|Directed by||Trivikram Srinivas|
S. Satya Rama Murthy
|Written by||Trivikram Srinivas|
|Music by||Mani Sharma|
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||Geetha Arts|
Khaleja (alternatively titled Mahesh Khaleja) is a 2010 Telugu fantasy-action comedy film starring Mahesh Babu and Anushka Shetty directed by Trivikram Srinivas. It is the second collaboration between Mahesh Babu and Trivikram after Athadu. Singanamala Ramesh and C Kalyan produced the film as a Kanaka Ratna Movies production. Mahesh Babu plays the role of a cab driver in the film, while Prakash Raj plays the lead antagonist.
Sunil, Ali and Brahmanandam play key roles. The film was released on 7 October 2010. It won two Filmfare South awards for Best Male Playback Singer and Best Lyricist. The film was dubbed in Tamil as Bhadra, in Hindi as Jigar Kaleja, Bengali as Ekai Eksho and in Oriya as Abatar.
In a remote village, Pali, in Andhra Pradesh, many people are dying from an unknown cause. The village head predicts that God will come to their rescue and cure them. He sends Sidhappa (Shafi) to find him and bring him to their village.
Meanwhile, Alluri Seetarama Raju alias Raju (Mahesh Babu) is a taxi driver who lives with his grandfather (Kota Srinivasa Rao), who is a teacher. Raju is currently in Rajasthan in search of the family of a man named Bilavar Singh. He meets Baabji (Sunil) who comes to Rajasthan to shoot a travel documentary.
Raju introduces himself to Baabji and tells him of his background. He knows a girl named Subhashini (Anushka Shetty), whom he considers bad luck. Previously he encountered her in various occasions in which she damages his taxi due to her careless driving. Raju lands in hospital one day when Subhashini mixes epsom salt laxative (constipation treatment), intended for someone else, in Raju's coffee thinking that it is sugar, when Raju meets her at a coffee shop to collect the compensation for his taxi's damages from her. For this reason, he considers her a bad luck. One day, he drives two men, Geologist Paranji and Bilavar Singh, to their destination. But he sees them getting gunned down by some unknown men and Bilavar falls out of a window and lands straight on Raju's taxi, completely destroying it. Since Bilavar has insurance, Raju's boss tells him to deliver the insurance check of Rs. 5,00,000 to Bilavar Singh's family in Girdwala, Rajasthan and get Rs. 1,00,000 in return to pay for his car damages. Hence he is wandering in Rajasthan in search of Girdwala village.
Meanwhile, Subhashini's father, business magnate Durga Prasad (Tanikella Bharani), brings her a match, another business magnate GK's (Prakash Raj) son. The main reason for the proposal is to establish a strong business partnership. GK's son takes her to Rajasthan for a date. But Subhashini runs away after she sees a condom packet drop from his pocket and realizes his true intentions. GK finds out about it and informs Durga Prasad and promises to bring Subhashini back. He sends his henchman, Govardhan (Subbaraju) to Rajasthan in search of Subhashini.
To Raju's dismay, Subhashini finds Raju and Baabji and learns that she is in Rajasthan. Subhashini, Baabji, Raju, and a botanist Tom (Ali) find Girdwala and hand over the check to Bilavar Singh's family, but Raju refuses to ask for the Rs. 1,00,000 when he sees the family's poverty. Tom remains in the village as the villagers want to punish him for cutting a sentimental plant, Baabji goes away with his shooting team, but does not offer them a ride as he is scared of Subhashini's reckless behavior.
As Raju and Subhashini return, Govardhan's men attack, stab Raju, and take Subhashini. But Raju survives and beats up all of Govardhan's men. Just as Raju goes unconscious, Sidhappa finds him and believes he is the God after seeing the omens. Sidhappa and Subhashini take Raju to Pali, where the villagers treat his wounds.
After waking up, he finds all of the villagers praising him as God and gets worried. He finds out from Subhashini that they are in Pali, Andhra Pradesh and that the villagers suppose he is the God that the village's head was talking about.
He argues with the village head that he is not God and that God needs to have powers. But the village head and Sidhappa tell him that he does not need to have powers but just needs to believe in himself. Later, Raju fights with a few goons who come to remove a medical camp, headed by Sundaram (Raghu Babu), set up to treat the villagers. Subhashini and Raju leave the village when Raju feels uncomfortable because of the villagers calling him God, a belief which was strengthened when Raju revives a dead girl. Durga Prasad, his lawyer Miriyam (Brahmanandam), believing that Subhashini eloped with Raju, come with a few goons to attack Raju and retrieve Subhashini. Raju easily fights them off but gives Subhashini back to Durga Prasad, saying that he never had any feelings for her and that she has always bothered him. Subhashini leaves upset with her father.
Raju meets his worried grandfather, but finds that Sidhappa has followed him. Tom returns and meets with Raju and Sidhappa and learns of the entire situation and starts helping them. On one occasion, Raju challenges Sidhappa that if he is really God, then he should get 10 rupees immediately. Although the first person he asks rejects, the second person he asks gives him 100 rupees. The trick was that the second time Raju told himself that if he gets 10 rupees he will buy a nearby poor boy a glass of milk, and that was why he got 100 rupees. Raju concludes that God is nowhere but within everyone and everything, and that God will come out when needed. Raju finally agrees to help Sidhappa and Pali.
He starts searching for the reason why so many villagers are dying and starts by kidnapping doctor Sundaram who closed the medical camp in Pali. Sundaram tells them that their college dean Venkateswar Rao ordered the closure. The trio then kidnaps Venkateswar Rao who tells them that the letter ordering the camp closure was sent by GK and that Govardhan, who was sent by GK, threatened to kill Venkateswar Rao if he did not sign the letter. Raju kidnaps Govardhan who reveals that GK and Durga Prasad have built a factory for mining to extract the metal Iridium, and that the villagers of Pali are dying of the waste from the factory which poisoned their environment, and tells them to talk to Miriyam if they need more information.
Raju calls Subhashini tells her that he loves her and that he was just hesitating to tell her all this while. He then goes to her house to talk to Miriyam. Miriyam tells them that GK built a factory near Pali that manufactures incredibly strong plastic glass. GK needs a business partnership with Durga Prasad since GK needs sugarcane to make the glass and Durga Prasad is one of the leading sugarcane crop owners in India. Hence, GK wants his son to marry Subhashini to strengthen his relationship with Durga Prasad.
But Raju suspects there is more to the story than just the factory, because GK actually wants the villagers in Pali to die, which was why GK had the medical camp removed. He finds GK's assistant (Archana) and suspects that she has something to do with GK's plan as she did not get into his taxi along with Geologist Paranji, indicating that she knew beforehand that he was going to be killed. Raju inquires her about GK's intentions, who reveals that Paranji discovered earlier that there is a large Iridium deposit under Pali, which is worth billions, and informed GK about it. Despite GK's warning to Paranji of not revealing it to anybody else, he tries to inform the Department of Geology about it, which was why he and Bilavar Singh, who was with him, were killed that day. GK suspects that Raju might also know about the Iridium deposit because he was with Paranji when he was killed which was why GK sent Govardhan to kill him, not to retrieve Subhashini. Raju was lured to Girdwala under the cover of delivering the insurance check to Bilavar Singh's family (GK had the insurance documents planted) and was attacked by Govardhan. GK needs the strong plastic glass from the plastic factory to pack the Iridium. He wanted the Pali villagers to vacate (to dig the Iridium ore without trouble) on their own to avoid suspicion, which was why he poisoned Pali's environment using the plastic factory's waste.
GK kills his assistant because she revealed everything to Raju. GK then heads to Pali to kill all of the villagers before the truth goes out to the public. The village head warns GK that Raju is their God and that Raju will bring death to GK and keep the Pali's population at 534 and not let anyone die in the wrath of GK. Raju arrives at Pali along with Sidhappa. GK immediately shoots Sidhappa and kills him, reducing the population to 533. Raju angrily kills all of GK's goons, and severs GK's palm. A terrified GK starts escaping with Raju in pursuit. Raju catches up to him, and GK dies when a religious knife hanging from a nearby tree falls and stabs him in the neck. The village head finally reveals that Raju fulfilled his mission as God to save the village as, although Sidhappa was killed, another baby was born to keep the village's population at 534.
- Mahesh Babu as Alluri Seetarama Raju (Chhatrapati Raju in the Hindi Version)
- Anushka Shetty as Subhashini (Sumita aka Sumo in the Hindi Version)
- Prakash Raj as GK
- Amit Kumar Tiwari as GK's son
- Sunil as Baabji ( 'Documentary' Babulal in the Hindi Version)
- Brahmanandam as Miriyam
- Tanikella Bharani as Durga Prasad
- Ali as Tom Cruise
- Shafi as Sidhappa
- Kota Srinivasa Rao as Raju's grandfather
- Rao Ramesh as village head
- Penumatsa Subbaraju as Govardhan
- Raghu Babu as Sundaram
- Ananth Babu as Ananth
Sify rated 3 out of 5 explained "No doubt, Mahesh is the cynosure of the movie, shouldering the entire responsibility." MSN rated 2.5 out of 5 and described the film as "just an above average venture", commenting, "Mahesh Khaleja is worth a watch for Mahesh's strong screen presence and charisma. Mahesh carries off his role with elan and looks superb too. Anushka looks pretty but doesn't share a good on-screen chemistry with Mahesh. The first half of the film is dull. It does pick up pace in the second half but the narration is inconsistent and tedious. The climax is little better. Rediff gave a 2.5 out of 5 rating and noted "The duo of Mahesh-Trivikram delivers a product that is watchable, entertaining with good humour, couple of well-orchestrated action sequences and songs and with a bit to take home as well. It's Mahesh's show all the way, much to the delight of his fans. Mahesh is the soul of the movie, be it his dialogue delivery, his action, his dances or emotions, he is effortless.
CNN-IBN gave a negative review stating "The movie is all about Mahesh Babu and he occupies almost every frame in the movie. Back after a gap of 4 years, Mahesh looks great with stylish costumes. The movie deals with a serious theme but director Trivikram Srinivas mixes it with a lot of unnecessary situational comedy which dilutes the intensity of the movie." Local review sites Idlebrain and GreatAndhra gave a 3 out of 5 and praised Mahesh's performance. The Hindu said "The star looks leaner and handsomer and does his role with aplomb" adding "The film is a laugh riot from the word go. Trivikram, who is also the dialogue writer, skillfully blends comical situations into the script and Mahesh Babu's timing in delivering the one-liners is excellent".
The soundtrack was composed by Mani Sharma. The music was released on 27 September 2010. The starcast of the movie, including Mahesh Babu, actress Anushka Shetty, music director Mani Sharma and director Trivikram Srinivas released the audio at Radio Mirchi FM radio station in the Hyderbad. Mahesh Babu's wife Namrata Shirodkar was also present. The album contains six songs and the lyrics are written by Ramajogayya Sastry and Sirivennela Sitaramasastri. The film's audio was a huge success.
|Soundtrack album by Mani Sharma|
|Released||27 September 2010|
|Mani Sharma chronology|
|1.||"Sada Siva"||Ramajogayya Sastry||Karunya , Ramesh Vinayagam||4:57|
|2.||"Bhoom Shakana"||Ramajogayya Sastry||Ranjith, Sravana Bhargavi||4:26|
|3.||"Piliche"||Sirivennela Sitaramasastri||Hemachandra, Shweta Mohan||4:27|
|4.||"Makathika"||Ramajogayya Sastry||Karthik, Saindhavi||3:55|
|5.||"Sunday Monday"||Ramajogayya Sastry||Vedala Hemachandra, Malavika||4:21|
- Best Lyricist – Telugu: Ramajogayya Sastry – "Sada Siva"
- Best Male Playback Singer – Telugu: Ramesh Vinayagam & N. C. Karunya – "Sada Siva"
- Best Supporting Actor – Telugu – Shafi
- 16reels.com. "Winners of 58th Idea Filmfare Awards 2010 (South)". Telugu.16reels.com. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "Movie Review:Mahesh Khaleja- Review". Sify.com. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "Watch 'Mahesh Khaleja' for Mahesh Babu's charisma – 2 – Reviews | South Cinema | MSN India Entertainment". Entertainment.in.msn.com. 11 October 2010. Archived from the original on 19 October 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "Mahesh Khaleja: Mahesh Babu's show all the way – Rediff.com Movies". Movies.rediff.com. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "Telugu Review: Khaleja fails to pack a punch – Reviews – Telugu reviews – ibnlive". Ibnlive.in.com. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Prakash KL (20 September 2010). "Mahesh Babu's Khaleja audio release on Sep 27". Entertainment.oneindia.in. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "Andhra Pradesh / Hyderabad News : Audio of Khaleja released". The Hindu. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2012.