Kabali movie review: Superstar Rajinikanth is impressive in all his glory

Directed by: Pa. Ranjith
Produced by: Kalaipuli S Thanu
Cast: Rajinikanth, Winston Chao, Radhika Apte
Duration: 2 hours 32 minute
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3/5


There are films, and there are life altering experiences – Superstar Rajinikanth’s ‘Kabali‘ is one such experience. Directed by PA Ranjith, this film can make you believe in miracles, and the existence of mermaids and dragons. It will not be wrong to say that ‘Kabali’ is an ultimate tribute to Rajinikanth’s die hard fans who have believed in everything that he has done in all his films over so many decades. In his latest outing Rajini sir plays the role of Kabaleeshwaran who is a gangster, but an ethical one at that. What does that mean? He is a self-proclaimed ‘gunda’ but he is against prostitution and drug rackets. He has perhaps unwillingly become a gangster to protect his people in Kuala Lumpur.

How does he protect his people? He funds a NGO that educates children and discourages them from getting into prostitution and drugs. He is basically a gangster with a heart of gold. We see his journey from being just another stooge to the ruling gangster back in the day, to his now super cool, suit and goggle clad avatar, playing to the gallery showing his swagger in every frame. Radhika Apte plays the role of Rupa, his wife – yes, it is hard to imagine her as Rajini sir’s wife, but she does a very good job of it – kudos to her. ‘Kabali’ begins with Rajini sir finishing his 25-odd years’ jail term and going back to his bad old ways, and then onwards it is a mix of past, present and utter suspension of disbelief.

One can’t help but sit in awe of the superstar who pulls off this role with such style and charisma even at his age. Coming back to ‘Kabali,’ it is an unabashed celebration of Rajinikanth’s superstardom. To raise the stake, the makers have thrown in Taiwanese actor, Winston Chao as Tony Lee, the main villain. Winston is Kabali’s arch rival in the gangster business, and he is tired of Kabali’s principals and ethics. He wants to take over the gangster world of Kuala Lumpur, and to do that he has to eliminate the ageing Kabali. In a normal world it would have been the simplest thing to do, but in Rajinikanth’s world, he is the KING, and he doesn’t tolerate any nonsense. He gets nostalgic every now and then, but he has his hands on the gun.

What is amusing is that Kabali is just chilling all the time, even with so many guns pointed at him, he will mouth his lines, flick his hands, show some swag, and get away with everything. Somewhere mid way in the film, the makers randomly throw in a daughter in the form of contract killer Yogi, played by the gorgeous Dhansika. To think of it, till the time the daughter’s existence is brought up, you were made to believe that his wife had died. BUT this is a Rajinikanth film where people come back from the dead. So Kabali along with his gangster daughter take up the task of eliminating the “bad” gundas, so that only “good” gundas run the local mafia. The last sentence may not have made sense, but it doesn’t really matter.

PA Ranjith’s ‘Kabali’ is a must watch for all the fans of Superstar Rajinikanth as he doesn’t disappoint one bit. He is still on top of his swag game, and gives all the cheap thrills that one seeks from his films. The film is made well, and it doesn’t bore you at any time – the supporting cast also delivers what has been promised in the trailer. The stunning visuals and brisk pacing makes the film a racy one time watch. Just don’t be a ‘rascal’ and go in expecting any logic, you will come back entertained like only how Rajini sir film can.

P.S.: If only the makers had avoided the ‘fair and lovely’ angle, it would have been better, but alas.