Neither Khatta, nor Meetha. Just plain hodgepodge shoved down your throat in niggardly doses during the course of a patience-testing two hours and forty minutes. Priyadarshan’s latest co-mad-ee Khatta Meetha is a bumpy road roller ride with as many plot-holes as open man-holes one is likely to find in a rainy season. Swoosh!
The irrepressible Akshay Kumar returns once again with his gummy grin and goofy gait. He is Sachin Tichkule, a road construction contractor who’s not been able to succeed despite being corrupt to the bones. With goggles on his grinning mug, an umbrella in tow, a well-ironed shirt carefully tucked inside the pleated trousers that hem in over a pair of polished Kolhapure chappals, Sachin, true to his name, is ‘Tich’ from head to toe. But when he hops on a cranky bicycle and pedals away from chasing creditors (Asrani), you know his condition isn’t better than the roads he makes.
At home, Sachin is ridiculed by his more unscrupulously corrupt brothers-in-law (Manoj Joshi and Milind Gunaji) and an idealist father (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). His sister (Urvashi Sharma), however, loves Sachin despite him being who he is. At office, Sachin is constantly under the heat from the new municipal commissioner Gehna Gampule (Trisha Krishnan) with whom he had a love affair that went kaput. Now, the two are always at loggerheads. In the field, Sachin helms a ragtag bunch of labourers, including the irrevocably lecherous Rangeela (Rajpal Yadav), constructing roads with less gravel and tar and lots of sand and mud.
In between these characters and a couple of debauched netas and babus, the story keeps veering from one plot-hole to another without ever getting anywhere. There’re no splashes, no laugh-out-loud moments, but just a bunch of childishly chuckle-worthy sequences with no lena-dena to the story - like the freewheeling road roller scene, or Asrani’s confusing telephone jugglery, or Johnny Lever’s over-the-top cameo or Akshay’s metamorphoses into a college going yuppie who perhaps flunked one too many exams from his teens to middle age.
It’s a madcap world of Priyadarshan’s making in Khatta Meetha. And against the backdrop of all this, there’s a track of a common man (Makrand Deshpande) who lost his family in a bridge collapse and is doing his personal investigation and collecting evidence to expose the people behind the scam.