Rajinikanth is someone who needs no introduction. He is someone who is worshipped by his loyal fans worldwide and his films are no less than festivals for them. Someone recently joked that after Kabali releases, Rajinikanth will review the film critics. Well am not a critic neither am I a huge Rajini fan (though we all adore him don’t we?!). So i did go first day to experience the frenzy of Kabali in a single screen of South Bombay. And frankly, it leaves you less-high and more-dry.
Kabali revolves around Kabaleeshwaran (Rajinikanth) who is released after 25 years from imprisonment after being falsely accused of starting a massacre that killed many including his family. Kabali returns to Kuala Lumpur where his house is located with only one thing in mind – revenge! The primary narrative shows how Kabali deals with Tony Lee (Winston Chao), a purring Malay (I’m assuming) who wears his silken suits with the entitlement of generations of privilege and other small gangsters who were involved in killing his pregnant wife. The secondary narrative is all about the search of Kabali for his wife who may be alive according to him.
The narrative and the screenplay is the biggest issue with this film. The primary narrative is underwhelming barring a few good action set-pieces. The secondary narrative is all yawn inducing. The chemistry between Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte (wife) is solid but the long search for the wife is plain boring. Also, many fans like me who were expecting some Rajini style action sequences or at least more-action-less-words will be in for disappointment. Many of the characters start well but vanish in thin air in the second half due to some poor writing. There are attempts to show the origin of Malaysian Tamils via flashbacks featuring a young Rajinikanth but again, the attempt seems half-baked.
On the positives, the movie is technically brilliant. The cinematography is stunning and the background score is spot on. The action scenes, though less, are well executed. Special mention of the Rajini intro song “Neruppu Da“, outstanding one! I personally liked Radhika Apte and though her character was under-developed, she did well and looks stunning.
And last but not the least, its always impossible to comment on someone who is as big as Rajinikanth! And he doesn’t disappoint! He is superb in all aspects, though it is surely disappointing that he did another below-par film after Lingaa, though Kabali is much better than that dud. Hope Shankar makes amends with Robot 2.0 next up!
Final Verdict: Strictly for Rajini fans!
Rating – 2.25/5