Kabali is an intensely laid out gangster drama that Rajinikanth need not have acted.
And yet …
One must be wondering what went into the mind of Rajini when he selected this script. The ever shining superstar gracefully let Kabali take over the Rajini and presented the audience with something that they probably did not expect to see. It must have been a bold decision and quite a transforming one for the actor. It is relishable for some of us who liked him in more characteristic roles like Mullum Malarum and Dalapathi.
Kabali did not want to be seen as just a Robinhood style crime lord who saves and protects his folks, but he was seen as the yearning one. The one who lost his life that he loved before becoming the Gangster. The longing and anticipation intensifies on the news of his wife and daughter. Kabali takes over Rajini fully in such scenes. The sighs, the facial expressions and ultimately the walk into the field and letting out oneself and the final
reunion was totally off the Rajini charts. In fact there was no Rajini and only kabaleeswaran, not even the Kabali, original Gangster.
Ranjith’s intention was clear enough to not just show the Gangster, but to show more of the man behind and the family he sought in a social setting in Malaysia. Commendable.
Background scores are usually tailored for Rajini’s presence but Santhosh Narayanan clearly wanted to stand out with the slow themes of Vaanam parthen, The romance with Maya nadhi tunes and ultimately the heavy guitar riffs for the Gangster Kabali. None of them had Rajini signature and they were wonderful and fresh in that way for
Rajini and Kabali. The Kabali Swag goes top notch on the Roof top party when Kabali walks in. Can I get a separate CD for the BGMs alone please ? I would buy one for the retail price if available.
Ranjith has used the Supporting cast from his previous movies Atta Kathi and Madras, but they were no more than a long cast shadow that disappears in the evening sun. None of them touched and were probably over shadowed by the importance of the central characters. Tony and Kishore were not a matching Villians for Kabali, as much as Anthony was for Baasha. Yogi was a surprise and Radhika apte acted naturally through her eyes.
Above all, Rajinikanth comes out with an epitome of acting, not satisfying the regular punch dialogue loving fans, but more for the fan base who loved him through movies like Dalapathi. It is evidently natural that Rajini shed Rajini, in every scene. After all, it is not in every movie that Rajini gets beaten, injured, shot at, over and over. Not at all.
Ranjith did well with Rajini. A Gangster drama that Rajini need not have acted and yet Ranjith made it to stay strong only through Rajini. A Paradoxical non-blunder.
Kabali, to be watched again after the Rajinism expectations fizzle out, to understand and enjoy the real story behind.
Spoiler: It was only logical for the lawmakers to strike at the root. After all, It was under the good natured human, Tamilnesan that the Gangsters of Good and Evil formed and it is only going to be of the same way under Kabali as well. It was not a choice but more of the right action that had to be taken. Tiger became the unsuspecting pawn for the last frame.