Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review – Cinematic Marvel Where Past and Future Come Together

By sahil kumar

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Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review

Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review – ‘Kalki 2898 AD‘ is Nag Ashwin’s ‘Cinematic Marvel’ which combines the myths and legends of the post-apocalyptic era that we have seen only through Hollywood films. Although there have been many movies based on myths and legends, this will be the first time a sci-fi movie will emerge that connects the past and the future.

What is the matter with Gandivam (Arjuna’s bow) and Chiranjeevi Aswatthama in a world dominated by AI technology and robots? That is where this ‘fictional story’ of Nag Ashwin becomes a spectacle beyond fiction.

Movie:Kalki 2898 AD
Cast:Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Deepika Padukone, Disha Patani, Rajendra Prasad, Shobhana, Swartha Chatterjee, Brahmanandam, Pashupati, Anna Ben, Malavika Nair etc.
Camera:Jorge Stojilijkovic
Editor:Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Music:Santosh Narayanan
Producer:C. Ashwini Dutt
Directed by:Nag Ashwin
Released:27 June 2024
IMDb Rating8.1/10

After “Mahanati”, Nag Ashwin picked up this “Kalki”, which was touted as the biggest budget project in the history of Telugu cinema, a completely different story.

A pan India hero like Prabhas, along with Amitabh Bachchan as Ashwaththama, a character from the BC era, Kamal Haasan as the future character Yaskin, and Deepika Padukone as a pregnant woman. More than interest, we want to see how such a huge project looks on screen. Doubt is more than anything, this huge experiment will go up to the people!

So let’s examine whether Kalki 2898 AD Movie met the expectations or raised suspicions.

Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review

The plot of Kalki is a journey spanning millennia, beginning with the epic events of the Mahabharata in 3101 BC and ending in 2898 AD. The world is 6000 years after the battle of Kurukshetra. Kashi and Shambhala are the two remaining cities in the world. If Shambhala is a city of hope, Kashi is on the brink of destruction. The river Ganges dried up and food became scarce.

Everything necessary to sustain life is contained within a man-made complex. A poor man cannot enter there. Complex City is an inverted pyramidal structure standing in the sky. It is also ruled by a 200-year-old demon named Supreme Yaskin. Yaskin believes that God’s time has passed and that he is now in that position. Bhairava is a bounty hunter in Kashi. Anyway, Bhairava’s goal is to capture a few rebels and gain points to get inside the complex.

Shambhala is a city of rebels. A haven for people from different faiths and cultures who are ready to risk their lives for a better tomorrow. Many warriors from among them come down to face the Supreme Yask, but the result is death in the end. Some in Shambhala, led by a woman named Maryam, dream of an incarnational birth. 

At the same time Ashwatthama, the immortal, is also waiting for his salvation. The only man left in the Maha Kurukshetra war. Ashwatthama is Mahameru who has left his remaining birth for Lord Vishnu’s tenth and final incarnation of Kalki.

The first half of the three-hour film focuses on the ins and outs of the ‘Kalki’ universe and the character Bhairava. The beginning of the movie and most of the first half is a bit boring. Prabhas’ first intro scene was also disappointing.

But with the arrival of Amitabh Bachchan’s character, the course of the film changes. The boredom mentioned earlier has changed and the movie is interesting and thrilling. Later on, ‘Kalki’ presents an experience that captures the audience till the climax.

The film is a strong comeback of Prabhas. It can be said that Prabhas really evolves into the hero of the film towards the climax. The second intro which the director has kept is also in the climax.

It can be said that Amitabh Bachchan, who plays Ashwathama, messed up Kalki in the first part. Bachchan excelled in action scenes, dialogue delivery and screen presence. Kamal Haasan stuns as Supreme Yaskin as a powerful villain, though appearing in only two scenes. For him to bring innovation in dialogue, getup and this character.

Deepika Padukone plays the strong character of Sumathi, Kalki’s mother. Nag has also given the best role to Malayalee stars like Shobhana and Anna Ben. Shobhana becomes Mary in Shambhala. Rajendra Prasad appears as Rumi at the beginning of the film. Swasta Chatterjee gives a magnificent performance as Manas, the commander of Kashi.

Disha Patani, who plays Roxy, does not have much to do in the film. Anil George appears as Counselor Bani, who is the right-hand man of Supreme Yask.

Two popular directors appear in cameos in the film. Bhairava’s AI-powered vehicle named Bujji (with voiceover by Keerthy Suresh) also became the funniest character in the film. Some of the characters shown in the trailer (Malvika Nair) are not in this part but are mentioned in several places in the film. Dulquer, Vijay Devarakonda and Mrinal Thakur’s roles, though small, won applause.

Kalki 2898 AD Draw Backs

This story is harder to drive than you might imagine. Not only the director has to suffer but also the audience. Especially the first half does not touch anywhere. It took a long time to establish the conflict point. The whole story seems to be moving here and there. 

The future ambience of Taluk is well created through graphics, but the story is not cooked until the interval, so you have to watch it with a sigh. So far Bhairava, his James Bond-esque boozy, Marvel-style fights, won’t appeal much to audiences other than those with a childish heart to watch. 

Deepika Padukone’s track is reminiscent of Samantha’s heroine Yashoda. Here and there there are scenes reminiscent of Nag Ashwin’s web movie “X Life”. Everything feels like deja vu with the feeling of having seen it somewhere, but it doesn’t feel fresh. 

While the audience is thinking, “We expected a lot.. this is like this”, the dialogue “I have given a lot of build-up about you.. Le..” is heard as if it is adding harmony to their mood. 

The director could not drive the story anywhere emotionally. There are no peak moments like in Rajamouli movies. The screenplay is also flat. But all these complaints are prominent in the first phase. When we come to the second half, partly because the story falls into a groove, partly because we get used to the theme.

Prabhas’ role is mostly suited for action scenes. An average Indian viewer thinks that if he is a hero, he should have a heroine by his side. But there is no heroine here. If there is a direction to come and go like that for a song. She cannot be called a heroine. 

Amitabh Bachchan dominated the movie. He has done various types of graphic fights as an eight-foot Ashwathama. As one theory has it the average height of Dwapara Yuga people is 8 feet, it is okay for six feet Amitabh to look eight feet tall!

Deepika Padukone is a completely serious character. A high-budget movie should have stardom, so there is not much to show an acting talent for that role other than casting her.

Kamal Haasan as Yaskin is the guest star. It appears 3 times in the same location.  

Sobhana is okay as Mariam of Shambhala country. Rajendraprasad appears for a while in Fastafu. Pashupati as Veeran and Swathana Chatterjee as Manas are suitable for their respective roles. 

The face of Krishna is not visible. The dubbing is just as bad as some Hindi actors said. 

Many actors appeared as cameos in this. Vijay Deverakonda as Arjuna is a surprise. Many cameos like Mrinal ThakurDulquer Salmaan, Ram Gopal Varma, and Rajamouli come and go.  But in the entire film, except for one Prabhas, all are serious characters. 

Technically, more should be said about the graphics. They have followed what Singeetham Srinivasa Rao showed in Aditya369 that the entire surface of the earth will become desert in the future. It is a privilege that he is the mentor of this film. 

The major minus of this movie is the music. If the songs are extremely boring, the background is nowhere near what it should be. Santhosh Narayanan’s music could not bring even a single goosebumps moment. This is how a movie of this calibre should not be. If this craft had been done right, this film would have gone to another level. 

But the admirable aspect of this story is that Mahabharata can be interestingly linked with the incarnation of Kalki. No matter how the whole movie seems, the climax is very interesting. I am excited to see the sequel. 

The way Kamal Haasan’s character is revealed at the end and the way Prabhas talks about the link between the character and the Mahabharata are interesting. It also made me wonder how the story will continue. 

Although it cannot be compared to Hollywood, considering the budget, it can be said that the film has the best VFX works seen in Indian cinema. The perfection in the fight scenes makes for a visual treat, especially the climactic battle scenes and so on. 

Nag Ashwin also produced a Maya world that creates post-apocalyptic films like Blade Runner, Mad Max, Book of Rats and Children of Men. Some scenes are inspired by movies like Black Panther and Duel.

But the film has been made by adding elements that are worth the same amount of money. The film also excels in other technical aspects like cinematography, editing and production design. Santhosh Narayanan’s music is also worth mentioning. There are no songs in the film.

What if ‘Mahabharat’ happens in the Starwar universe? That is Kalki in a nutshell. The biggest surprise for the audience is that there has never been anything comparable to this film in Indian cinema. A first step into a cinematic universe like ‘Kalki’, this film is definitely a must-see in the theatres.

This story, which begins with the Kurukshetra war and continues 6000 years later, is the most expensive film drawn on the Telugu screen. If you watch this movie in OTT except on the big screen, you may not find anything visually great.

Although it didn’t quite live up to the expectations as a story, it managed to generate interest in the sequel with just the climax. In the film, the people of Shambhala wait for the arrival of Kalki, chanting “for tomorrow”. Also, with the climax, the director made the audience wait for the sequel.

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