First of all some facts around 'KUSHTI'.
1. This is a two year old film that never got a chance to release ever since it's completion in early 2008. Now as the first half of 2010 gets cluttered with some inconsequential releases, 'KUSHTI' also get a chance to sandwich itself between the likes of 'HOUSFULL', 'BADMAASH COMPANY' and 'KITES' and only ends up turning Bollywood balance sheet further red.
2. The film is directed by T K Rajeev Kumar, an erstwhile assistant of Mani Ratnam who has to his credit films like 'CHAL CHALA CHAN' (2009) and 'RAJA KO RANI SE PYAR HO GAYA' (2000). Never heard of these films? Well, you get the gist.
3. The film is titled 'KUSHTI' but there is hardly any that you get to see. Instead, the film is a love story. And this is where lies the major disappointment.
Let's talk about what really goes wrong here. The biggest problem here is that neither Rajpal Yadav, the central protagonist of the film nor the director are able to make up their mind on what they wish to present to their audience. Rajpal Yadav oscillates between his 'MAIN, MERI PATNI AUR WOH' serious act and buffoonery of 'HUNGAMA'. At one moment he appears all honest and earnest with love for his job (that of a postmaster) taking center stage. On another moment he gets into filmy dialogue-baazi (all intentional though) to woo his love (Nargis).
That's not all. The narrative is so tiresome that you want to go back to sets and jostle Rajeev Kumar so that he could perk up the proceedings. The story moves slowly, almost aimlessly at number of junctures and the exchange of letters between the lead pair is so exasperating that you pronto want to see what the film's climax holds. No, it is not due to curiosity but sheer boredom that leads to this thought. Imagine a hero writing letters to the lady of his love under the name Salman Khan and urging her to build a romantic liasion with his own self. Now how 60s is that?
No wonder, the plot is lost in entirety. What starts of as a decent drama that revolves around the battle of supremacy between two village bigwigs – Om Puri and Sharat Saxena – who have their teams fight it out in the 'akhada' is reduced to a mockery of sorts. Rajpal Yadav is pitted against none other than Khali and though this was the idea of amusement for the film maker here, it doesn't come across even wee bit funny on screen.
To think of it, when even Shah Rukh Khan failed to invoke any mirth or sympathy when he battled with a Sumo wrestler in the worst sequence of RAB NE BANA DI JODI, how could audience have been expected to be enticed enough with Rajpal following suit?
Now that was about the dramatic and emotional part. Let's explore the comic aspect of 'KUSHTI'. Imagine a Rajpal Yadav film where leave aside a full throated laughter, you don't even get a single smile right through those two hours. 'KUSHTI' is one of those films. No one even tries, neither the film maker nor the actors and result is a film which only keeps slipping with every passing reel.
As for the special appearance of Khali then well, it does wake you up momentarily in the end, especially due to a dance number by Shama Sikandar which is the only spontaneous and energetic part in the film. She seems to have enjoyed her 4 minutes of fame though Khali looks totally uncomfortable in those 14 minutes that he is seen on screen.
Let not Khali come face to face with the makers again. There may just be another 'KUSHTI' round the corner off the screen!