This is going to be long so please bear with me. I am also typing this from mobile so the formatting may be off. It may have spoilers ahead. Skip to TL; DR at the bottom to avoid the wall of text.
I watched Kabali yesterday. I wanted to wait until the craze for the movie to die down so it can be watched at peace. The theatre was packed albeit the third week with adults and kids alike.
Now on to the movie, I was elated to see RK play an old man, a gangster who just got back from prison and that had helped me to get to his character rather than the super star of an actor that he is.
Notably, there are no cringe-worthy scenes in the movie unlike some of his previous movies nor there is any romantic or comedy track.
He is just an old man having delusions about his then pregnant wife. He learns about the Asian + Tamil duo who are ruling the country after he was bumped off to prison due to unjust reasons.
We are expecting him to take them out single handed but in pursuit to that, he gets a hint about his wife’s probable existence and he follows up on the tracks he gets from the people. Then there is the girl from the school he started who calls him as Appa and he thinks if his wife was alive he might have had a daughter in the age of this girl. He yearns for something to hold on as a means of meaning to his life.
He unexpectedly gets his daughter back who turns out to be a badass hit girl. He also learns that his wife is alive through his daughter and finds her after an excruciating search process with his daughter. Attempts to their life are made. How he tackles this and destroys the enemies makes the rest of the story.
The plot point that RK’s character is standing up for Tamil population is decades old. He does this in this movie as well. His character takes centre stage while the Tamil leader is killed by one of his own men. The backstabbing incident seems to have a subtle note to the common mindset of people.
The bird flight dialogue seems to be juxtaposed with the current affairs of Tamil Nadu as well as the frequent clashes between people and wild animals with the mocking fact that people are being compassionate with animals or people alike.
Special props to Attakathi Dinesh for his role of a rookie bodyguard and he has done it well. Radhika Apte as the wife of Kabali and her immense response to meeting him after so long deserves a mention. Dhansika as Kabali’s daughter Yogi tracks down her father and mother and covertly protects the former without his knowledge. John Vijay, Kalai Arasan, Rithvika, Johnny, Anbu Annan and the other bodyguard guy from Chennai who has a slight crush on Yogi has done their parts commendable. The main villain Tony looks cut to his baddie image. Kishore as the right-hand man of Tony really makes you rage internally, that’s a win for an actor.
Also notable is the difference in body language and mannerisms after his daughter and wife by his side.
The climactic fight scene is bloody beautiful (pun intended) and it is well orchestrated.
Overall, this is the drama, then an action movie that is totally a director’s cut. I am hoping to expect more of coming of age movies from RK from now on.
TL; DR you will love Kabali if and only if you are looking at the vulnerable old man.