Thursday 21 July 2016
Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte, Dhanshika, Winston Chao
First things first, Kabali is way different from Rajinikanth’s usual mass entertainers we have grown up on.
When the superstar decided to move out of his comfort zone and team up with a talented young filmmaker Pa Ranjith, expectations had sky-rocketed. But ultimately Kabali is all about stylish making, swanky locations and an all new re-invented superstar who plays his age. But does all this satisfy millions of Superstar fans?
The film opens with a short back story on ‘Gang 43’ (spearheaded by Winston Chao, Kishore and ‘Mime’ Gopi) who are ruling the underworld in Malaysia. Their rival team is quite weak, as their leader Kabali (Rajinikanth) has been in jail for the past twenty five years. However, taking Kabali’s philanthropic activities and old age into account, the Malaysian government decides him to release from jail.
Right after a great introductory scene, Kabali knocks down each and every nail of ‘Gang 43’. Veera (Kishore) hires the Thailand snipper Yogi (Dhanshikaa), who happens to be the long lost daughter of Kabali! The rest of the film is all about how Kabali reunites with his wife Kumudhavalli (Radhika Apte) and demolishes Tony (Winsten Chao) and his underworld operations.
The first half though a bit slow, is extremely satisfying. Rajinikanth does not play much to the gallery and scores with subtle mannerisms and his natural swag. There are couple of clap worthy moments like the action scene where yogi saves her father and the reuniting scene of Kabali with wife Kumudhavalli. Kabali would have been a classic, if Ranjith had concentrated more on a coherent screenplay instead of narrating the story as a documentary. We don't feel much for characters like Kalaiarasan, Dinesh or Ritvika in the sub plots, which ultimately is irrelevant to the story.
Yes, performance wise Radhika Apte is brilliant and her pairing with Rajinikanth looks fresh and their chemistry has worked out well. ‘Attakathi’ Dinesh has a miniscule role and he scores with an unique body language. Dhanshika, John Vijay, Kishore and Ritvika and are all there but in insignificant roles. A major drawback of the film is the predictable climax, a weak villain and lack of good songs or comedy associated with all Rajinikanth films.
Rajinikanth puts up a performance like never before. He looks dapper in a well fitted suits in pastel shades and his styling is top class - A big thumbs up to designer Anu Vardhan. The actor even at this age carries the film on his shoulder. It is the strong screen presence and sheer aura of the man that keeps us rooting for the film.
Technically, Murali’s cinematography is top notch that he has shown Malaysia in a different angle. Santhosh Narayanan’s BGM elevates the film to a different level. Overall, Kabali is neither a Rajinikanth film nor a Ranjith film — it’s a mixed bag!
Kabali review:Verdict - Mixed bag!