In the early days of his evolution as the original guru of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud often used hypno-therapy to get patients to regress to their childhood. In that state, they would recount traumas that still ailed them now as adults. In order to get into the groove of this movie, you would have to use one of those reclining seats at the back of the theatre as a couch, but even the most expensive multiplex hasn’t yet included an in-house psychiatrist to take you back to class 7, 8 or 6.
This is the target audience of Khiladi 786 and the real significance of its title. It’s all to do with numbers, and the film is about a numerical Punjabi family who pose as policemen. There is Sattar Singh (Raj Babbar), Ikhattar Singh (Mukesh Rishi) and then, of course, Akshay Kumar who plays the double role of Bahattar and Tehattar Singh. Apart from the Akshay character, who is still an ‘eligible’ bachelor, all the others have married foreigners. So now the family wants an Indian bride for him. They contact a marriage bureau, or rather, the marriage bureau contacts them, and puts them in touch with a family of Maharashtrians who also pose as policemen.
Tatya Tukaram Tendulkar (Mithun Chakraborty) has a sister called Indu (Asin Thottumkal) who he wants to see married. She is just Akshay’s type—brash, a reckless driver and the kind of girl who shoots first and asks questions later. Clearly, it’s a marriage made in heaven, but it takes a while to get there. There is a lot of comedy to go through and the funniest is when Johnny Lever turns up and threatens to report the whole shady business of fake policemen to Kejriwal.
The potshots at television reporters and their flunkies are genuinely funny, and at such points, it is worth regressing to your childhood to enjoy them. Khiladi 786 is a ridiculous movie, but it’s good for a few laughs.