Kalki 2898 AD (2024): A Visual Statement to the Hollywood.

KALKI image

What is Kalki 2898 AD really mean for the industry and the audience? Somehow it had translated from great storytelling to ‘making a point to the whole world’, especially Hollywood. Therefore, the efforts seem to have been directed to the technical aspects sidelineing the core and essential aspect of the story, the emotion.

The world is on the cusp of extinction. Both utopia and dystopia are in the same world, namely Complex, where The Supreme Yaskin (Kamal Hassan) resides and the dust and disease ridden world where normal people live dreaming of a life in Complex one day. Bhairava (Prabhas) is that common bounty-man who wants to be in Complex at any cost, 1 Million Units to be precise. 

As Bhaivara, and many others, want to get into the Complex, SUM 80 alias Sumati (Deepika Padukone) wants to get out of the Complex. Fair enough. And, of course, there is the rebel group led by Veeran (Pasupathy) and guided by motherly-figure Mariam (Shobhana). Yaskin wants the child of Deepika Padukone and Bhairava wants the 5 Million Units of bounty announced on her. 

There is nothing new that happens in the first half of the movie that isn’t revealed in the teasers and trailers. It feels dragged too much in the attempt of catering to “every audience”. There are unnecessary cameos by several actors (apart from a couple of characters). It seems like they were made entirely for the sake of hoots and whistles from the audience, which they got successfully. But, for a three-hour long movie, if everything is not detailed and makes the audience emotionally connect with the story and characters. Then, it will become a drag. It has become a drag. 

Ashwathama (Amitabh Bachchan) is the most interesting character in the movie. Ashwathama has been eternally living since the Kurukshetra war happened 6000 years ago, just to save the world from Kaliyuga. As the film progresses to the end, not so surprisingly. Yaskin became the most important character for the sequel. Yaskin was passive in his actions. Now, at the end of film, he wants to take the action into his own hands and confront the protagonist forces of Kaasi to prevent the birth of probable second-coming of Lord Krishna through Sumati (Deepika Padukone). 

The visuals are the true wonder of the film. They are just gorgeous and well-crafted. Cinematography by Djordje Stojiljkovic is stunning, creating a dystopian feel consistently throughout the movie.  The music composed by Santosh Narayan hits the right notes at times. But, it doesn’t leave the imprint on your eardrums. However, Santosh had done a good job in creating an ambient aura around the movie. That part credit must go to the sound department too. The art designer Nani Devarapali and concept artist Deeganto Joardar must also be appreciated for making the mad-dream of Nag Ashwin a reality.

However the film makes you feel, Nagi had just aced his calibre to imagine a universe that is visually stunning. This film by Nag Ashwin is another loud statement to Hollywood, “We too have arrived with our own rooted stories.” The audience hooting and whistling for superhero Gods like Krishna might be an ecstatic feeling to Indian Audience. How long should we hoot for Iron Man and Thor? The mix of Mythology and dystopia hitting the popular mythological narrative of Kaliyuga is a perfect blend for the large scale cinema. Nagi has made just a trailer for his Kalki Cinematic Universe through Kalki 2898 AD. The essence is yet to come. 

This new madness of creating an Universe out of everything might be frustrating at times. We are investing so much time and money into this movie just to realise that I need to wait for probably another two years for the story that might never complete? We might feel cheated at the end. BUT, HEY! It’s cinema. And, we love cinema. We shall, and we will, wait for Nagi at what scale Nagi will develop this Kalki Cinematic Universe.

KALKI 2898 AD is now playing in cinemas.

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