The strangest thing happened while I was viewing the teaser of Ishaan Khattar’s new film Khali Peeli. When Ananya Pandey with her 1.5 facial expressions came on screen, I thought of Tabu, Ishaan’s co-star in BBC’s A Suitable Boy. Their chemistry hissed moaned groaned and crackled although Tabu is twice Ishaan’s age.
Hum-umr co-stars Ishaan and Ms Pandey look like two strangers trying to start up a conversation while waiting for the traffic lights to change colors. There is just no spark between the two youngsters. Not that I can imagine Ms Pandey sharing any spark with any co-star.
Stranger still is the fact that Khali Peeli looks nothing like the Vijay Deverekonda 2018 hit Taxiwala although the former is supposed to be the latter’s remake, Except for the fact that heroes in both are cabbies, there is no likeness between the two. Taxiwala was about Deverekonda and his haunted taxi. Khali Peeli is about a taxiwala and a runaway prostitute.
I asked producer Ali Abbas Zafar and he said, Khali Peeli was always meant to be an original and not a remak”e.
Huh, come again?
The barbs between the two reluctant co-travellers are broken by intermittent sounds of shrill interjections. That’s Ms Pandey. She looks nothing like a prostitute. Not that I know too many.
Khali Peeli becomes an instantly disliked teaser with more than 1.5 lakh dislikes in less than five hours.
I can see Ms Pandey bursting into tears while papa Chunky consoles her with new shades of lipstick.