Review : Kabali
Movie : Kabali
Release Date: 22nd July 2016
Rating : 2.5
Cast and Crew: Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte, Winston Chao, Dhansika, etc.
Dialogues : Sahithi
Music : Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography : G.Murali
Story, Screenplay and Direction: Pa Ranjith
Producers : Kalaipu S Thanu
It all started when the makers released the first look of ‘Kabali’ which shows Rajinikanth who looks stunningly powerful in ultra stylish age old mafia don fighting with criminals. This got intensified when the makers have released the teaser. The records that the teaser has created all over the world is nothing compared to the hype that has been built up by never seen promotions for the film. Whether it might be posters on an airplane, gold and silver coins minted on ‘Kabali’, Special ‘Kabali’ edition cars and products and finally private companies declaring a holiday, this movie has got a never seen hype in the history of Indian Cinema. Rajinikanth has just transformed from a stage which is more than a demi-God and less than a God. There has this positive buzz and ‘Kabali’ mania everywhere prior to the release. Let us see how far this movie has reached the expectations of a common audience.
What is the story all about?
Kabali (Rajani Kanth) a don in Malaysia gets out of jail after twenty-five years. His past associates will be running a school in Malaysia that helps the dropouts and other youths that have troubled pasts. Meanwhile, a gang hires a lady killer to kill Kabali. That killer Yogi (Dhansika) turns out to be his Kabali’s daughter. He comes to know that even his wife Kundanavalli (Radhika Apte) is alive. How Kabali unites with his family and wipes out all other bad guys in Malaysia forms rest of the story.
Rajanikanth mesmerizes us with his look, styling, and performance. He is absolutely flawless and supremely stylish in the don character. Scenes from the flashback show flashes of vintage Rajni. Radhika Apte is the perfect cast for Rajini’s wife character. She has added value to emotions in the movie with her commanding performance. Dhansika is the next best in a typical tomboy style girl character. She did a decent performance as an actress. Winston Chao is okay as the main villain. He did a good job but the common audience in India may have problems to connect with him. Another cast largely consists of unknown Tamil actors which might be hardly known for our audience.
Lack of Entertainment
Director Pa Ranjith has successfully presented Rajini Kanth in one of his career-best looks and we can’t ask for better as he did his best in presenting Rajini as the age old stylish Don. He should have put more effort in the script rather than stylish making to make it a grand success. It is a great opportunity gone wasted mostly due to the lazy script of Ranjith.
Santosh Narayan’s background score is one of the highlights. Songs hardly make an impression. Cinematography by Murali is certainly one of the reasons to watch. Quality visuals are definitely an eye feast for the viewers and he has shown Malaysia more beautiful than past. Editing could have been better as the movie seemed to be very slow in the second half. The movie will be much better if the editor would have trimmed a bit. The art department did a fine job. Production values are at their best and each visual looks so rich in making.
Analysis: Now this is without any doubt the biggest opportunity in the career of Ranjith. So far he has made two films and shown a certain style which worked for his small films. In Kabali he gets to handle the biggest Superstar in India. This huge burden seems to have made the director lose his way.
The realistic setup, screenplay, and pacing of the film carries his mark but the problem is Superstar’s fans are expecting a film like Basha. Director tries to make the Superstar smaller and fit into his narrative but at the same time sets up few larger than life moments within that small world he has created. The narrative doesn’t support it and this mismatch is the film’s biggest problem and ultimately what kills the film. There is no real Superstar fun or director’s fine craft at the display.
The first half of the film begins neatly and goes at snail’s pace on a predictable journey. As we are introduced to a new world and characters, it feels fine initially. But as soon as the drama begins one starts feeling shaking. On top of that, we have an uneven emotional graph which further hampers the proceedings. There is a breather only towards the interval when some action happens along with a little twist.
The second half again gets on the same path as the first half but the trajectory is further downwards. A couple of scenes evokes positive reactions but we go down to the bottom After huge emotional scenes, the last 30 minutes are filled with gang wars as one cannot jump to such sudden variation. Director Ranjith has not given a bad film but it’s an absolute lack of entertainment.
Verdict: Only for the fans of Rajini.
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