Kabali (Tamil) - Review

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)
quick review:

Sure, Rajinikanth hasn't lost his swag. But, equally surely it can be used in better films.

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Wogma Review

Kabali was always going to be 100% about Rajinikanth's super stardom. It was going to be about his action, his style, his persona. The character Kabali would be designed to suit that purpose. Unfortunately, it doesn't blend well at all with this attempt at “gang war with a heart”.

I shudder as I say that maybe a star vehicle like this is better off without a story rather than having botched attempts at drama and emotion under the garb of action. It makes just every thing seem forced - even the action, even the supposedly “cool” lines.

In fact, even Kabali's catchphrase is outright lame. It all boils down to Rajinikanth's delivery to make it as stylish as he possibly could. And yet it doesn't work. Other than that then, he plays his suave best. One scene in which he is overwhelmed by emotion stands out giving you a glimpse of what the actor can do despite the star in him.

The rest of the film is only to serve the over-arching purpose called “Rajinikanth”. In that too, Radhika Apte tries to hold her ground. You can tell she is trying to blend into the genre but can't help herself every once in a while. The other members of the cast overdo everything with shrills. It becomes repetitive and annoying.

In its own way it is a boon that the focus is never too far away from Rajinikanth. At least the target audience is happy. Though I must say I heard a couple of them restless for the interval. The second half had enough emotional mumbo-jumbo for even me to hope that the next double-crossing was around the corner.

I was looking forward to the audience hooting at Rajinikanth's swag to keep me smiling for 2.5 hours. But, that didn't quite happen after the first five minutes of his expectedly stylish entry. I wonder why.

~ ~ ~

*It is cosmic intervention that this movie is the 1212th one in the wogma database. Or maybe it is just the Rajini force.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

Parental guidance: - Violence: Lots of fist and gun fights. Very bloody. - Language: Clean. A couple of abusive words silenced out. - Nudity & Sexual content: None - Concept: Gang wars

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1
  • Story: 1
  • Lead Actors: 2
  • Character Artists: 1
  • Dialogues: 1
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 0.5
  • Lyrics: 1

Kabali - Movie Details

Kabali - Trailer

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Comments (7)

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Fan:

Rajnikanth has disappointed in the last few outings (Lingaa, Kochadiyaan).

Hoping to be positively surprised this time around.

meeta:

@Fan I surely hope so!

Pankaj Patil:

Indeed the Rajni effect...coz 12-12 is also his Date of Birth !!

ehinome okojie:

Robot 2 is coming.

Anuj:

Yet another mediocre movie breaking box office records only thanks to its star power. Choosing star power over content is an unfortunate fact of the Indian audience, both urban and mass alike. That's the precise reason why an above average film like Sultan sees over 3 crore footfalls while an equally above average film like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag sees just 1.3 cr footfalls.

Abhishek Sagar:

Awesome Movie by mr. rajnikant, he is called god of south cinema for a reason. amazing acting and style.

Fan:

Looking at my comment of 8 and a half months ago, when I had not watched the film, I was hoping for a positive surprise. Well - I must say that I was thoroughly disappointed on watching the film. Whereas Lingaa and Kochadiyaan were commercial duds, at least they had a social message relevant to our times. Kabali did not even have that (but going by all media reports it was apparently a commercial superhit).

Kabali, the first and hopefully not the last film, where Rajnikanth plays a role of his age. Yes there are a few flashback scenes with a younger Rajni-sir, to cater to the crowds that throng to watch his films. It is indeed a welcome change to watch Rajni-sir play his age.

The film as is reviewed above, is all about gang wars. Gangs of people of Indian origin but based in Malaysia.

The subject of gang wars a la James Hadley Chase novels, are not at all to my liking - and I seriously wonder as to how many Indians can identify with that theme. So half the battle was lost there by the film makers.

A big part of the other half was lost by the over exaggerated expressions and loud mannered jokes that are so common in many massy Tamil films. It seems to work well with the audiences there, but being bred on Hindi films such attempts seem to garish to me.

The story, if there is any, was just skimmed over. Ditto for the action sequences. Plenty of scope for adding all kinds of twists but very few opportunities were seized.

No particular actor remains in memory long after the film. Rajni-sir is a treat to watch nevertheless, his signature movements are still impeccable. But honestly I would not recommend to sit through the entire film just to reminisce his swagger and other actions - it is much better to pick out a DVD of his other better films to watch his swagger. Radhika Apte does stand out, but she does not have much chance to showcase her abilities. The girl who plays the role of Yogita was probably the only normal behaving character, even though the first few minutes of her act were extremely filmy.

All in all, a boring film. You have to be a real hardcore Rajnikanth fan to be able to sit through it.

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