The really late “Kabali” Review

The delay in the the publishing of this review is intentional, so as to allow the hullabaloo surrounding the movie to subside and give ourselves time to ponder on the question, that should hero worshipping take precedence over art? But before we get to it, we have to acknowledge the legend of Rajnikanth. He is a superstar for the ages. And we are not just referring to his glittering movie career. He is a philantrophist, a simpleton almost to a fault, a political influencer among other robes which he wears on a daily basis. The euphoria around any of his movie releases evokes renewed vigour into the mundane lives of the hoi polloi in places like Chennai and Bengaluru. And there lies his power. The power to unite people for a movie, notwithstanding race and religion.

He is a superstar for the ages. And we are not just referring to his glittering movie career. He is a philantrophist, a simpleton almost to a fault, a political influencer among other robes which he wears on a daily basis…

…And there lies his power. The power to unite people for a movie, notwithstanding race and religion.

As reviewers, we have a thankless job of analysing movies and pricking on the art form inside out. We cannot put our brains in a cold storage and “enjoy”the movie on its face value. We are not finicky by nature,it is just an occupational hazard. So, pardon us die-hard fans if we say anything blasphemous. By the way, a mass entertainer like this is best watched in theatres where the audience is vocal in appreciation.The movie is a crowd pleaser at its core but is also a commentary on the plight of Indians in Malaysia. In fact, the movie starts of well, with an introduction of the fodder-for-Rajni-fury (also known as
villains in other movies). Kabali has been behind bars since the last 25 years owing to gang rivalry which left his mentor dead and his family,suffering. The intro shot of Rajni, with slow motion walk and heavy bass music to boot does give goosebumps, even to calm snobs like us. As grown men around us gave him a fitting reception with cheers and hooting, we acknowledged the style and charisma of Rajnikanth. But then, the slow motions keep coming. There is slow motion gestures, slow motion hair flair etc. And that “now-everybody’s-ringtone” heavy bass music becomes a signature. Pa Ranjith (the director) ko bass pasand hain, really!

The initial intention of the movie to show the damages caused by drugs and prostitution helmed by Indians was honest, but then Rajnikanth happened.

The director tries hard to show the humane side of the character by repeatedly making him give sermons and encouraging misguided youngsters. This looks forced. The juxtaposition of the mushy emotional scenes with his wife along with action is also not well edited. The movie is so Rajni-heavy that as an audience we hardly care about his missing wife and daughter. There is a big reveal 2/3rds into the movie, but we could almost see it coming. This happens when the director and writers write the protagonist’s role first and the story later. The initial intention of the movie to show the damages caused by drugs and prostitution helmed by Indians was honest, but then Rajnikanth happened. The glorification of his stature pulls the story down quite a few notches. There is also a Chinese villain. But we know that poor soul stands no chance against the juggernaut called Kabali.
And as an audience we just wait for what mind numbing technique will our hero use to decimate the villains. The foreign landscape is well picturised and the frames look dark yet
colourful. The music is nothing worth humming, but the background music scores points for being loud, which is a requirement for a loud movie like this one. This is an ode to the staunch fans of Rajnikanth who will take in anything that is served to them. This is a movie which will create flutter for the few weeks that it remains in the news, but then the age old question of quality over showmanship will be raised by few naysayers like us and everything will die its own death.

This is a cinematic equivalent of having the much coveted toy pistol by a child. He adores it when he is gifted that, even if it does not fire and one day it will remain in the shelf till it goes out with the trash.

This is a cinematic equivalent of having the much coveted toy pistol by a child. He adores it when he is gifted that, even if it does not fire and one day it will remain in the shelf till it goes out with the trash.

gobblscore : 6/10

gobblpoint : Go watch this movie in a Chandan Theatre (in Mumbai). Joinin with the audience in the cheers. Rajni has still got a few years with him to entertain us. But hopefully he will select one substantial script for every three masala movies he does.

 

Disclaimer: The image used in this post is the sole property of the makers of this film and is not owned by us in any form whatsoever.

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