Tag Archives: Pa. Ranjith

Kaala Review

Kaala Review – Kaala is a Tamil crime drama released in 2018. Mumbai’s politician Hari Dhada has hidden agenda of cleaning up Mumbai’s Dharavi to let it open for commercialization, but people of Dharavi protest against it under the leadership of local don Karikaalan.

I was disappointed with the second half of Kabali wherein I felt director Ranjith had a masterpiece in the making but fell flat in the second half. This time in Kaala the screenplay is much tighter and travels towards the purpose. The screenplay also provided a much larger scope for the mass moments of Rajini. Be it the swag of the black dress and shades, not being able to hide his lost love or getting drunk and blabbering in the police station, its out and out Rajini’s moments. He makes all these scenes very enjoyable.

Kaala has a very similar structure to his previous movie Madras. The movie jumps right into the core problem and how the voice of people is not heard in the massive political schemes which are supposed to be for the people. Apart from Rajini the biggest strength of the movie is Nana Patekar. He has played the unapologetic, gruesome villain with ease. His acting and body language are exemplary.

The screenplay does come with its own flaws. The character of Huma Qureshi is very weak and one dimensional. There was a much larger scope for the character but again the writers seem to have struggled with it as they did for Radhika Apte’s character in the second half of Kabali.  The rapper group is becoming a very predictable part for Ranjith’s film which again could have been avoided.

Samuthrakani has played a very good supporting role. It is refreshing to see him explore different roles other than being typecast into roles that shout out social messages. Eswari Rao makes a good pair to Rajini. She has a lot of scope in the first half and the way her character has been sketched is very nice. It is also refreshing to see Dileepan playing a significant role after Vathikuchi.

The subtext of the movie is about the perception people carry regarding the slums. Ranjith has questioned the stereotypes. If we talk about Dharavi or the North Madras slum, we remember movies like Nayagan, Thalapathy, Pudupettai which stereotypes the areas as the hub of crime. Pa Ranjith’s Kaala paints the picture of more life and family values in the slum, unlike the popular stereotypes.

High Points: Rajini’s charisma and screen presence, Nana Patekar’s acting, Mass moments of Rajini and Nana Patekar, a very compelling subtext of the movie, the climax sequence, brilliant cinematography, editing and art design to recreate Dharavi.

Low Points: Huma Qureshi’s character build-up, too much violence in the second half might upset many audiences, some components that are becoming too predictable in a Pa Ranjith’s movie.

Overall Kaala is a compelling tale about the slums beyond our perceptions and beliefs. Pa Ranjith is very sincere in what he believes and has the ability to narrate it in a compelling way. Ram killed Raavan and established Ram Rajya for making people’s lives better, but is that what the people wanted is essentially the question the movie asks. If you like crime dramas then do watch this one in the theaters.

Must Watch

Kabali Review

Kabali Review – Kabali is a Tamil gangster drama released in 2016. Kabali a gangster leading the Tamil group in Malaysia is released from prison after 25 years due to a crime scene where he lost his pregnant wife. As he sets to seek revenge on his enemies he learns his wife might be still alive.

Probably this Rajnikanth movie had a much greater hype than any of his previous movies. I decided not to watch it on the first day for multiple reasons, one with so much of overhype I wasn’t sure if I could write a balanced review. The other reason was Ranjith and Rajini had mentioned this would not be a usual Rajini movie and the most recent posters depicting Rajini in an emotional avatar I did not want to miss out the intensity lost when I watch it as an ardent fan of Thalaivar.

As expected the movie is definitely apart from standard Rajini movies. Still they couldn’t do away with some of the scenes that happen to be typical template of a Rajini starrer. The first 20 minutes of the movie gives what the audience need at the same time helps in moving the plot forward. Rajini’s costume, the style of his walk, the swag has come out very well and there is plenty to cheer about. As the movie progresses the plot gets grim and eventually turns into an emotional drama till getting back to the Gangster life. I enjoyed the gangster part of the flick for many reasons. I felt there was a deep influence of Scarface and it could become a cult classic. I did not like the emotional journey of Kabali and felt it was added just as a filler and did not move the story forward infact the emotional journey made his purpose of revenge more weaker. If you have watched the movie you would understand.

Kudos to Ranjith and team for pulling out a movie which had more chance for Rajini as an actor.  Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Dinesh, Kishore have supported well.

High Points: Rajini’s acting, his Swag, intense drama in the screenplay, Background Score, Flashback portions, Malaysian culture has been depicted well.

Low Points: The emotional Journey of Kabali did not help the plot much, Songs could have been better.

Overall Kabali is charismatic to hold you to your seats and keep you intense till the end. The minor plot holes could be easily forgotten when seeing the entire package. Ghost of Baasha would always haunt Rajini and his directors and we can’t do much about it. Only way to break this is to create movies like Kabali and Endhiran to bring out the actor in Rajinikanth. Go and watch in the theaters.

Worth a Watch

Madras

Madras – is a Tamil political action drama released in 2014. Maari and Kannan are rival political party leaders. Kannan’s party has a big painting of Kannan’s father and his political party on a wall in the middle of Maari’s locality. In the pretext of bad omen no one is daring to change the wall painting. Anbu the dedicated party worker of Maari’s party along with his friend Kaali is waiting for an occasion to change the wall painting.

Right from the first shot I enjoyed everything about this movie. After some really bad outings for Karthi, Madras is a very welcome change. After Attakathi, Director Pa. Ranjith has created a very engaging commercial drama. The movie doesn’t go much outside of the North Madras housing board for its entire length but for a few shots. The first half of the movie is just brilliant. If you have lived in a housing board this would bring back some nostalgic memories. The director has dealt with most of the walks of a lower middle class life like the small houses, getting water from common pipe, lack of space for intimacy between couples, young men proposing to girls, football ground, dance groups and many more. One of the most striking things is how the characters are built. At the end they all have a part to play in the story. There are so many of them yet they all have their unique tone and voice. The use of wall as a metaphor to drive the social message of current state of power and politics is brilliant. The screenplay is engaging throughout. It just slacks down a bit in the middle of the second half but soon gets back on track. Santhosh Narayanan’s background score is apt for the drama. Madras is a welcome change in the times where all leading heroes’ movies are not doing so well. If you like political drama and gang fights go and watch Madras for sure.

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