Kabali (Review)

Kabali High Quality Posters

Ranjith’s diverse scenes featuring Rajini showcase an intriguing experimentation, proving to be a worthwhile endeavor. Despite a handful of memorable moments, a point arises in the movie where it seems like a missed opportunity for greatness. The film’s conflict remains somewhat one-dimensional, and the anticipated surprises fall short of their intended impact.

Super Star Rajinikanth is portrayed with a distinct lack of glamour compared to S. Shankar, K.S. Ravikumar, or Suresh Krishna movies. Nevertheless, the essence of Super Starism remains ingrained (Koodave puranthathu). Whether engaging in a simple gaze, driving, strolling shirtless, or enjoying coffee, the unmistakable Rajini persona persists. The film sees Rajini relying more on facial expressions than verbal dialogue, echoing Kamal Haasan in “Nayakan” or Rajini himself in “Thalapathi”. The magic of Rajinikanth is subtly woven throughout the film, ensuring a consistent presence here and there, now and then.

Standout Performances: Rajinikanth, Dhansika, and Radhika Apte Shine

The bar is set exceptionally high in the opening scene, featuring the Super Star emerging from jail. Revealing more about the film would be a spoiler, which is not ideal. The movie is impressive, boasting memorable scenes such as the enchanting ‘Maya Nadhi’ song, the meeting between Dhansika and Rajinikanth, and the incredible ‘Neruppu Da’ sequences. Each time the ‘Neruppu Da’ track resonates, it elicits Goosebumps. The scene preceding ‘Maya Nadhi’ and the song sequence itself are undeniably beautiful.

‘நான செத்து தான் பொயிருந்தேன், நீ என்னை வந்து பார்க்கிற வரைக்கும்’ cut to ‘மாய நதி இன்று’ song. What a beauty!

Kabali English Title_02

None of the actors’ performances left me completely awestruck, except for Rajinikanth, Dhansika, and Radhika Apte. The score, composed by Jigarthanda’s Santhosh Narayanan, stands out as one of the creepiest. Rather than overshadowing the film, it complements it, providing Kabali with a distinctive quality.

More Than Average: Super Star, Background Score, and Memorable Moments

“Kabali” appeared to be moving at an inappropriate pace for its subject and the Super Star; it fails to immerse every viewer in the character’s world. While Kabali is above average, featuring a Super Star, a compelling background score, a diverse cast, and several noteworthy moments, it doesn’t reach the heights of classics like “Godfather” or “Thalapathi.” Instead, it’s more akin to films like “John Wick” and “Commando,” attempting to forge an emotional connection. This mirrors the challenges seen when Sam Mendes directed James Bond.

Despite uneven narration, the movie is simply enjoyable! Why should it strive to be anything other than what it is? I cherished the remarkable theatre experience. Kabali almost achieves the impossible, but a few adjustments here and there could have elevated this film to timeless status. Overall, Kabali proves to be a very satisfying action drama.

3.5 Rating

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About the Author

PS Arjun
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Writer. Filmmaker.

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