It has been a while since wrote something here, then I promised myself that I will write on Kabali during my semester break. So here it goes…
What I thought about Kabali in three words?
Rajini, Rajini and Rajini!
I won’t lie, but as most of Rajini fans, I did have an expectation but as an amateur film analyst; I left my expectations out of the theatre hall. Honestly, I thought that Pa.Ranjith did a tremendous job in filming Kabali in this era. This movie may have more significance to Malaysian-Indians compared to Indians around the world. The bravery of the director to put forth a sensitive plot that has high possibility of being banned definitely deserves applause.
Some may have liked it, some may have hated it but Kabali is one of its kind and it shouldn’t be compared to any other previous films done by Rajinikanth, like Baasha. What was depicted in the film are real challenges Malaysian-Indians went through, experiencing now and will be facing in future as well. I admire how societal issues are made into film subtly. This doesn’t mean that the film has no flaws but I believe that movies with flaws leave a deep mark in people’s lives (yes, films give great impact especially when Rajini is in it).
Let me go into the details of the film, I’ll keep it short as many of you surely have read too many reviews already by now. First of all, the teaser and trailer gave me goosebumps (I must talk about this as I ‘destroyed’ the replay button), watching thalaiva in a role of his age is a dream come true, his dialogue delivery is still a strong game and the famous line Rajini spoke with a little shaky voice along with his everlasting style did send chills down my spine. I fell in love with the songs even without the visualisations. Santhosh Narayanan’s magic for Kabali was out of this world. It’s amazing how music can touch the deepest of your soul; I loved Maaya Naadhi, Ulagam Oruvanukka, Vaanam Paarthen, Neruppu Da and Veera Thurandhara. Ummm, did I just mention all the songs? Yes I did. I love all the songs in this film, the lyrics are worded in a way that it beautifully lift your spirits in believing again, learning to love in thalaiva’s perspective, celebrating our dream leader and most of all it gave all of us a break from Rahman’s musical (we needed it).
What are the scenes that I love in this film? I loved every scene that has Rajini in it. Yes indeed, I would say Rajini spoke less but his acting was top class! Other than superstar himself, I loved Jeeva’s (Attakatti Dinesh) role, he had no dialogues but his presence in every scene was strong. Ameer (John Vijay) performed well, I felt the realism of his acting when he receives Kabaleeswaran from his release of 25 years of imprisonment. That tears was real and I was moved by that scene. Kumuthavalli (Radhika Apte) character was beautifully designed for this film, I loved the relationship between her and Kabali. I loved how Kumutha’s role was given the liberty to ‘tell off’ her husband while he smiles or nods in agreement and they do not live a typical indian-couples-relationship where the male is often portrayed as the dominant one. The pair’s fathomless connection is definitely your relationship goal.
Yogi (Dhansika) left an impact as well, thank you to the director for showing a side of her that we have never seen anywhere; she did a marvellous job and I understand why many girls are drooling over her. The scene where Yogi saves Kabali, and she screams out “APPA!” in a slow motion – now the one who stole that scene was Rajini; the look on his face was amazing! You have to watch that to understand what I’m trying explain here because some scenes need to be experienced on own rather than reading it.
Other than that, I loved the flashback so much. Finally, I must applaud the team for mentioning some of the issues openly (though it was censored) and some of the name calling and languages used in Kabali was a brave move. The racial clash is real and there is a reason why the specific race was not mentioned or portray as it is because by doing that Kabali would have been banned in Malaysia under the basis of causing disharmony to the nation.
What are the drawbacks?
- When Kabali returns from the prison, he visits his home and he get flashes of memories of his wife and him around the house – personally, I thought that scene was a little draggy.
- The scene where he meets the student at Free Life Foundation – the only scene I thought that the Q&A was not necessary and I honestly I didn’t really liked the questions and answers and Meena (Riythvika) exaggerated her role; I felt she gave 500% and I didn’t like her presence in any of the scenes. அளவுக்கு மிஞ்சினால் அமிர்தமும் நஞ்சு.
- Quite a number of repetitive scenes (especially the flashbacks of Kumutha).
- I thought that it could have been better if there were some positive ending or Kabali aiding the Malaysian-Indians or implant a message on the the future of Malaysian-Indians if they continue to pursue the wrong path. It looked as if he was just another gang’s leader no matter what he did. It could have been established better and that could have indirectly contributed as a wake up call to Malaysian-Indians. (Ayirathil Oruvan was a hidden message dedicated to India itself – go figure that out)
Kabali gave a great exposure to the local artistes to stage their talents and it was indeed stunning. Especially, Roshan Jamrock; he brought the #KabaliSwag in songs and Winston Chao did well as a villain. While the rest was given an opportunity to appear as either main, supporting casts or extras. It’s good to see how cinema can create a borderless world.
On a final note, due to censorship many Malaysians didn’t get to see some of the scenes or dialogues. If you have a chance to get the original DVD from India, you should do so. The ending with a slide stating that Kabali has surrendered did burst bubbles. However, despite some of it drawbacks Kabali was a brave move and we got to thank Pa.Ranjith for taking risks and it was worthwhile. மகிழ்ச்சி.