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May 24, 2017 Wednesday     
Greeted by a mind-boggling euphoria displayed by the fans all over India, KABALI finally arrives with Thalaiva Rajinikanth playing the lead character. But he is again back with a typical gang war film having an emotional family angle too showcasing every single feature the icon is known for. So you have the good old stylish walks, elegant poses, slow motion action sequences, the synchronized sound effects and a glimpse of Rajini’s younger days too asking for the deafening loud cheers and whistles in the theater.
However the moment you manage to rise above the larger than life, cult image of the Star and all these typical insertions, the film disappoints and it disappoints hugely with nothing fresh or novel to offer either in its theme or execution turning out to be too flat to be called engaging or entertaining from any angle.
In short, though it had a potential plot talking about the plight of migrated Tamil-Indian population in Malaysia, KABALI fails to deliver anything substantial and its simply like a cruel betrayal for all the die-hard Thalaiva fans expecting an explosive, well-made project from the reputed team.
And the following chronological notes on the film will give you the exact picture.
  • The energetic opening music adds to the visible excitement level perfectly. But the usual introduction of all the gang leaders and build up is too filmy generating the feeling of Deja-Vu (including a Chinese gangster).
  • Rajini enters in style as expected and background score enhances the sequence brilliantly catering to the cheering crowd.
  • The sound mix seems to be a bit imbalanced and dubbing as usual awkward with ‘the reference of Amrish Puri’ in a dialogue going over the top.
  • The first song doesn’t work but gets a big boost with KABALI dancing to the beats.
  • Family references are here (as typically seen in a gang-war film).
  • A mole in the gang can be easily sighted, (nothing can be more cliched than that).
  • A social angle of A Rehabilitation Centre is thrown in (that’s always there in a Rajnikanth film as a must.)
  • The emotions work for a moment followed by an all seen before story progression.
  • A gangster killing sequence works, again enhanced by the title track running in the background.
  • A new smart girl enters the scene as ‘a contract killer’.
  • Surprisingly the cult Hindi song ‘Lag Ja Gale’ is used in a sequence.
  • An unimpressive sad song runs in the background making no impact whatsoever.
  • Its 45 minutes and vengeance is the only theme till now with the usual intercuts of flashback thrown in following a set format.
  • The ‘Questions and Answers’ session looks childish and the expression of ‘Papa’ raises laughter in the theater sarcastically.
  • The young Rajnikanth appearing in a flashback gets the cheers back but the magic stays for only a few initial moments.
  • Its 60 minutes but nothing works in terms of entertainment for the Hindi viewers in particular.
  • The reference of old time romance also doesn’t make any impact despite the presence of the impressive Radhika Apte.
  • Another song praising the heroic character with a rap is thrown in that again fails to make any contribution along with the slow motion action.
  • The emotional killing sequence doesn't work either due to the lack of novelty.
  • The pace drops again and the story shifts to Thailand (which clearly seems to be a set instead of the actual location.)
  • As a sudden twist, the word PAPA brings laughter into the theatre instead of tears...... becoming the most ridiculous move in the storyline.
  • At mid-point the film strangely offers nothing different from the usual seen before stuff, either in terms of subject or execution except THE CULT FIGURE.
                                     ----- INTERVAL -----
  • Another routine sequence, after a shootout doesn’t excite you at all.
  • Resurrection of everyone already declared dead, actually makes it highly insane and boring.
  • Background music regularly keeps trying to create some thrill in vain.
  • Dhansika playing Kabali's daughter looks good and makes the best of the opportunity given.
  • The repetitive gang-wars and plans to kill the rivals add to the boredom pretty badly.
  • Emotions take over with the story focusing on the search for the lost family member in India, that ideally should have been the main subject giving it a new angle.
  • The two loving souls unite and Radhika excels in these 2 minutes making a strong impact. But another average song added just after the emotional scene pulls the film back to the same mediocre levels.
  • Gang wars return adding to the unbearable length offering NOTHING.
  • A long action sequence further adds to the monotonous progression.
  • The whole family returns to Malaysia with a rap playing in the backdrop and a strange roof-top party is here where all the gang leaders are brought in together heading towards an obvious culmination.
  • The finale dialogue tries to bring in a bit of patriotism too and the long climax fight ends on a pretty ordinary note without any exceptional execution.
  • The VFX gets caught very easily in the last shot and that’s supposed to be one of the biggest film of our industry.
  • But it’s still not over, as the director decides to end it on another highly cliched moment presenting his last bad move.
In all such hugely disappointing, tedious and unoriginal project wasn’t expected, wherein no one seems to be interested in moving out of the set-comfortable-format giving something unique, engaging and entertaining to the eager followers/ viewers. Wonder why our icons agree to do the same things again and again so irresponsibly resulting in such a big letdown? In clear words, apart from Rajinikanth’s magical persona onscreen, an impressive background score and one particular scene of Radhika, KABALI fails to give you anything in return for your time and money spent. And this is in continuation post Rajini’s last mediocre venture titled LINGA.
On a personal note, KABALI turns out to be a bigger disappointment for me and BTC specifically, as at one end I constantly keep trying to influence the younger friends to essentially watch the regional cinema of our country making some exceptional gems and here comes a KABALI painting a completely different picture of our South cinema quite similar to the mainstream Hindi movies.
Anyway, lets continue with our work of exploring the must watch regional gems made in different Indian languages at the site, and hope Rajinikanth comes up with a much better venture soon forgetting this poor KABALI.
Rating : 1.5 / 5
Tags : Kabali Review by Bobby Sing, Kabali Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Dubbed Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Rajinikanth's Kabali Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
22 July 2016 / bobbysing /
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4 Responses to “KABALI - Why our icons agree to do the same things again and again so irresponsibly resulting in such a huge disappointment? (Review By Bobby Sing)”
submitted on 23 July 2016

Hi Sir,
I have been waiting to see the other side of you (who is long gone from this blog) as you mentioned few weeks back but still no luck :(
Anyways I really doubt you had some other expectations before watching a typical south Indian masala flick.. boss or whoever may it be.. it's better to re-read the jokes than waisting time watching such movies..

It's our bad luck that only such trash gets dubbed in hindi whereas the rare regional gems are not even released with subtitles...

submitted on 24 July 2016

Hi Avik,
I will soon post on poetry, music and a lot more unheard/unexplored filmy subjects too.
Trying to make some changes in the work field so be in touch.

What I expected from KABALI was everything typical but highly entertaining.
However it was neither having the Rajini as we know him, nor anything entertaining in terms of execution or treatment.

And yes its very right to say that "it's our bad luck that only such trash gets dubbed in Hindi whereas the rare regional gems are not even released with subtitles." - That's perfectly put.


submitted on 27 July 2016

I was waiting for your view on this one. appended below is what I wrote out of frustration the same evening getting back after the movie.

Today I spent a good amount, time and patience earned hard over the years, so I think its my right to have some entertainment out of this event called KABALI hence this effort.

The movie starts on a promising note, building up much expected hype around the entry of Thalaiva! Which were my only exciting moments. The grand entry however was lost amidst lots of unwanted background stories and mediocrity of sequences. Building up his legacy takes more than expected time and fails to achieve the impact. It becomes difficult to believe his full-hardy gate crash into enemy pad without much support and a glaring lack of objective. The virtual narrative runs simultaneously relegating actual Kabali into sidewalks. Taking this cue from the writer seriously, Kabali detracts frequently, at times preaching about birds freedom and similar diversions unrelated to current situation (I hoped to have flown away with that bird in the scene). The build up somehow ends by half an hour into the movie testing resilience of sincere audience and stretching imagination of the expecting ones!

The characters woven around kabali seem confused about the director's intent, showing proper allegiance at times and getting caught in their 'flashback' life. One can't gather from the first working lunch, whether the gang actually sold drugs and competed with rivals or sold drugs and partnered with them. It takes time to realise that the director did not want them to sell drugs at all as per script! Maybe the dialogue wallah was not privy to this situation. Lots of such loosely written scenes expose the weak writing itself. Indulgence into the charity organisation by Kabali is unnecessary to say the least. The characters presented there, are over the top and missing the company policy: to LOVE or HATE Kabali? Incidentally one of the addicts there, calls him Papa (it looked like a casual misspell rather than an ardent desire to father him). It is not even half worthy to have compelled Kabali's Jazzbaat ! The other one becoming his bodyguard and pushing people around to make way confuses kabali himself on how to react. I expected an interjection of a mild caution (generally shown to be done for mass appeal and by good natured heroes) as is the trend in good vs bad movies. However, it appeared that the behaviour was well taken by kabali contradicting his legacy!!

Kabali himself seemed to be more worried about his attire than the larger objective. No, not the onscreen appearance but the scenes written to justify his suit n boot. It becomes repetitive and lacks depth. So much so that, at a supposedly high tension drama involving life or death situation Kabali gets preachy about who should wear suits and how it should not be dictated by others and other miscellaneous crap. At one moment it felt as if the movie was produced out of chit funds collected from oppressed indian workers in malaysia nursing a dream of wearing designer suits (Far-From-Real coz such workers must be a figment of his imagination, looking at their onscreen depiction by the director). Well, the emergence of daughter is where I lost it partially: it was not a surprise shock but an awful one indeed. I missed the second death blow : his wife resurfacing ! Thanks to my little ones who rescued me out for half an hour of fresh air!

The action segment lacked imagination/ innovation generally owed to and worthily commanded by Rajini. The ease at which he moves in and out of enemy bastions goes to the extent of being funny, supplemented by unexplained lack of firepower by his enemy. Timely injected Humour is a good carrier I agree but the scenes border on being a comic movie write-up. It looked like the writer-director had taken all of it on a lighter note ¡V literally. His indulgence in Rajini is well understood, but it does not offer sole support as expected. The climax build-up getting all on board and pulling up a potentially volatile cocktail gets punctured by the seamless entry n exit of kabali¡¦s family at the venue. They virtually go unnoticed by the rivals (actually insulting them by ignoring their importance to larger than life kabali). The penultimate action scene is weaker than ever before¡K wherein Kabali¡¦s main detractor, an intelligent (supposedly) Tony lee chooses a pool table cue stick to beat up a muscular Kabali bodyguard. Humour again

I did go with lots of expectations like many others only to witness Mr P. Ranjith: the director projecting something which looks like a fortnight worth of random shoots, featuring humorous moments and jumbled up dialogues missing the points in totality. Thalaiva carries it well where demanded. Unfortunately even the demand seems to have fallen short; making kabali the movie look like a run-of-the-mill tamil to hindi dubbed noon setmax movie.

What a waste of a great star Rajini and TEF (time-effort-money) of poor audience like us !!!
Should I add an advice of AVOID after this?

submitted on 27 July 2016

Thanks a lot for your detailed comment Vijay and it was indeed a huge disappointment for many.
So lets hope Thalaiva is soon back with a worth watching venture next.


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