Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kabali (2016) India

A clash of two gangs over Malaysian underworld.

Action, Crime, Drama,.

Approximately 8-minute read.

     One of the most expected film of the year. It did break many records, before and after releasing. That was expected for the Rajinikant films, especially this one was directed by a young filmmaker Pa. Ranjith who was just a two films old. So the responsibility was big to handle a top brass from the Kollywood, as well as to deliver success. I think he did great, handling the pressure, the result and the numbers say it all.

     He knows well how to mix the commercial elements to the parallel cinemas. He did that earlier, but here he had gambled where the lead actor is known for his style and mass appeal. In this, those cliches were reduced completely, I mean completely. Even for Rajinikant, this looks a new territory to step in. I have never seen him like this before, not in the last 20-25 years of my watch. So this is something new in Tamil films.

     Thank god, the songs are what I always had trouble in Indian cinema and in this they have reduced, but not completely erased. Especially the 'Neruppu Da' track was a massive hit, even before the release and I too loved it. Like usual, they wrapped up everything about the film tightly, so I did not know what kind of film it was till I saw. I anticipated kind of film 'Baasha', and I only surprised to catch up a completely different type of film.

     The 'different' means, it kind of looked like a live recorded audio, so the appeal was like a mix of documentary and feature film. It was actually inspired by a real life gangster boss, the struggle for equal rights and respect since the British colony ended in Malaysia. The story takes in the capital city, Kaula Lampur, where a man named Kabaliswaran was being released after 25 years of prison. He was advised not to go back to his old life by the officials, but he gets out with an agenda, and then decides to meet a few people who were the reason for his jail.

     Meanwhile, the flashback reveals 25 years old events. By then you will learn everything about him, but his future plans remain mystery. Soon his new quest to find his lost family members takes a full coverage from onwards. He had to go to different places, countries, but the trouble follows. His old enemies fear his existence is a threat to their business. So between the personal journey and fighting the enemies follows in the rest of the parts.

 Flying is its nature. Let it go. Free it. Let the bird decide whether to rise high or die trying. 

     Looks like this film is not for hardcore Indian film fans, especially if you had loved the lead actor's heroism from all his previous films, you might end disappointing a bit. He retained his style, only somewhat, same goes to the punchlines, but his heroic acts were exterminated and brought the reality like how people react to situations in the actual world. So my advice is to you is don't expect mass appeal, but the pace was excellent, even for this over a two hour long narration.

     I mean he used to fight for the people against the corruption and corrupted officials and politicians in all his previous films. Whenever he sees there's something wrong, he right away steps in, so his fans go crazy. In here his character simply neglects those situations. I totally stunned to witness a different kind of him. But that's natural and I loved it, this is what an international film looks like. Thanks to everybody who involved in the filmmaking, particularly Rajinikant and Pa. Ranjith for taking all the risk.

     This is entirely about Indian enthic's fight in Malaysia. They were brought into the land by the British to cultivate vast untapped land. Many years later, now the minorities, between Chinese and Indians a clash happens. One to take over the underworld market and the other to cease the illegal activities completely. I think it was a good theme, a message film, but told with a violent path. Since it is a gangster flick, that is inevitable.

     Great locations, the mix between blue/green screen and the real ones were so good, especially where the finale takes place. I'm very interested in Auroville after learning about it and I think this is the first film to shoot at that location. But disappointed for not fully utilising it. Not just the stunts, but there are some fun with a limited quantity. No romance, Rajinikant did the role, according to his current age, but the narration has the family sentiments. Other than gangster elements, the family plot exploited, particularly in the mid segment.

     An Indian film debut for the Taiwanese actor Winston Chao. He was not bad despite this is a different kind of experience for him. Everyone were praising Radhika Apte, but she was just fine for me. Dhansika as Yogi was the surprise among the characters. Even in a small supporting part, Kishore was so good. No need to say anything about Rajinikant, he was phenomenal. Overall, I did not find any fault in the casting section.

     With this success, there's already talk for a sequel, but they yet to confirm it. I am in favour of it which might happen after the '2.0'. Meanwhile, watch this film, especially if you are a non-Indian, because it was nothing like the regular Indian film. Though it was not a masterpiece, still can be watched once for being different. Particularly, it reveals Indian minorities struggle in Malaysia. That makes Indian must see. But this is a gangster film that balanced between action, crime and drama that mostly good for grown ups. Finally, it is a Neruppu da!

Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All

Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent

Similar movies:
A Bronx Tale, Gangs of New York, Thalapathi, Bashha, Iraivi, Jigarthanda, Nayagan.

External link(s):

WCA geolocation:
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