Super Star Rajinikanth on the verge of creating political tsunami in Tamil Nadu is here with Kaala, Karikalan in Pa Ranjith direction. After an average film Kabali, obviously expectations stood all time low on Kaala. Let us see, how far the combo of Kabali succeeded in making Kaala as a better flick?
Dharavi is one of the biggest slums in world filled with migrants from Tamil Nadu. Karikalan aka Kaala (Rajinikanth) is the undisputed King of Dharavi who fights for the rights of poor on land. Evil eye of King Maker and Mumbai Don Hari Dada (Nana Patekar) falls on Dharavi. After the major loss of his family members, conflict between Kaala and Hari Dada turns intense. Did Kaala win over Hari Dada? How the rights of poor on their own lands are restored?
Pa Ranjith is blessed with a peculiar story telling format filled more with realistic treatment. Though his efforts went in vain due to missing of those much needed commercial ingredients for Kabali, this time Ranjith populated those typical kick ass heroic moments in good numbers to satisfy Super Star Fans across globe.
Though Kaala storyline is age old and tested innumerable times by Mani Ratnam, RGV and others, what makes Ranjith different is presentation. Thanks to two terrific performers Rajini and Nana Patekar who lifted scenes to a new high. Here is where Ranjith scored brownies keeping a rather slow narrative to spark off at even intervals to delight Fans. Nevertheless, Kaala is high on family drama with aged romance and sensibilities balanced. Authentic Dharavi atmosphere created and the Marathi fragrance is intact. Screenplay is of course predictable for this sort of films, it’s the climax which is very well handled and truly a different one to remember for long.
Cinematographer Murali’s color selection (majorly black, white and red) stood in sync with theme and never drops our attention from the screen. Sreekar Prasad’s editing is acceptable and he took lot of time to establish the mood to ripen the central point. Santosh Narayan’s background score is exhilarating to elevate the crucial scenes while songs aren’t catch worthy. Production standards from Wunderbar are top notch.
Onto artists, Rajinikanth’s invincible screen presence is put to best. His impeccable charisma and unique style is injected into this honest characterization. Though Super Star in Rajini comes out once in a while, real artist in him overshadows the stardom. This is what we call as Aged Heroism with sumptuous grace. Nana Patekar is just top class and matched Rajini. Every confrontation scene between these two, Fans will scream out in joy. Eshwari Rao leaves a firm impression while Huma Qureshi is just ok. Samuthirakhani, Anjali Patil, Sampat Raj and rest of the Tamil artists did their job.
Second Half Including Climax
Tamil, Marathi Nativity
Rajini, Huma Love Track
It has been some time we are missing real Super Star Rajini in action. Kabali came and gone without leaving any impact. So, Kaala from the same team raised many doubts. Anyways, Kaala is 100 times better film than Kabali. There is a wider premise and contemporary issue of relevance which will please all the sections of audience. Ranjith Pa seems to have rectified many of Kabali mistakes to make Kaala definitely an above average and a satisfactory film.
First half typically begins with an explanation on importance of land and the wars it created from ancient times to present. Directly to Dharavi, sufferings of poor and the living style of people in this slum are presented wonderfully only to take off for a simple Rajini introduction. Later on, Rajini’s family is established. Then the political moves from Nana Patekar controlled party winning all the seats except Dharavi lays the seed for exciting conflict to open. In between, Rajini-Huma Qureshi and Rajni-Eshwari Rao tracks are too much of boredom. Every time when heroism reaches peak, Ranjith pulled it flat in very next moment. With Nana Patekar into action, interval block needs no extra permissions to be called as superb.
Second half did not keep up the acceleration. Of course, every confrontation between Rajini, Nana is powerful but it’s the same formula of Nana attacking Rajini family members kept momentum go up and down. Police station scene and the scene in Nana’s house stood top. Non-co-operation point showed the power of slum. The final attack of Nana’s batch on Dharavi interpreted in atypical Rama-Ravana war perspective is new. Lastly, climax is thoroughly innovative and needs to be watched only on screen.
All in all, Kaala is a true Rajinikanth film with decent Fan moments and some genuine performances from powerhouse artists Rajini, Nana Patekar. Despite a predictable plot and leisure narrative, Kaala can have its own political impulsions in Tamil Nadu. CJ goes with 2.75 stars. Box Office wise, Kaala will shine brighter in Kollywood than Tollywood.