Love, they say, makes the world go round. In this case, it makes a puny postmaster combat The Great Khali in an akhada, only because that’s the precondition to win the hand of his beloved. Amusing, isn’t it? No doubt, the thought is attention-grabbing, but by the time you reach the finale and watch the duel [Rajpal versus Khali], you’re already exhausted and pooped. First and foremost, when you hear a title like KUSHTI, you expect some astounding kushtis in the narrative, don’t you? But barring a duel at the start and another towards the climax, the story focuses on the one-sided love story between Rajpal and Nargis [yawn inducing], the enmity between Om Puri and Sharat Saxena [cliched], the assorted characters in the village [straight out of Priyadarshan’s sets] and a rival postmaster who creates chaos in Rajpal’s life [boring]. KUSHTI is the story of a small village in Northern India where wrestling is a popular sport and an important wrestling match is held every year. Ever year, rivals Avtar Singh [Sharat Saxena] and Jiten Singh [Om Puri] try to beat each other in the wrestling match and gain the trusteeship of the village. Chander [Rajpal Yadav] plays the role of a village simpleton and a postmaster. Avtar Singh has a daughter named Laadli [Nargis], with whom Chander is madly in love. To get her father’s approval for their marriage, he was to first prove his prowess by wrestling with the seven-and-a-half feet tall The Great Khali. The condition set by Avtar Singh is Chander has to defeat Khali in the wrestling match. KUSHTI has a watchable start and a fairly exciting duel in the end, but the [approx.] 1.40 hours in between play the spoilsport. The love story, which is the focal point of KUSHTI, is non-happening and therefore, the chemistry between Rajpal and Nargis is non-existent. T.K. Rajeev Kumar’s direction, like the script, offers no novelty absolutely. In fact, there’s hardly anything in the movie to hold one’s interest. Neither does the love story work, nor do the light moments bring a smile on your face. Dialogues [Manisha Korde] are well-worded at places. Rajpal Yadav is getting typecast in similar roles. Nargis doesn’t get scope. Om Puri and Sharat Saxena enact their parts well. Asrani is wasted. Manoj Joshi’s impersonation of a popular politician is an eyesore. The Great Khali adds star value to the film, that’s it!
On the whole, KUSHTI is a poor show.