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Kabali Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, July 18, 2016 • Tamil ]
Kabali Review
Banner:
V Creations
Cast:
Rajinikanth, Dhanshika, Attakaththi Dinesh, Radhika Apte, Kalaiarasan, Prakash Raj
Direction:
Pa. Ranjith
Production:
Kalaipuli S.Dhanu
Movie:
Kabali

When the name of Superstar Rajinikanth is associated with something, it gets huge attention and that's what happened for ‘Kabali’. Added to this, director Ranjith who has proven to be a promising young director with two cirtically acclaimed super hit films joining with Rajinikanth took the expectations to huge levels. When the film got ready for release producer Kalaipuli.S.Thanu ensured that the film is talk of the country. Everyone were crazy to get a ‘Kabali’ ticket. Amid such huge expectations the film has released and it has proved to be one of the best films of Rajinikanth as an actor and not a star.

Kabali (Superstar Rajinikanth) is a revered Malaysian Tamil don who gets released after serving a jail term of 25 years. He has lost his wife Kumudhavalli (Radhika Apte) when she was pregnant and does not know whether she is still alive. He has fought for the equal rights for the oppressed Tamils of Malaysia and has emerged as respected do-gooder don among them. He runs a school to refine the Tamil adolescents who roam around as spoilt brats in Malaysia and make them as good citizens.

But this is not enough to save the Tamil youngsters from getting spoilt. He has to bring down the drug and prostitution mafia run by a Chinese don Tony Lee (Winston Chao) and his accomplice Veerasekaran (Kishore).

The rest is how ‘Kabali’ does this by winning over a dreadful empire of gangsters.

First let us make it very clear. THIS IS NOT A SUPERSTAR FILM. In stead this is the film in which the actor Rajinikanth comes to the fore and touches our heart with every minute expression, gesture and dialogue delivery.

With ‘Kabali’, Rajini reminds us that he is not only capable of churning out mass blockbusters like ‘Billa’, ‘Murattu Kalai’, ‘Moondru Mugam’, ‘Baasha’, ‘Padayappa’ and ‘Shivaji’ but he can also steal our hearts with films like ‘Bhuvana Oru Kelvikkuri’, ‘Mullum Malarum’, ‘Aarilirundhu Arubathuvarai’, ‘Engeyo Ketta Kural,’ ‘Johny’ and ‘Thalapathi’. At a time when every director will be ready to surrender themslves to his star power, this Box office Samrat, surrenders himself to the needs of the script like a kid who has a blemish-less belief on its parents. Our admiration for this trait of our lovable Superstar cannot be defined with adjectives.

The film is highly different and unusual from Rajini flicks we have seen in the past two decades. The film does not have a punch dialogue anywhere. The mass scenes are limited but effective. The film is more of emotion than action (read stunts). The intent of the director to make present the film as realistic as possible is clearly visible throughout. But still. The film belongs to Rajini. Though it is a cliched expression in a movie review, it has to be stated that Rajinikanth carries the film on his shoulders with his experience and expertise in the art that comes out as brilliant acting and indomitable screen presence.

Director Pa.Ranjith needs to be complimented for making a film that has shown us the other less utilized but equally powerful facet of the Superstar. It is the belief in him and his script that has made Rajini to do a film that is unusual in his commercial route.

But the expectations over a Ranjith film have not been satisfied fully. Ranjith has attempted to make a realistic film loaded with emotions and political acitivism. But both these ingredients have worked out only partially. What the fans and audience who will be compromising the usual Rajini antics that will make them cheer and whistle out of lungs could have got something much better in return.

Of course there are praiseworthy emotional moments. Ranjith has done a good research and portrayed the plight of Malaysia Tamils and the lead character’s poltiical activism related to that makes the right impact.

Ranjith’s dialogue writing ability comes in handy. There are many clap worth dialogues about the emancipation of the oppressed (Malaysian Tamils in this case). There are also dialogues with subtle references to caste-hirearchy and ill treatment within Tamils and there are references to Dr.B.R.Ambedkar and Gandhiji. We can not expect another writer-director to convey these thoughts as effectively as Ranjith has done.

But still these dialogues pertaining to ethnicity and caste based oppression could have made much stronger impact if they were supplemented with better or powerful scenes portraying the oppression.

As far as entertainment is concerned, slow-paced. Problem is that the slowness could have been better justified if the script was added with more powerful elements. Still Ranjith’s scripts manages to engage and entertain in parts with some interesting twists and some mass and sharply cut fight sequences. Watch out for the interval block and the last the 15-20 minutes climax sequence in which the Supertar’s mass image gets unfurled and dominates. The climax will be a surprise for a many.

Rajinikanth has given one of his career best performances as detailed earlier and he can not be fauled for any reason. Instead he needs to be lauded for submitting himself to a realistic film . Radhika Apte comes in a role that can be called an extended cameo and is spot on in emoting.

Sai Dhanshika, as a bold and liberal young girl who also has to perform a good number of fight scenes and gun battles in the film is simply brilliant in looks, body language and expressions. Dinesh plays another notable and praiseworthy supporting character as Kabali’s loyal gangster who would face even a hungry lion to save his boss. John Vijay plays his part neatly.

Kalaiyarasan and a many other actors whom we have seen in ‘Madras’ are part of this film and they are just adequate. Riythvika gets an emotional and eccentric character and she cannot be faulted for her performance but the character does not fit well into the script.

Lack of powerful villains is one of the biggest problems in ‘Kabali’. Winston Chao does not make any impact and just serves the script’s need of having a Chinese look alike villain. Kishore has given his best with the predictable villain role offered to him.

Santhosh Narayanan’s already hit songs fit well into the narration and a few of them are aptly used as montages. Re-recording is also good. Cinematography by G.Murali uses the right shades to give us the feeling of being in Malaysia and the perfect angles to convey the mood of the film. Praveen K.L’s Editing is seamless. We are not sure whether he or the writer-director has to be blamed for the excessive slowness in second half.

Verdict:  'Kabali' is a film that you should not miss for Rajini’s fantabulous acting, clap worthy dialogues, and sparkling emotional moments.  A more powerful story and a tighter screenplay would have made it much better.

Rating: 3.00 / 5.0

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