The moment the news was out that Pa. Ranjith was chosen as the man for the job, there was a lot of curiosity around Kabali. And it was justifiable because Attakathi and Madras simply were great films. It gave the fans a lot of reasons to cheer about what with the teaser posters and the teaser itself.
To somebody watching the Ranjikanth movies and phenomenon from the sidelines, it was certainly some food for thought. From Baasha, Muthu, Padayappa to Arunachalam and the recent blockbusters in my memory, Chandramukhi and Kuselan, it wasn’t a smooth sailing for Rajnikanth. Especially in the recent times with Lingaa and Kochadaiyaan not finding favour with the fans. Which brings me back to my opening salvo, why Pa. Ranjith?
Well, it seems Rajni was so impressed with Madras that he insisted on Ranjith directing his next. A reluctant Ranjith agreed.
There’s a lot going for Kabali be it finding a voice for the oppressed class to reconciling with the family after things going terribly wrong years back.
Through Kabali, Rajni also answers a lot of questions about his sartorial style, politics, crime, almost breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. This isn’t bad.
The action scenes are terrific to say the least. But given the image of Rajnikanth, no villains really stood up to Rajnikanth to magnify the conflict. This led to some lag in sequences.
If Ranjith had a gritty crime saga in his head, it didn’t come out well on screen. If his idea was to appeal to the mass sensibilities and people in the boxes and balconies at the same time, it didn’t really come across.
You either go out-and-out masala or all-out gritty, like a Pudupettai. There’s no in between.