Khakee (2004)

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Released 20-Jul-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Music Highlights-Song Selection
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Asoka, Munna Bhai, Kuch Naa Kaho, Chalte Chalte
Trailer-Monsoon Wedding
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 172:00 (Case: 174)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (107:45) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Rajkumar Santoshi
Studio
Distributor
DMS Films
Madman Entertainment
Starring Amitabh Bachchan
Akshay Kumar
Ajay Devgan
Aishwarya Rai
Tusshar Kapoor
Atul Kulkarni
Jayapradha
Lara Dutta
Prakash Raj
Sabyasachi Chakravarthy
Tanuja
Ashwini Khalsekar
Radhika Menon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Ram Sampath


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Khakee is a Bollywood film, in Hindi, from the director Rajkumar Santoshi (Legend of Bhagat Singh, Pukar, China Gate). The title refers to the colour of the uniform worn by those who serve in the Indian Police Force around whom this story is woven.

    The main plot concerns a terrorist who has been arrested and who needs to be transferred to the main city. This job is entrusted to a small core group of police, headed by DCP Anant Shrivastav (played by Bollywood's greatest actor, Amitabh Bachchan). Amitabh Bachchan has been in well over 100 Bollywood movies in a career that stretches over 35 years. Whether in person, or whether he's lending his instantly recognisable voice to a film, he's instantly recognisable and is a major drawcard for any film which bears his name.

    The small group of police then run into endless rescue attempts by the terrorist's cohorts, with ever-increasing use of men and heavy weaponry. It also becomes apparent that these terrorists seem to be one step ahead of the escort group. Could there be a traitor amongst the midst of this select group of police?

    Khakee also stars some other, more recent, heavyweights of Bollywood, such as Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and former Miss Universe, the absolute feast-for-the-eyes Aishwarya Rai. Thankfully her role is relatively minor, as while she's definitely incomparably beautiful, and dances rather well, she's no role model for acting! Apparently she was injured in real life during the making of this film, though some (perhaps cruel) people would suggest it was part of her well known publicity machine...

    Khakee is definitely one of the best 'mainstream' Bollywood films that I've seen. At its core is a serious and contemporary storyline, with not too much focus on romance and other typical Bollywood add-ons such as plentiful dance sequences. Yes, of course it is a Bollywood film so there are some songs, and also many hyper-violent sequences and some almost superheroic feats by the good guys. However, the main focus remains on the policemen and how they deal with the stench of corruption at the highest levels and with ever-more powerful encounters with the terrorists and with each other. The ending and the scenes that lead up to that point are also quite unusual for a Bollywood film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is good throughout, as is the black level and shadow detail.

    Colour is rich and even right through, without any traces of oversaturation or colour bleed.

    There were no obvious MPEG artefacts although there was slight aliasing present on a number of occasions, though never particularly severe.

    Film artefacts were restricted to a number of black marks around 109:55, which at times were pretty bad.

    English subtitles are available and are provided in a yellow font which is clear at all times. On the whole the translation provided for the original Hindi is pretty accurate and well-timed. The occasional spoken English is not translated.

    The layer change occurs at 107:45 and is pretty smoothly done.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This is a very good Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, full of surround activity almost throughout the film.

    The only soundtrack is the original Hindi, in Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Dialogue is fine with no distortion or problems with lip-sync.

    The music by Ram Sampath suits the on-screen action at all times without drawing particular attention to itself. There are a few song sequences, though thankfully nowhere near as many as most Bollywood films.

    Rear surround speakers are called into action many times throughout this film. There's plenty of surround activity with front to rear pans as well as pans across the rear speakers. The surround speakers carry sound effects such as gunfire and traffic noise, cattle sounds and music.

    The subwoofer, fed by its 0.1 LFE channel, provides some nice oomph to support the plentiful gunfire and other explosions. It's nicely balanced without drawing attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The menu is still, but has some theme music from the film in the background.

Featurette - Making of (runtime 15:33)

    A short documentary on the making of Khakee, except that you have to understand Hindi! There are no English subtitles provided. There are snippets of interviews with various cast and crew pretty much saying, in Hindi, how it's the best film they've worked on, and the best crew they worked with. In other words, a typical marketing exercise rather than a particularly insightful look into the making of the film, though overall it's not too bad.

Music Highlights - Song Selection

    Allows the user to play any of the 4 songs in the film. Rather than just playing the audio, it plays the entire song sequence from the film.

Theatrical Trailer (1:25)

    The original trailer for Khakee presented in 2.35:1 letterboxed.

Trailers

    A handful of trailers for other Hindi films released through Madman Films / AV Channel.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This R4 version appears to be at least as good as any other region's release. It is difficult to tell with Hindi DVDs as there is such widespread marketing of what is often a pirated version of a film.

Summary

    Definitely one of the better Bollywood films that I've seen, and more enjoyable than many of its ilk that I've seen from Hollywood. There's a sense of 'currency' in the story, with the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan. Although it is pretty 'tough' and violent, there are some nice scenes of deliberate, gentle humour which help ease the viewer's tension, if just for a few minutes, and they never threaten to bog down the pace of the film.

    The acting is of a good standard that matches the tight storyline and direction. Fans of Amitabh Bachchan won't be disappointed, even though, like his recent films, he tends to be more realistic rather than superhuman. He was, after all, around 62 when making this film!

    The video and audio transfer are both of a good standard. The extras are limited, and it would have been nice if English subtitles had been provided for the one documentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

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