Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review

Stunning Visuals, Minimal Drama


U/A, 3h 1m

prabhas-kalki-2898-ad-movie-reviewWhat Is the Film About?

“Kalki 2898 AD” is set in a chaotic world where a powerful force, played by Kamal Haasan, needs a serum from a fertile woman. The core story revolves around the reasons for this need, the conflict between Bhairava (Prabhas) and Ashwatthama (Amitabh Bachchan), and how they come together to rescue Sumathi (Deepika Padukone).


Bhairava, played by Prabhas, feels more like an extended cameo than a main lead, which is a big surprise. We wonder how Nagi did not see this through. He may say there is a second part, but we just watched a three-hour-long film, and it is an undeniable opinion that most agree with.

In the first half, Bhairava’s role looks very patchy. After his introduction, he disappears for a significant time and returns in a fun banter with Bujji, which works moderately, leaving us dissatisfied with his characterization. There are no character traits or anything substantial, other than Bhairava being someone who makes subtle jokes all the time.

However, what works brilliantly is the last twenty minutes, where Prabhas looks stunning and makes a big impact while leaving the theater. In terms of looks, body language, and ease, this film too leaves the same complaints he has been facing.

Amitabh Bachchan as Ashwatthama is undoubtedly the major highlight of the film. His screen presence and performance make him an asset. The biggest credit goes to the team who executed his action sequences brilliantly; at no point are we reminded of his age, as he is as agile as a young actor.

Kamal Haasan’s makeup draws instant interest; it is that good. Despite him appearing enough for an actor like Kamal to make a significant impact through his brief screen time, the impact is definitely missing. The makers might say his role is reserved for the second part, though.

Deepika Padukone plays a pregnant lab subject, and her character slowly develops despite there not being much intrigue built into the whole lab or fertile women idea. She aptly delivers what is required, and her screen presence is good as always. However, there isn’t any standout performance that we could single out.

Disha Patani as Roxie has a forgettable role, but surprisingly, she gets a good amount of screen time.


Kalki 2898 AD, directed by Nag Ashwin who previously delivered the blockbuster Mahanati, showcases his emotional storytelling through drama and writing. He picked a film like Kalki with a vast canvas and ample scope for drama again with action this time.

The film begins with Amitabh as Ashwatthama instantly grabbing our attention, and the brief backstory of the characters introduced next, played by Rajendra Prasad and Shobhana, engages us from the start, creating excitement.

We then see Bhairava’s (Prabhas) introduction with fun banter, establishing his character’s tone, and a lengthy fight sequence follows. Despite the extended action sequence, Bhairava’s impact isn’t as powerful as expected, but there are no major complaints at this point.

However, Prabhas goes missing for a noticeable time and then reappears, which feels patchy for a lead role and gives more of a cameo impression than a lead role.

Deepika Padukone is introduced as SUM-80, a pregnant lab subject crucial to the plot. However, all the character introductions lack follow-through. Despite a long first half, none of the characters stand out. Even the episode that leads to meeting the Supreme (Kamal Haasan) lacks cinematic impact that is required; they simply mention it’s not easy to meet him for the first time, yet they just walk in to meet him. However, the VFX used here is terrific.

The less we talk about Roxie’s (Disha Patani) track, the better; it adds to the ongoing boredom, compounding the effect.

By the interval, it feels like we’ve already watched a film without any standout characters emerging. Nevertheless, the interval stop is executed nicely and works effectively.

The second half begins more like a Mad Max action sequence with Anna Ben, running for an extended time and passing the action from one to another. Despite its length, it succeeds in its ideas and visual impact.

The second half mainly focuses on action and works well for the most part. Most importantly, even though the action sequences are very long, they are refreshing with top-notch technical standards.

It reaches its peak towards the end, delivering the much-needed cinematic high and showcasing what a star like Prabhas can achieve with the right execution in action. The ending, where he appears as Karna, is particularly strong.

However, it abruptly ends with an end card followed immediately by a brief setup for part 2.

What is surprising is that Nag Ashwin, whom everyone believed to be an expert in emotion and drama, does a superficial job here while action takes precedence. If the drama had matched the action, the experience could have been on a different level.

Take, for example, the entire lab idea, which is crucial—where is the emotion here? The needed clarity is also missing. We keep hearing the word ‘Complex’, ‘Complex’, but is that enough to establish such crucial parts of the story? Definitely not.

Luckily, the director, along with his technical crew, pulls off an action-oriented second half that keeps us engaged for the most part and provides a sense of scale in filmmaking.

Overall, Kalki 2898 AD deserves a watch in theaters for its scale, vision, and top-notch action sequences. However, the lack of drama and emotions is a big miss.

deepika-padukone-kalki-2898-ad-movie-reviewPerformances by Others Actors

Kalki 2898 AD features a host of talented actors who deliver their roles adequately. Rajendra Prasad and Shobhana give decent performances. It’s nice to see Brahmanandam on screen alongside Prabhas, but their fun banter fails to evoke heartfelt laughter.

Tamil actor Pasupathy does his job, though he fades from memory once off-screen. Malayalam actress Anna Ben gets a Mad Max-style action sequence. Saswata Chatterjee, a Bengali actor, fits well into his role.

Keerthy Suresh’s voice-over for Bujji works moderately well, and her inclusion is a nice touch that reflects positively.

We have close to a dozen cameos, and except for a couple of them, they make no impact. At the same time, they don’t harm; they just come and go. Rajamouli’s tease with Prabhas is sure to invoke laughs.

Santhosh NarayananMusic and Other Departments?

The camera work by Djordje Stojiljkovic is brilliant. Along with the art direction team (Anil Jadhav, Santosh Shetty, Velu, Rembon, and Venu Gopal), they do full justice to the epic project. Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao could have been better, as the film feels overly lengthy. Several parts of the film, such as Disha Patani’s or Prabhas’s first fight, could have been easily trimmed to avoid boredom.

The action sequences team (King Solomon, Andy Long, Peter Heins, Satish, Anbariv, Nick Powell) also deserves special applause.

Santhosh Narayanan composes the music, and it is fair to say that a film of this scale deserves better songs, even though only a few are present. The film also deserves a thumping background score that can elevate it to a whole new level. While SANA succeeds highly in the second half action sequences, overall, his impact is missing. He could have hit a home run given the scale of the project, but we have to agree that he did not disappoint either.

The production values by Vyjayanthi Movies are top-notch, and the production house has truly lived up to its brand of making big-ticket films. Producers Aswani Dutt and his daughters Swapna Dutt and Priyanka Dutt are set to become names at the pan-India level for making such a daring attempt.


Amitabh Bachchan as Ashwatthama

Action sequences in the second half

Final twenty minutes.

Quality of visual effects (VFX)


Sluggish first half

Lack of proper character development

Unclear presentation of key aspects (e.g., ‘Complex’)

Missing emotional punch

amitabh-bachchan-kalki-2898-ad-movie-reviewDid I Enjoy It?

Yes, the second half, especially for its action and scale.

Will You Recommend It?

Yes, despite its flaws, I would recommend it for its scale and experience.

Final Report:

While the first half requires patience, the second half compensates with terrific visual effects in action sequences that work, and the climax is highly impactful, leaving you on a high as you exit the theater. On the flip side, there is weak character development, including for Prabhas, and a lack of clarity on key areas like the ‘complex.’ Additionally, several cameos add little or no impact. Overall, it’s worth watching for its epic effort, scale, and new experience.

Kalki begins taking us into a different world from the very first shot. Stay tuned for the report.

Stay tuned for Kalki 2898 AD review and U.S. premiere report.

Kalki 2898 AD is releasing amid gigantic expectations, and director Nag Ashwin has taken on a huge challenge that could elevate him to the elite league of pan-India directors, if he delivers a film that opens to unanimous blockbuster talk. Stay tuned for the Kalki 2898 AD movie review and the first report from the USA premiere.

Cast: Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Deepika Padukone, Disha Patani and others


Direction Team: Nayanatara Manchala, Sahen Upadhyay, Akhil Reddy, Srinivas Eetha, Laxman Vihari, YJ Sai Charan, Prakeerthi Uppalapati, Kumar Vamsi

DOP: Djordje Stojiljkovic
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
Additional Sound Design: Kingshuk, Anirban
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Production Designer: Nitin Zihani Choudhary
Art Director: Anil Jadhav, Santosh Shetty, Velu, Rembon
Concept Art Team: Immortal Collective
Concept and Storyboard Artist: Venu Gopal
Stunts: King Solomon, Andy Long, Peter Heins, Satish, Anbariv, nick powell
Colorist: Andres Delgado, Prashant Sharma

Producer: C.Aswini Dutt
Co Producers: Swapna Dutt & Priyanka Dutt

U.S. Distributor: Prathyangira Cinemas

Kalki 2898 AD Movie Review by M9