After Kabali, Rajinikanth and director Pa Ranjith are back with their second outing together, Kaala. The makers did not hype the film much like Kabali which we should say has worked in favour of Kaala. People who enter the theatre with no expectations might be pleasantly surprised.
The film is all about the fight for land and Pa Ranjith wastes no time and establishes that clearly with the very first scene. A powerful politician wants to clear a slum in the name of a scheme to make Mumbai a better place, but he has an ulterior motive. We know who the politician (Nana Patekar) is and we know who is not going approve of this plan (Rajinikanth). All these are pretty clear from the teasers. But how and what happens, in the end, is all that we need to know.
Coming to director Pa Ranjith, he is known for making films that talk about oppressed people. Kaala is no different and even the making is in typical Pa Ranjith style. It moves at a leisurely pace. And the second half is largely about protests. If you have followed the recent political developments in Tamil Nadu, you will relate to the film more. Having said that, it is better you don’t mix up the film with Rajinikanth’s recent speech which might turn you off.
Kaala is more emotional, it has a relationship based story intertwined with social issues. Pa Ranjith has played to the gallery to make all sections of the audience enjoy the movie. Rajinikanth and Eswari’s romance portion is refreshing and suits Rajini’s current image. Huma Qureshi’s love track looked a little stretched. But one feels that it is done to establish the fact that Kaala would not even mind going against the love of his life.
Though sparse in number, the mass elements that we expect in a Rajinikanth film keeps the core fans buzzing. The screenplay is much tighter this time in spite of sentiment scenes taking the centre stage.
Kaala is an archetypal Pa Ranjith film with adequate Superstar mass moments. Rajinikanth is back with full vigour and energy, which is a major boost. His evergreen screen presence is exemplary and unmatchable no matter how old he gets. Rajini’s costumes and other accessories like coolers and umbrella have become style statements among the younger lot already. Fans who are longing to watch Rajini in a complete mass avatar are will be pleased.
There are plenty of slow-motion shots, crowd-pleasing mass scenes and most importantly the style of Superstar has been put to good use with the support of some terrific background score by Santhosh Narayanan. We can sense that Pa Ranjith has worked on things that he was criticized for in Kabali. However, the second half deals with protests and is majorly dialogue-oriented, and it may seem less engaging at some points.
There are 4 fight scenes in Kaala, all choreographed well by Dhilip Subbarayan. Rajini sits back and watches his son smashing the baddies in the first two fight scenes and when you expect him to do the same again for the third time, you get to see the action side of Kaala which will be an ultimate treat to Rajini fans.
Santhosh Narayanan adds a lot of strength through his BGM score. If you hear the theatre roar for some of the strong scenes, the major part of the credit should go to him. The songs are purely situational, so if you weren’t impressed with the album earlier, you might very well fall in love with a few of the tracks after watching the movie.
The inclusion of veteran editor Sreekar Prasad has made a big difference. In spite of the film talking about a hard-hitting subject that runs for 2 hours and 49 minutes, there aren’t any scenes that seemed unwanted. Not to forget cinematographer Murali’s work which sets the tone for Kaala. Ramalingam needs to be praised for recreating the Dharavi slum exceedingly well.
Among the other performers, Nana Patekar is a new addition to the list of powerful, deadly and memorable villains of Rajinikanth films. A well etched out character which gets enhanced with an irreproachable performance.
All the supporting actors, from Samuthirakani, Dileepan, Manikandan and others have done their part well. Not just Rajinikanth’s role, Kaala has 4 to 5 indelible characters that will stay close to your heart.