Kalki 2898 – AD

Kalki 2898 - AD

Home » Blogs » Kalki 2898 – AD

Nothing original or very surprising about Kalki 2898 AD, a highly polished, expensively shot but not particularly original Telugu-language Indian sci-fi adventure. This big-budget fantasy film draws from elements of the Mahabharata and American science fiction like Star Wars and Mad Max, making it reminiscent of other recent Indian spectacles such as Brahmastra Part One, Shiva and Adipurush.

Kalki 2898 AD is one of the few that have succeeded where others have failed for doing nothing else than scaling back the grandiose nature of its dystopian countermyth to tie up with its gigundo scale. Goofy, over-earnest, and just good enough where it counts, “Kalki 2898 AD” outdistances its competition simply by digging deeper than expected into its patchy lore’s rich melodramatic turf.

“Kalki 2898 AD” bears greater semblance to J.J. Abrams’ directed Star Wars sequels rather than anything George Lucas ever made because it happens in a godforsaken world running short on everything including births except self-interested individuals. In this pseudo-Utopian Complex ruled by Supreme Yaskin (Kamal Haasan), a cyborg despot and his boy-faced proxy Commander Manas (Saswata Chatterjee) who leads an army of stormtroopers tirelessly well as numerous amoral bounty hunting scavengers; all working under Palpatinian Cybernetic Despotism which makes this place hell on earth. The protagonist Prabhas plays a scavenger named Bhairava who owes money or maybe credits all around town.

Bhairava eventually crosses paths with SUM-80 played by Deepika Padukone before being renamed Sumathi when she becomes pregnant whilst escaping from Project K laboratory complex in the Complex that was like The Handmaid’s Tale. Bhairava can do anything to live in the matrix-like Complex, while Sumathi has a colossal bounty on her head.

She is also protected by Ashwatthama (Amitabh Bachchan), a seven feet tall figure who is supernaturally strong and has been on an age-long quest to protect Sumathi and her child whom some believe could be the messiah that will deliver humanity from endless darkness. All chasing after Sumathi who with the help of a few sympathetic strangers crosses through a great desert into Shambala; like a Zion, guarded by Mariam (Shobhana) who happens to be saintly and techno-spear carrying soldiers.

As you might imagine, the first half of Kalki 2898 AD labours over what’s finally nudged home in its latter part. By then, the pan-Indian ensemble cast have settled into their second-hand parts and stopped teasing towards declaring grandeur of their story instead. One still finds something thrilling about seeing a pantheon of megawatt Indian stars – including Amitabh Bachchan who seems always included but seldom so well venerated as seen here – depicted as the idols that they already are for their adoring fans.

“Kalki 2898 AD” eventually found its rhythm and began to show some urgency after one too many pseudo humorous lulls following Sumathi’s escape from The Complex, gliding down death star-like sluices up it again before escaping through an infernal trash compactor.

When SUM-80 walks in slow motion along a corridor lined with flamethrowers one sees an insubstantial character running ahead of leading actor. Most often when she becomes known as Sumathi because two selfless conspirators named her such, this is mostly because the film had narrowed down enough from being an actors’ campy gesture to develop focus once more. There were several familiar beats along that road and thus it ended where any franchise starting movie should always end. However, it evolves from being an overcrowded blockbuster into a disarming exercise in style.

Moreover, let’s note that the movie consistently has great computer graphics that express well the other commonly used sci-fi clichés and backdrops. Of course, Complexes space-ships resemble shriveled gonad aliens from Tobe Hooper’s Invaders from Mars remake; similarly, when their soldiers put on face-covering helmets they look like Mr. Roboto’s kinky nephews while wielding 3-D printed water guns. Prabhas in Geordi La Forge-style ocular visor does look a little ridiculous but this does not prevent him from becoming an antihero needed by a ridiculous-looking tentpole riser.

At the end of the film, there is a generic yet somewhat pessimistic drama about struggling with faith and believing in anything at all despite everything. There are few standouts before the movies ten-minute halftime break indicating that the real heroes of this movie are its animators and special effects artists. Splashy action scenes, such as two fights between Big B and Prabhas, also stick out because of their well-paced dramatic builds up. Canned melodrama still hits the spot.

By taking genre conventions more seriously than his competitors with their maxi-sized offerings, “Kalki 2898 AD” redeems what failed them all along before it crashed right into another faceplant. All these hardly noticeable wraparound scenes serve only one purpose: to let everyone know there will be bigger events with greater consequences coming up in future installments (if any). Every part is second hand but yet polished enough to give off some gleaming.

Also, Read On Fmovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *