Before Indian Independence, many Tamils from South India were sent to Malaysia as indentured laborers. Kabali, the protagonist, fights this oppression. After a lengthy imprisonment, he is more determined than ever to fight for his people.
Kabaleeswaran, a revolutionary who fights for the betterment of his race in a foreign land, is falsely implicated and thrown behind bars. When he returns after his prison term, he starts a search for his wife and ends up confronting those who were the reason behind his miseries. What follows is a tale of revenge, emotion, drama, jealousy, treason, loyalty, love and payback. Written by
Although this is an action film with many frequent fight scenes, it is notable for the fact that the protagonist, played by Rajinikanth, never throws a punch. His Kabali character engages in combat several times throughout the film using different weapons and also resorts to kicking, pushing or pulling enemies into another object, but he never actually punches them. This is one of those rare films to hold this feat. See more »
In the flashback scene,Tamilmaran comes to apologise to Kabali while he is eating with family, the scene is set at the backdrop of Merdeka Square, the scene is supposed to have happened 25 years back but modern buildings which was not yet constructed in KL can be seen.
Also in various other scenes, various cars which were not released in early 90's can be still be seen,. See more »
Even this is a form of protest. Why did Gandhi wear dhotis and why did Ambedkar wear suits? Politics Thamizhmaran...
[when Thamizhmaran asks him if all his money goes into buying suits]
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I am a sucker for mass films and typical heroism, I admit it. Even I am one of those who eagerly wait for a Rajni film and watch the trailer over and over to get that feel before the release. I did the same for Kabali and I also avoided listening to naysayers despite the bad feeling I had from my previous outing with Linga. So I went to the theatre with minimum expectations on the story and logic, but I did expect it to be an out and out Rajni film.
Watching Kabali for me was an inner struggle between the fan in me and the critic. Just as much this movie struggles to find the balance between the actor and superstar Rajni. As the 'SUPER STAR' flashes on screen with the Kabali theme music, excitement runs through the movie hall. It is followed by 'Sivajiesque' introduction scene in the jail. It feels good to see him doing push ups even at this age. The fan inside me buckles up for a Rajni ride. Whistles follow as the Rajni dances a few steps in the introduction song. As the movie plot begins to shape up the cinema lover inside me wonders as if it is picking up somewhere from the middle. The so called gangster cum social worker Kabali looks for some answers and payback as he is out of jail. There is always a herd of people around him as he walks, eats, drives and give speeches at his Free Life Foundation (please don't ask what it's about). Random scenes follow with some flashback thrown in. The critic in me starts to think why all this is happening, but the fan in me asks the critic to wait for some more time. I sit there hoping for a typical South Indian movie flashback which cooks up a good and a brutal revenge story. I see random villains trying to kill Kabali but with not much of a zeal or a structured plan. As the movie runtime comes close to an hour, the audience have seemed to lost the enthusiasm as well. They no more shout, whistle or clap when they see Rajni uttering some punchlines. We all see Rajni on screen, but we only see bits and pieces of Rajniism but not too convincing. As the flashback part of the movie begins, it takes a political turn and yet once again it isn't convincing enough. At this point of the time the critic and the fan in me both start wondering what is happening. As more and more characters get introduced it only adds to the confusion and I wait for the break which is something I wouldn't have hoped watching a Rajni movie. The scene leading to the interval doesn't make any impact to make the audience curious and eagerly wait for the second half.
With minimum expectations I start watching the second half not bothering a bit about the story. The fan in me begs for some punchlines and some typical Rajni fights. But the film takes a diversion as Kabali sets to find his wife (very neatly played by Radhika Apte) along with his daughter (a tomboy character played by Dhansika through which director wants to show that he is all in for equal opportunities). This part is an episode in itself. So I feel that earlier the movie ends, the better. Judging by how other audiences react I feel they too have the same opinion. Once again the antagonists surface to hurry an action packed climax. This is the part where probably director Ranjith wants something to give to the Rajni fans. Out of nowhere Rajni gathers an army and comes up with a strategy to face the antagonists played by Kannada actor Kishore and the international actor Winston Chao. Both wasted in poorly written negative roles. An invincible Rajni taking on the villains is all a fan like me need, but Kabali fails to portray that in a typical Rajni way as well. Although there are some punchlines and typical Rajni laughs, they aren't backed up with powerful scenes. I get the slightest of goosebumps as Rajni appears majestically in between the Kaula Lampur's twin towers over a hotel rooftop. However movie doesn't end there as Kabali manages to wipe out his enemies. It is further dragged on for about five minutes, which leads to a very very weird ending.
Kabali is another desperate attempt by the makers to cash in on the Rajni image. Director Ranjith fails to bring the balance between a class and mass movie. Although Rajni's Linga was a dud it at least had its typical Rajni moments and some good bit of sentiment and comedy. Whereas Kabali feels like a collection of different episodes which are hardly connected. The production value is rich and the music is decent. But they can hardly save this movie. The only thing positive about this movie is that there aren't any unnecessary songs put in. Rajni looks good with his white beard and suits, but the way character is written fails to bring out the Super Star in him. As a fan walking out of the theatre all I want to do is to go watch Sivaji again to forget this. Like some others I don't want him to stop making films but I feel he really needs to choose only the best of scripts. I try my best not to write a harsh review on Kabali, but this is the best I can do. I do not want to recommend or not recommend anyone to watch this movie. As a Rajni fan, I only want this movie to be a hit and so does others. But deep inside everyone knows this is nowhere close to a milestone for the Super Star.
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