Kabali - A review


Rajini is a cult (I mean this in the best way possible) , a religion, a god.His movies have a way of polarizing opinions. I have, in the past, given honest review of Kuselan (too long, not enough importance for Rajini etc) and gotten called really dirty names by my 'friends'.

So, I am writing this, fully aware of the potential risk of being called names by Rajini Devotees.

The movie Prestige begins with a dialogue about magic, it talks about how every magic has 3 parts :

  1. "The Pledge". - The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. 
  2. "The Turn" - The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary.  But you wouldn't clap yet. 
  3. "The Prestige" - The hardest part, where the magician brings back he just made disappear. 

Every movie is a big magic trick (sometimes consisting of many small magic tricks). There is first
"the intros" (the pledge) where the director introduces the characters and set the background. Then
there is the "the problem/incident/plan" (the turn) that the protagonist(s) attempts to solve, resolve or implement. Finally the 'Climax' (the prestige) , where the main tensions come out and the story intensifies before the big end.

Rajini has a larger than life presence, if you are a magician director , he is the best trick you can
ask for. But you have to get "The pledge", "The Turn" and most importantly "The Prestige" right.
A big trick (like Rajini) , needs an equally larger than life script.

K.S. Ravikumar with Lingaa, Soundarya with Kochadaiyaan, P.Vasu with Kuselan have something in common.
They took a big trick (Rajini) and presented it in a poor act. Kabali unfortunately does the same.

It has a long pledge with the Thanu productions's characteristic akka,amma,family sentiment. A super long
turn that sometimes turns too much and too far out from the main act and a prestige that will leave you wanting more .
Overall a very normal act. What saves the act is the trick(Rajini) itself , for the trick is so larger than life
that you would have watched it even without the act.

That said, the beauty of Malaysia (Thanks to G.Murali's cinematography), acting skills of Radhika Apte, Dhanshika and Rajini himself, try
their best to salvage the damage created by the editor sleeping at work and the script writers
desperate attempts to create a good 'prestige', a big reveal. The songs goes well with the context,
but except a couple of songs, others are jarring when listened to as music .

While I am inclined to blame Pa.Ranjith for showing my hero is poor light and possibly creating another flop (or an average movie at best) , I must say Thalaivar(Rajini) might be starting to exhaust his almost infinite power of being a strong trick. As a long time Rajini fan, after watching Kabali, My long wait to see Rajini again in a super act such as Baasha , Annamalai, Padaiyappa continues....