Kabali Movie Review

An emotional movie with slow-paced narration.

Reviews 22-Jul-2016 10:17 AM IST Top 10 Comments

Direction : Pa. Ranjith
Production : V Creations (Kalaipuli S. Thanu)
Starring : Rajinikanth, Winston Chao, Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Kishore
Music : Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography : G. Murali
Editing : Praveen K.L

A long wait with high level promotions rocketing from grounds to the skies that eventually eclipsed all our doubts. The ‘Neruppuda’ song and the scintillating teasers were more than enough to conquer our doubtful minds and it all proved – Yes, He is Back and there is nothing to worry. With the film ‘Kabali’ hitting screens worldwide today, we bring you exclusive analysis of the movie. The film is directed by Pa. Ranjith featuring Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Dinesh, Kalaiyarasan, Nasser, Kishore, John Vijay and many others.


Having served a sentence on 25 years of imprisonment in Malaysia Kabali (Rajinikanth) is back into city. He embarks on the mission of settling scores with the ones responsible for his dark past over the years and during the interim gets to reunite with his family. While he thinks they are all back in paradise to start a new life, the gruesome fate has its plans through the wretched miscreants. Will Kabali manage to bump off the entire gang redeem the people out there from the realms of narcotic drugs forms crux of the story.


The first thing that should have hit Ranjith’s idea is to portray Rajinikanth in a much different avatar and never to bring back in the usual commercial hero style. In pretty simple words, a classic film that features Rajinikanth in an unconventional role and it works out to a certain extent. But in many places, we tend to feel that the film has nothing exceptional in terms of storyline and it’s a prototyped Gangster story, where his personal lives and the ones involving him would be at stake all the time. The way he presents first 8 minutes of the film is really outstanding, but later the screenplay gets more like an ECG with ups and downs in engrossment. Well, we don’t mean to say the film is boring. Of course, the genre is ‘Drama’ and you can’t expect raciness throughout the movie, but the story itself looks too old patterned. The scenes too look slightly stereotypical, but Ranjith tries to overshadow them by projecting more emotions. A pure relationship between the couple, who have united after years is really nice to see that gets embellished by Maya Nadhi track. The complete sequence before intermission is really outstanding and every audience would wish if the entire film had at least dozen of such dramas. There are certain mass appeals, especially the one that comes with the dialogues like ‘Karuppu Power’, ‘Romba Kettavan Indha Kabali’ evoke huge response among the fans. Ranjith has smartly underplayed with the stunt sequences too, where they don’t look choreographed with larger than life, but simple yet intense. Cinematography by Murali is so sleek and it has a fantastic tone of treatment. Background Score by Santhosh Narayan keeps emblazoning even some dull moments. Praveen KL’s editing is one of the most intriguing elements that get a smooth and perfect transition out there. Too many characters and too many sub-plots turn out to be a big mess out here. While you’ve Rajinikanth as a powerful protagonist, there should be some substantiality over the antagonists’ dimension, but they look like dullards. The climax could leave you blank with mixed feelings of hope and disappointments about the ending, but that’s a director’s cut you can’t blame.


When there is a brand ‘Rajinikanth’ associated with a movie, it’s precisely going to be the major attraction, irrespective of what the genre of how the treatment of this film is. He is a genius! No Doubt! In every frame, you can keep admiring his body language and gestures. During the first 8 minutes of this film, he just leaves you speechless with mind-boggling attitude. Such a normal introduction sequence, with couple of pull ups and he walks out with blazers, this is just beyond an incredible mammoth that any Rajinikanth fan would expect. Sooner, his emotional aspects dominate a lot. The scene where he discovers his wife and tries to unite with her is eye moistening. Not to miss the situation, where he meets his daughter during a critical juncture and his reaction immediately changes. The penultimate sequence before climax, where he speaks about the prominence of Tamilians is awe-inspiring. Radhika Apte is a real bliss to the movie, where her portions are completely emotional bounded. Although, Nasser appears only in few portions of flashback, his rendition of dialogues is pretty engaging. Kishore steals the show with his portions trying to stand on pars with Rajinikanth. Riythvika offers a twist by the point of intermission and that’s something really unexpected. John Vijay is apt for the role. Madras fame Johnny aka Hari does what is offered to him as a perplexed guy with a twist by the end. Attakathi Dinesh offers a hilarious relief with his performance and mannerisms. Kalaiyarasan does what is required from his character.

What works?

1. Screen presence and performance of Rajinikanth
2. Star-cast and performance, especially Radhika Apte
3. Cinematography and background score

What doesn’t work?

1. Too many sub-plots that gives jarring discontinuity in screenplay.
2. Major drawback is unwanted overdose hype depicting film as ‘Mass’ movie.

The film traverses emotionally through the personal emotions and external conflicts of a gangster, but where the film slightly gets below the line is the conflict between ‘Class’ and ‘Mass’ factors. The intentional insertion of communism based dialogues during unwanted situations is one such exemplification. But the biggest disappoint might not go with the experience of watching the film, though predictable and stereotyped, but the kind of promotions that Dhanu exerted thrusting false conceptions in audiences’ mindsets.

Verdict : An emotional movie with slow-paced narration.

Rating : 6/10

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