Disclaimer : I come from a small town where we had 3 theatres in the 80s/90s and watch every single movie that was screened. I still remember the dreary crowd for a dull n lifeless movie [ like Thirumathi oru vegumathi ] just cheer to sky like hell that too during interval. The only reason could be a simple Padikadhavan still [ red suit and a white pant ] shown for 2 second – an advertisement for SKYLAB tailors [ தேரடி பின்புறம் ]. I have seen Enthiran 4 AM show
About Rajini.. It was just another titbit came up in a magazine and it was like this. During shooting RANGA song, Rajini has shared his tiredness in acting n pursue his religious journey going far away to renunciate himself. It was 1982 – 34 years back!
About film.. Is Pa. Ranjith a famous creator ? Are there umpteen number of dazzling costumes this protagonist appear in ? Does it have ARR or some extravagant Swiss duet songs ? Are we familiar with the cast ? Are the poster designs great ? Does Rajini have a mother [ who dies for some reason ] or comedian gang around ? Is he fighting 10 or 20 at a time ? Did he challenge the villain ? Is there a mass opening song written by Vairamuthu ? Is SPB singing the opening song [ with Mann Ponn kinds ] ? Are there graphic gimmicks ? At elast do we have a full length trailer ? Did they rock with audio release or press conferences ?
My answers for all of those questions were NO. The only factors that fascinated me is HIM and an awesome teaser trailer !
In Malaysia, 60 years old lonely Kabali gets released from prison and returns back to his Don life. He seeks revenge to the opposite gangs led by Tony
lee for attacking his wife whereas the other gang arranges an assassin to kill him. Kabali’s team runs a special school and during the interactions we
come to know about the glorious past life of Kabali. Few students from the same school are against Kabali. Kabali has own challenges of his loneliness,
missing family life, changed Don atmosphere and hardships regaining back his stardom. What happens to him, the opposite gang, his revenge, the
assassin, his family life is all about Kabali film.
I felt it’s indifferent – Felt good in very few places and was just staring in most of the times.
Vairamuthu has intentionally penned a line “Unga vesham dhaan konjam maaranum.. enga saamiku magudam eranum ” in Poongatru thirumbuma song of MUDHAL MARIYADHAI [ another good one was “Mandhaiyila ninnaalum nee veerapaandi theru” ]. He was pointing the tummy-hiding big coat, defaming characters of Sivaji Ganesan singing duets with much younger actors in the 80s. Even then, there were very few movies that Sivaji could make it right and justified with his age. [ Mudhal mariyadhai, Thevar Magan ]. This is applicable to Rajini and first time a full-fledged feature is possible with his original white beard [ barring 6-60 varai, Father-Son duo gimmicks, Valli ].
The feeble Rajini has carried the entire film which has even more feeble script. Still he could make one of the best opening action blocks with his stylish slow mo. walks n dialogues. He dresses impressively, talks politics, expresses his loneliness, soft corner towards family members, weeps [ in a long shot, of course ], cracks jokes and could make out few action blocks too. He adds value especially on the emotions part interacting with his wife
Kumudavalli [ Beautifully portrayed by Radhika Apte ]. More than the lousy opening song and the fiery Kabalida song [improper placement!! ] it was Maaya nadhi which came out very well for Rajini. It’s disheartening to watch an older Rajini image on screen and above all he’s damn tired [ remember the year Ranga was shot ]. May be before signing off, he wanted to be in classic like Nayagan and fixes himself in the Don’s chair [ Adhu Mumbai.. Idhu Malaysia ]. But remember, Rajini was at his lethargic peak releasing & making 175 days of a parallel crap called MANITHAN [ that too with Chandrabose music – I still feel the day I saw 175 days of Nayagan & Manithan in the same paper ]. Having said that I still feel fascinating factor is to watch the opening scene of Rajini and entry action block and the family emotions.. of course in big screen.
Coming to Pa. Ranjith. He had done a feel good romantic humor Attakathi [ with awesome music – aasai or pulveli ] and the classic MADRAS [ tolerating the meek Catherine Teresa. He has taken references from the Don classics starting from Scarface to the last Aaranya gaandam but heavily influenced by Nayagan [ including Tinu Anand’s character, Don conference, losing family, daughter like character asking his righteousness, Selva [ John Vijay here ] and what not ]. The killer was all his MADRAS characters appear in this flick like coming to a wedding reception podium n taking a photo with Rajini – exception is Dinesh – he gets applause in a screen where Rajini is , which is very rare ! ]. The Malaysian backdrop, serial type of too many characters dilute the entire Don’s gang from Rajini’s end [ few of them have flashback too ! ]. Sill Ranjith has tried to include his thought process [ we don’t miss those Ambedkar dialogue, Malcolm X photo, Das Capital book in prison, Che’s photo, depiction of Malaysian Tamil challenges ] but none of them helps to elevates the story. From his part… the story starts really well, nice to see the emotional part of the Don, tumbles in the second half and goes haywire towards the climax. Santhosh Narayan is another let down.
I least care about the economics and the business part of the movie. As a fan, I see a movie and I like/dislike [ and I may write ]. I could sense who paid high in dollars n Rupees who might got much disappointed with this flick. Neither Rajini nor Ranjith can claim this films as theirs – It’s a film where both worked together!