No, no i am not going to say cinematography was beautiful or editing could have been crisp because i have no idea on the technicalities of those departments. Also i am not going to rate the movie with marks or stars. I basically don’t believe in it because i am no expert and i have no idea how to confine a movie or any product for that matter to the limits of ratings based on my taste and my vague idea of the product making. I will be conveying through this post what my emotions were watching the movie and what impact the story had on me.
Majority of people who watched the movie feel it is neither a Rajnikanth movie nor a Ranjith movie. I feel its both. But it is less about the mass superstar and more about the class actor long forgotten. And as far as Pa.Ranjtih is concerned he has remained true to himself with his linear screenplay, with dialogues, books and wall hangings all depicting his values and thought process. Along with that he had thrown in moments of superstar that we all love to watch but they too have been given a touch of class. The first fight along with the dialogue that follows and last fight exemplifies how mass scenes can be portrayed with a touch of class. It was all bashing by superstar, no doubt, but how many times have seen a Tamizh cinema hero switch and load guns and shoot villains with such swag and style. Replace Rajnikanth and Ranjith might have done away with a couple of fights but i believe rest all would have still been the same.
Crux of the story is a gangster going in search of his lost life and love. The poignant and sublime way the love is portrayed is something to be felt and cherished. One can feel the guilt of not saving his pregnant wife and pain of losing his love in the eyes of Kabali. The scenes leading up to Mayanadhi song were absolutely brilliant. People might feel this episode of the movie is slow but it had to be slow. It had to be calm, relaxed, and unhurried like a duck waiting for its fish, like Sachin bringing down the straight bat to play a straight drive, like a first kiss out of love. Then bam it explodes. The build up culminates to one of the most emotional and brilliant scenes of the movie. Ranjith has extracted just what was required from the characters involved. Nothing more nothing less. Ranjith’s writing and execution in these scenes stand out. And the scene where Kabali leans against the wall and stares outside waiting for dawn – visual poetry.
Besides this we have a full blown gang war between Kabali’s gang and Tony Lee’s 43 gang. I don’t know if 43 was casually chosen or if it is a reference to Supreme White Alliance. Check out this link for info on the SWA. Through this gang war,the director wants to convey us the plight of Malaysian Tamizhs. And my respect for Pa.Ranjith only increases multi fold when i read on how well he has incorporated what people of Indian origin in Malaysia have gone through and still go through. Please check out this post in FB for a detailed explanation. The amount of research work that has gone behind the scenes seems tremendous. Ranjith also holds his forte with strong dialogues. “Naan munneradhu dhan unaku prechanai na nan munneruven da..coat suite poduven da..chumma style ah getha…”Forget that Rajni is delivering this punch dialogue. Look at it as Kabali delivering these lines.This is nowhere related to caste politics. He is speaking on behalf of his people’s deep rooted problems. He embodies the uprising of his race. This in essence a Malaysian Tamizh fighting against his oppressors. This is a representative of a society expressing his anger against their nemesis. As for the story goes, in spite of this hard work and strong dialogues at few places we are not able to invest ourselves emotionally on any of these characters depicting the Malaysian Tamizh lives except the hero. No other character has been etched with as much purpose as Kabali’s. Even Nassar’s sincere efforts could not bring the TamilNesan’s character, which is central to the story, to life. And the villains neither bring fear or intelligence to the table. We always have our Kabali but what we long for is a Mark Antony or a Neelambari or a Chandramukhi who can enhance Kabali’s macho-ism. Thankfully the movie concentrates much on these villains only in the last 20 minutes(even though they are there the whole movie, it is more about Kabali’s search for Kumdhavalli) and that time is utilized to showcase the charisma and super hero side of Rajnikanth taking on opposite gang in a cool new gangsta style.
Rajni gives us moments of brilliance all throughout the movie. The effort in bringing out the emotions like the anxious looking man in the car on search of his wife, the little adjustment he makes to his hair while he enters Penelope’s place, asking Amir to leave him alone as he taps his fingers on the table, the surprise and content look on the face when he meets his daughter amid the chaos, the little smile when he see a couple kissing, the style with which he delivers his dialogue to Seeni in pet shop, this man never ceases to amaze us. Radhika Apte can emote so well even while just looking into a hollow space expecting her love to come back anytime. But if there is one who just took everyone by surprise, it is Saidanshika. The tall dusky girl has got some skill. She better choose good scripts or it will end up being a flash in the pan.
Pa.Ranjith needs to be lauded for not losing himself on the opportunity of directing a Superstar. He has given a movie that has ample scope for acting and everyone has delivered what the script demanded. We get to see the life of Malaysian Tamizhans for the first time even if not very convincingly. His dialogues warrants special mention. Be it either “Rendu nimisham un kanna paatha udanae mayangiten. Saagara varaikum andha mayakathulayae irukanum”, “Ennoda udambu poora un karupa poosikanum”, “Sethu dhan poi irundhen unna paakura varaikum” – these dialogues conveys intense love in a subtle way, or the dialogues that speaks politics “Gandhi sattai podadhadhukum Ambedkar sattai potadhukum pinnadi arasiyal iruku” – conveying Gandhi did not wear shirt to show himself one among common man and he belonged to all communities while Ambedkar wore suites to show being a dalit he is no less to upper caste, letting a woman who was given a child without marriage by an elderly man and cheated to grab Kabali’s collar to accuse him of not taking care of a pregnant woman, a strong line on pets being caged. There are many such nuances and dialogues that enhances the movie.
I just feel had the movie been promoted with the love portion rather than gangster one, had the teaser been on Mayanadhi rather than Nerupu da the movie might not have created such humongous expectations but it would have ended up being much more than expected for everyone because the heart of the movie lies on the Kabali’s love for Kumudhavalli rather than Kabali’s enemity against Tony Lee.
Rajnikanth – Nerupu da
Radhika Apte – Nadipu da
Danshika – lady Kabali da
Other characters – ithanai peru edhuku da
Dinesh – ivan yaaru da
Pa.Ranjith – For giving a movie with beautiful matured love, Life of Malaysian Tamizh, scope and space for acting, without comprising your beliefs #Padaipali da
Kabali is not the busy life on a hot day that we live everyday complaining all along. It is the lazy life on a rainy day. Grab a cup of coffee, sit besides the window and enjoy. It has its own charm.