To know the real pulse and feel of words like “mass” & “hype”, one should keep a close watch and follow the pre-release movement of films of this man, who is the ultimate superstar whose brand image is incomparable and unreachable by any other Indian movie star. The hype surrounding Rajnikanth’s Kabali reached the full crescendo on the eve of the release such that it was a festive mood everywhere with the talking point focused on Kabali and its outcome.
Now to the big question of how the film has performed and whether all the pre-release hype and expectations have materialised into something positive that can satisfy the fans of Thalaivar as well rest of the audience.
Well, in my opinion its a mixed bag of mass, sentiments and emotion. Expecting a high voltage mass film with heavy scenes would be a mistake as Kabali has mass scenes of the superstar in limited dose. Director Pa.Ranjith had used a different treatment to this gangster story but at the same time borrowed cliched moments from films belonging to this genre. But what that makes the film a watchable one inspite of lagging moments is definitely the presence of this man and his style.
The film begin with Kabaleeshwaran’s release from a Malaysian jail and he goes about with the job of taking revenge on Gang 43 lead by Tony Lee who were instrumental in eliminating his family.
Introduction and the beginning scenes create real goosebumps and this is followed up with lagging feel that ends with some surprises and unexpected twists towards the beginning of latter half. Slowness is felt in the post-intermission portion as well that culminates with a little surprising climax which I am not sure how the masses would accept.
Director Pa.Ranjith has tried to give a mass flavour to the character of Kabaleeswaran only partially as there are shades of a common man in the character. Story is a pretty ordinary gangster plot with the usual revenge part in it. Its just that the location is taken to abroad unlike the ones we have mostly seen where the backdrop is somewhere in this part of the world. Screenplay is average and lacks the full punch we expect in a Rajni film. Lack of thrilling scenes and some fireworks that we normally expect from a Rajni movie is absent. Not sure what prompted the scenarist to go for such an approach.
On screen, as always its a treat to watch Rajnikanth in full form. Though on the mass side, there are less number of scenes for him he used his style to make it look classy with his walk, laugh and other mannerisms. The emotionally and sentimentally filled scenes were also performed well. Radhika Apte as the better half of the superstar played perfect foil with a decent act.
Attakathi Dinesh acted as the the right hand of Kabali and it was a notable performance from the actor. Kishore as the baddie wasn’t utilised properly while the foreign actor who played Tony Lee couldn’t rise up to the occasion. John Vijay as Ameer supporting Kabali was impressive.
Cinematography captured the Malaysian background quite well while editing had its problems. On the music side, Santhosh Narayanan could not match his standards at all. The background score when Kabali appear was a catchy one with lot of energy and in rest of the areas it was a letdown.