve special mention. One could argue that the role of ACP Scindia is the comedic touch to Sunny┬┤s role in Damini, which won him several awards! An excellent performance, all the way!

Of the supporting artists, Supriya Karnik is her usual, type-casted self, Suhasini Mulay is effective; Gulshan Grover is odd. Vijay Raaz, who gave memorable performances in Monsoon Wedding and even Pran Jaaye Par Shaan Na Jaaye, is wasted.

All said and done, Khel is a masala pot boiler with nothing worthwhile to offer the audiences. It is best NOT to waste valuable time and hard-earned money on a movie you have technically already seen! Don't touch this one with a hundred-foot pole!

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