An elevated Rajini phenomenon keeps the faltering Kabali going

If there is one thing Rajinikanth is willingly identified with (aside from the actor’s irrevocable star power), it is his whistle-worthy entrance sequences, which almost unfailingly resounds with a roaring fandom.

Muthu (1995) gallops away in a horse-carriage which readily sprints to his cue, Padayappa (1999) valiantly rescues a serpent and Baashha (1995) is seen striding down a flight of stairs, donned in a suit of silk. The ageing Kabaleeswaran, however, is quietly engrossed in a copy of ‘My Father Baliah’, before walking away from prison after 25 years. He might tread away in a three-piece suit, coolers sitting perfectly on his nose, drowning us in a rush of familiarity. But the Rajini in Kabali is nothing like you have ever seen before.

Kabali tells the story of a veteran don (Rajini) in Malaysia, who seamlessly fights for the rights of Tamil Malaysians, fighting a gang headed by the ridiculously Tamil spewing Tony Lee (Winston Chao). An evident ode to the actor’s earlier gangster films- Billa and Baashha, Kabali, is a do-gooder who doesn’t mind taking out thugs with a dagger or a pistol (which he slides off his coat with suave) for his community.

While director Pa. Ranjith attempts to thread the storyline with a subject that hasn’t been explored before, the film somehow lacks lustre. Bogged down by a narrative that loses pace, a few scenes into the film, performances keep the film going. Radhika Apte’s effortless rendering of Kabali’s wife, makes us yearn for Kumudhavalli, a little bit more, every time she comes on screen.

However, Rajini’s final transition into the ageing artiste that he is, is what Kabali shines bright with. He might be slow on his feet, his shoes lagging with every ‘tak-tak’ clatter. He might not be the agile Manik Baashha which we all hoped for. Instead he is the placid Kabaleeswaran who still gives us the chills every time he utters ‘Magizhchi’.

Kabali Creates Khalbali Before Its Release

The Kabali fever has hit the world as the movie is set to release this Friday, July 22. The housefull shows worldwide before the release of the movie, free auto rides to audience and giving free movie tickets for constructing public toilets has proven that the Thalaivar fandom is incomprehensible.

The movie is said to be released on 5000 big screens. Within 2 hours the tickets for the movie were sold at 400 theatres in United States. Europe’s largest theatre Le Grand Rex in Paris is already housefull. Advance booking in Chennai has filled the entire city theatres for first three days. SPI Theatres which has 27 screen showcasing 96 shows per day is also all booked. Firstpost  reported that the first day at Vettri theatres is booked by friends, family and VIPs of the owner Rakesh Gowthaman.

LG Kiran Bedi tweeted that Puducherry government was giving free tickets to those who construct toilets in their house and the method has been working very well. Fyndus, a data processing Chennai startup and Bengaluru’s Opus declared a holiday on the day of Kabali release as reported by NDTV. With Kabali frenzy everywhere, the film is expected to break Bahubali records soon after its grand release.

Kabali, starring Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte has been directed by Pa. Ranjith. The teaser has already set the record of the highest viewed Asian film on YouTube crossing 25 million.