Kabali- The Gangster – A Review

Not everyday, you get to see a Rajini movie first day first show ahead of the entire world. He might be aged, but still he is the undisputed king of opening day hype. So there I was fortunate to get a first day first show premiere ticket, eagerly waiting to see my childhood, adolescent and adult hero RajiniKanth

I went into theatre with a balanced frame of mind, since the film crew had repeatedly stressed that this is not a regular Rajinikanth movie. The initial rushes, suggested a full on “Basha” style mass masala movie though.

I need to put in a disclaimer here that, I am a kind of Rajini fan, who is a fan of not just his styles and gimmicks, but the whole package, his body language, his dialogue delivery and still respect him as a seasoned actor (Read Bhairavi, Mullum malarum etc).


After 2 hrs and 32 minutes , when I walked out of the movie, I felt I finally after long years, saw a good movie with a seasoned actor Rajinikanth in it.

“Kabali” is a simple movie, its a story of a gangster, who after spending 25 years in prison, returns back to his home turf in Malaysia.The movie is about his journey towards finding his wife and reuniting with her.  Of course, there is the necessary elements of gang rivalry and the goons, who are out to destroy Kabali, and how he decimates them in true Rajini style

The movie is an out and out Ranjith movie, with Rajini being a component of the story and not a larger than it. For most of the movie, he is seen as what he is , a well aged man.

Throughout the movie, Ranjith has a also managed to keep a subtle thriller movie effect, with you suspecting that every person out there is out to kill Kabali.

Few scenes where Rajini’s style and body language get to play are well thought and very powerful. For the mass Rajini fan side in me, it was awesome. These are few but very memorable and I know it will be part of my replay list in future.

Though the film lags and slows down a bit in the middle, a strong start and strong finish compensates for it.  May be the film could have done with a better editing.

Radhika apte was perfect for the role, her role is not that of a typical Rajini heroine (in fact nothing is typical in this movie). No dancing, no glamor. Her role and her story in the movie is different.

Since most of the actors in the movie are from niche movies (like Attakathi Dinesh) , the movie has an inherent freshness to it.

Santhosh Naraynan has done an amazing work with the BGM and tracks. I was a fan of “Nerruppu da” when the songs released. But had literal goosebumps, when I saw Rajini, walk , drive and shoot to that music.

If you are in for masala, you might find Kabali a bit bland.

But if you are in for a sensible movie, to see the complete package called Rajini, go for it you will not regret it.




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