Kalki 2898 AD – Review

Nag Ashwin’s sci-fi epic “Kalki 2898 AD” delivers on the grandiosity one would expect from a futuristic saga. The film features flying vehicles, sophisticated weapons, an evil overlord, a reluctant hero, a damsel in distress, and an indestructible protector. These elements are both the film’s strength and its weakness.

The story follows Bhairava (Prabhas) and his AI sidekick Bujji (Keerthy Suresh) as they navigate life as bounty hunters, seeking to escape the grim reality of Kashi for a better existence in the Complex. Despite his seemingly selfish demeanor, Bhairava is capable of love, particularly towards Roxie (Disha Patani), who misunderstands him. His thoughts are filled with classical music whenever he dreams of the Complex or food.

Supreme Yaskin (Kamal Haasan), the tyrannical ruler with a god complex, treats fertile women as mere vessels for the enigmatic Project K. SU-M80 (Deepika Padukone) is among those who might sacrifice their lives for this mysterious experiment. Meanwhile, Ashwatthama (Amitabh Bachchan) awaits the reunion with his Shivamani, a gem on his forehead, to fulfill his destiny of protecting Kalki.

The rebels and refugees of Shambala, led by Mariam (Shobana), believe in the prophecy of Amma, who will birth a savior to rectify the world’s wrongs. As the lives of the privileged and the underprivileged clash, the narrative explores themes of economic disparity and societal decay.

“Kalki 2898 AD” captivates with its visual grandeur and imaginative world-building, keeping the audience engaged for its three-hour runtime. Director Nag Ashwin’s bold vision is commendable, especially considering this is only his third film. He effectively immerses viewers in a dystopian future where women lack autonomy, and men are driven by capitalist motives, highlighting a world where economic disparity has worsened.

“Kalki 2898 AD” offers an intriguing blend of mythology and dystopia. The flashbacks to Kurukshetra are seamlessly integrated, enriching the narrative rather than detracting from it. While the first half of the film may leave some wanting more, the second half picks up pace, setting the stage for potential future installments.

In summary, “Kalki 2898 AD” is a bold and visually stunning film that largely succeeds in its ambitious storytelling. Though it falls prey to some familiar genre conventions, it remains a compelling watch for fans of sci-fi and dystopian tales.