***************************************** Spoiler alert *********************************************
A rebel gangster whose pregnant wife (the only person in his life- the love of his life) brutally murdered right in front of his eyes by antagonist and his gang, Kabali is sent to prison for 25 years. He comes out from Jail after 25 years and avenges his wife's death.
The emotions the above line carries on script didn't translate on to the screen.
There was not a single scene where neither we understood the pain he has and is going through nor the burning fervor inside him to avenge his wife's death.I never felt kabali's fury nor did I see him as a powerful gangster.
I am not expecting thunderous dialogues or expensive shots or fight sequence to show his power.
There is not a single scene in God father where Don Corleone (except in his flashback) engages with any sort of violence still we strongly believed that he controls the city ,commands respect and if he dies all hell will break lose.
I will quote an example from Ranjith's movie itself. In madras, the moment anbu paints the election campaign ad on the wall we all felt its the beginning of blood shed. The scenes that follow where like Anbu is called to mari's house where he is asked to apologize and so on that's the impact screenplay should create.
Except for few places, the dialogues never created any impact, this again is because of the weak characterization of kabali.
In Baasha,"Enakku innoru per irukku" dialogue created waves of thunderous applause only because of the way the story had unfolded till that time.Because of the screenplay, a usual scene and dialogue became a cult.
Scenes were mediocre so was the narration and dialogues were a big let down.
The questions that dawned in me.
1. Confusing characterization of Kabali.
Was he really waiting for his release date with vengeance so that he could come out and avenge his wife's death? That Kabali who does push ups (by which he is making a statement) before leaving the prison cell was never seen after that in the movie.
He gets emotional when Ritvika calls him appa everytime but stares at her getting abused for drugs through the window without any reaction.
He doesn't burst out to happiness neither while knowing that his daughter is alive nor when he meets his wife.
These are just few scenes to quote.
2. Velu character, this is height of stupidity.
As per the flashback sequence, Previous scene he slits the throat of pregnant Radhika apte next scene he decides to help her seeing her alive in the hospital and further raises kabali's daughter. Really?
3. End of Tony Lee.
At this stage of the movie Tony Lee and Kabali are roaming with a murderous rage to kill each other and here comes the climax scene where kabali comes to meet the biggest gangster of Malaysia with a pistol under his wrist and starts shooting.
That moment director took us all back to 80s, I didn't expect that from Ranjith who made Madras.
4. Climax - This didn't create any reaction, it didn't matter if he is alive or dead because I haven't made any strong connection with Kabali's character.( Nayagan climax, Ramana Climax created huge impacts)
5. Too many characters, I just didn't get why there were so many characters and more puzzling was that Why Ranjith thought that every single person from Madras must be part of kabali.
To me none of these characters worked out, Ameer (John Vijay), Madras Johnny, Tony Lee and Kabali.
6. The screenplay, establishment of characters and scenes definitely lacked some brain.
7. Overuse of Magizhchi dialogue, background scoring was great but had the same issue.
Overuse of heavy music very often, in many places the scene would be average but the background scoring would be burning the speakers didn't sync well.
Now the pluses
1. Rajini - Rajini looks dapper in suit and him carrying himself with that swag is no surprise.
The performer rajini also has done a perfect job of what was asked.
As claimed by many that this is a Ranjith's movie where Rajini is the hero so it will be more of performance than usual masala but can someone explain if there were any exclusive scenes which showed the Rajini that we haven't seen in his recent films? by which I mean Rajini has been performing a share of drama, romance, humor and sentiment in all his movies so this not any exception.
Except for the dynamic Rajini who delivers punch dialogues and humour, everything else is business as usual with respect to him.
2. First 20 minutes or so.
3. Songs especially Mayanadhi song picturization
4. Radhika apte and Dhanshika, delivered what was required.
5. Ranjith's portrayal of women, the respect and dignity he maintains it on all his movies.
6. The underlying Dalit politics that Ranjith is talking since Madras.
Ranjith clearly seems to have lost his way halfway through. I guess he must have made some changes to the script to bring in some extent of Rajinism.I am sure Ranjith himself wouldn't be happy with the final product. He hasn't gone out and out on his way nor on Rajini's formula, this looks a bit confused.
Kabali - Average, purely from the screenplay perspective. Mundane scene creations and screenplay lacked intelligence.