Telugu360 Rating 2.5/5
Superstar Rajinikanth’s highly anticipated flick,Kabali,has opened to record breaking collections all over the globe. Expectations have reached the sky ever since the film’s first look teaser was released, showcasing Rajinikanth in his element. After an unprecedented promotional blitzkrieg, Kabali is all set for a grand release today in India. Let’s see if the film can live up to the massive expectations.
The Kabali movie deals with the plight of migrant Indian community, specifically the Tamilians, who lived in Malaysia. About 30 years back in time, many of the Indian laborers working in Malaysia, used to work as drug traffickers and goons under Chinese mafia gangs. One man, Kabaleeswaran alias Kabali (Rajanikanth), takes a stand for the betterment of his community. Himself a gang member working under gangster Sitaramaraj (Naazar), Kabali takes over the gang leadership on Sitaramaraj’s untimely death. With the gang leadership, also come the rival gang confrontations especially with Gang43 lead by the ruthless drug lord Tony Woo (Winston Chao).
In his position as a gang leader Kabali also aids his community. He founded the Free Life Foundation, a non-profit organization to help poor uneducated Indian laborers in Malaysia. However, the violence of heading a gang takes its toll on Kabali’s family life, weaving into the movie a family element with the pursuit of Kabali’s wife. The rest of the movie comprises of Kabali and Gang43 trying to overpower each other.
Talaivar fans and general audience alike, will be wowed by the mesmerizing first fifteen minutes. However, as the narration switches to the core story, the movie suffers a slow pace in the screenplay. The highly popular teaser ‘Kabaaali … Da…’ has set the audience to expect a larger than life heroism spearheaded by a revolutionary Talaivar. However, the director sticks the script and takes his time to narrate the story – something that might not sit well with today’s fast tracked generation. Extra care was taken to portray the life of an immigrant Indian community in Malaysia in the 1980s. The mafia world and their operations are picturized well. The family thread between Kabali and his wife acts as a speed breaker (to an already slow paced narration) and might just not appeal to the audience. Amazing interval block with unexpected action scenes will thrill the audience. All in all, a satisfying first half.
The masses might find it difficult to comprehend the struggles of an overseas blue collar worker. Adding to it, expect for the key roles, the supporting cast are Malaysians and Chinese. The story, the backdrop and the characters make it difficult for the common audience to connect with the movie. This might be a bigger problem with the Telugu dubbed version than with the original and might impact box office prospects.
The second half starts off with Kabali leaving to India looking for his wife. Cue in thirty minutes of boring scenes which do nothing to help the film. The narration accelerates with Kabali’s return to Malaysia as he takes on Gang43. The well-executed pre-climax and the climax action episodes in which Kabali kills Tony Woo will have your heart beats soaring.
The cinematography by G.Murali is world class. He captured the elegance of the Malaysia skyscrapers and ruggedness of mafia locales very well. Santosh Narayanan’s background score is another asset to this movie.
Radhika Apte is ill suited for the Kabali’s wife’s role, it failed to get the emotions flowing. Dhanshika who played Kabali’s daughter role is better.
The background theme “Nippu Raa…Neruppu Daa.. ” and the introduction song “Okkade Okkadokkade…“are awesome on screen. Other songs, mostly pathos, are not appealing. Anyways, this is not a movie that banks much on its songs.
- SUPERSTAR RAJANIKANTH – After a series of mediocre films, Superstar Rajani strikes back with a stellar performance in Kabali. Leaving behind the over the top mannerisms, the Superstar brings in his magnanimous style in its full glory and his screen presence fills the screen with energy.
- Outstanding cinematography with slick visuals of Malaysia backdrop.
- Introduction, interval and climax scenes
- At times the very slow narration test the audience’s patience.
- Not many commercial elements
- Nativity issue for Telugu Audience
Kabali is a movie that launched with extremely high expectations and fails to reach them. The movie will open to mixed talk on the first day. We will need to wait to how it fares on the second day and going forward. Tamil version may fare better than Telugu. Watch with no regret and enjoy watching the ultimate star of our era – The Superstar Rajinikanth’s one man show Kabali !