Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Kabali. Finally watched it, after waiting for all the humdrum to settle down. went to it with the feeling of visiting a much loved village fair, people of all ages and types streaming in happily, it was a pleasant good feeling.

After watching this movie, i was not taking bake home a story to tell my folks, or a punch dialogue to keep belting for days to come. rather, i was carrying a fulsome happy feeling. Yes, happy that the increasingly brittle image of superstar has been well handled and has been given a new and nice treatment.

for me the movie was of so many different layers. Firstly, there was this big concern about how good this aging man was going to convince us as this invincible gangster. Rajini ticks off each and every one of these doubts with ease and progresses steadily into this image of the gangster. Hearty appreciations to Ranjith for not pushing Rajini too hard and spoiling the show, he has let the don image grow on you spontaneously, while also tending to his image as a loving father and a husband terribly missing his wife. 

 Ranjith leaves his stamp at many places in the movie. He introduces these cocky students who brush past this tough man in an irksome manner. further down the movie, the local gangster who guides Kabali in Tamil Nadu have a meddlesome way of moving around that keeps us on the edge. the many strong ( as in coffee) political dialogues like-' Gandhi thuni a vittathilum Ambedkar coat potathilum arasiyal irukku', show his maturity in political thoughts. I wish Ranjith expands upon this single line and Kabali's take on wearing a suit in a reflective article, it would be make a lovely read. 

These fine Ranjith touches help make Kabali look less of the invincible don and more of the vulnerable Human steeling up to the resolve of becoming the Leader. That makes it a Leader's story. The film could have ended with Kabali leaving the Ang Lee birthday 'bash', but Ranjith ends it with his touch.

Among the other layers, the one that bowled me over is the beautiful romance scenes playing out in the second half around ' maya nathi'. These had a very lyrical beauty to them. I loved the scene where Rajini stands leaning and waits all night to see his wife and absolutely loved the fresh, romantic look in Rajini lying on bed and playing prank with his wife- this should go up there alongside the famous ' Kadhal Vaazhga' pose in the song 'Kadhalin deepam onru". These romantic moments take it beyond an ordinary gangster movie and give it an ethereal touch.

i had apprehensions about how convincing would Radhika apte be in this role, but she has simply aced it and wins our heart particularly while breaking down and letting out when she meets Kabali after a long time, she simply steals that scene from Rajini, leaving the superstar fumbling to keep his composure. she has very few lines and has to mouth them in a mechanical way through out the movie, but at one instance when she says, 'i was dead till you arrived' she gives her character a completion. 

There are many sore and sorry moments in the movie like Tony and Veera being the carricatured and typified villains, and Kumutha being repeatedly shown in bits and pieces as a sentence mouthing figment of  memory. Weak moments like the search for Kumudha dragging a bit too long, but the narrative is too good for some one to stop and bother about these simple sore points.

The music, and rest of the cast do well in playing along with the giant star at work. some of the relatively new performers stand out, specially the Tiger character and the guide in Chennai. Tanishka is convincing as the Don's daughter. There is scope to wonder if the director has slipped in Dinesh's characterization.

Finally, going back to the different things i had read about Kabali, i feel that these different takes on the movie reflected only the persona of the writer and not the movie. Kabali is not vintage Rajini, but a new Rajini. Full marks to the director, for shying away from playing by formula  and giving a new dimension to this superstar at this age. Yes, this is absolutely a Rajini film, with an all new flavour.