Rajinikanth's Kaala Movie Review, Rating -2/5
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Bottom Line: Kaala is a yawn fest, that makes Kabali look a classic
Post the disastrous result of their 2016 release Kabali, the emotional tale of a Malaysian don, the actor-director combo of Superstar Rajnikanth and Pa Ranjith have returned on screen 2 years later, with Kaala, this time again a gangster flick, with an emotional backdrop, and with some message. Here's team AP Herald's exclusive first on net Kaala Review.
Kaala Saet(Rajni) leads the slum residents of Dharavi, and things go well until he clashes with Hari Dada (Nana Patekar), a powerful politician who plans Clean Mumbai project, to destroy slums and convert them to posh residential structures. Kaala confronts Hari Dada, who tries to finish Kaala through all his political influence, while Kaala gathers people and unites their power against Hari Dada. Whether Kaala's people power prevailed over Hari Dada's political power and did Kaala help his people get back their lost lands from the evil Hari dada is what the tiresome Kaala is all about.
Superstar Rajnikanth is grace personified, as he rocks with his trademark style and dialogue delivery. Be it his fierce action sequences with the anger in his eyes, or the subtle spontaneity in his confrontations with Nana Patekar or his romantic sequences with both Huma and Eswari Rao, the Superstar aces every expression like a king. Nana Patekar as Hari Dada, oozes venom, with his very body language and striking persona, and that dubbing perfectly suiting his character. Huma Qureshi looks fresh and lays her part perfectly, while Eswari Rao, in her comeback has portrayed the don's wife convincingly. The rest of the huge cast including Samuthirakani and Sampath are adequate.
Background score by Santhosh Narayanan works in bits and pieces, as it helps the proceedings at places, while it is loud and jarring at most parts. None of the songs are appealing even with the visuals that have the Superstar himself in it, barring Nikkal which passes the muster. Murali G's cinematography is the only lifting feature of the movie, as it captures the essence of Dharavi, presenting the stunningly made sets as if it is real Dharavi. Editing by Sreekar Prasad could have been sharp, as the movie drags pointlessly at numerous places. Director Pa Ranjith, who had started his career well, directing commercially profitable ventures like Madras and Attakathi, later got a huge opportunity to direct Superstar Rajnikanth himself in Kabali.
However, the director had let down the opportunity big time, as the movie was made pathetic, ending neither as a Ranjith movie nor a Rajni movie. Despite all this, the Superstar has given him another opportunity with Kaala. However, the director has failed him yet again. Presenting massy promo cuts and disappointing the fans seems to be the forte of Pa Ranjith, and he has done the same with Kaala. The film, revolving around an aged don who fights the evil politician Hari Dada to help people own their lands, has been dealt in an amateurish way by Pa Ranjith. Rather than presenting the movie with loads of action, one can easily place, the director laces it with preachy and casteist stuff so typical of Ranjith, the same way he had ruined Kabali.
He makes Rajni speak lines of dialogues constantly whenever one would expect the superstar to break into stylish action, and this only dampens the spirit of the audience. It's high time the director understands the difference between preaching casteist values and making a movie, and that too with a superstar. With the motive of the maker clearly to present his ideologies which are directly against every caste other than Dalits, the maker has pathetically handled a superstar in a middling screenplay, that neither entertains nor educates.
The movie's first half moves at a leisurely pace though gains momentum towards the interval, Ranjith ruins the second half, with pointless, and insignificant scenes, which drag the screenplay to unbearable levels. While the romantic track between Kaala and Zareena as well as his wife are handled subtly, the emotional factor is completely taken for a ride with the other characters as none of them are registered, in the boring screenplay that never takes off. All said, Kaala is a boring and tiresome wannabe message based entertainer, that again ends neither as a Rajni movie nor as a Ranjith movie, and is sure to disappoint the Superstar's fans yet again.