Kaala

There are politically influential ideologies and then there are filmmakers who try to bring them into their stories. Few make an indirect impression and show hints of inclination while few state them on your face in an obvious manner. The later kind of people make highly polarising films and when such maker get Rajnikanth as his hero, he will try to make his voice heard in a more obvious manner. But will that suit a person a like Rajni with a huge fan base?

Plot : Dharavi, Mumbai, World’s largest and highly populated slum has a threat in the form of Pure Mumbai, campaign. According to it, a highly influential person like Hari Dada (Nana Patekar) wants to build high society complex on that land by evacuating the slum people.

His problem is with the local goon, Kaala (Rajnikanth). Kaala is like God to settlers there and they don’t allow anything that seems to hurt their freedom. Hence, it becomes a fight between right for land and power hunger. Who wins in this battle? Watch the movie for answers …

Performances : Rajnikanth doesn’t need to be praised again. There is nothing new that you can tell about him. He proved himself time and time again. Here he tried to give Superstar a rest and wanted to be Rajni on screen. The actor in him has great charisma that we cannot take out eyes away from him. But the character here doesn’t require him to push himself more than what he did already.

Nana Patekar is mysterious and highly ease on eye to watch when he is on screen opposite Rajni. While he did his best to deliver the right kind of performance, his character is not completely well designed or etched by the writer. It needed to have some more depth than just few likeable histrionics.

Others including Eeshwari Rao, Huma Qureshi, Samuthirakani are used as props rather than as important characters in the film.

Technicalities : Sreekar Prasad, the editor of the film seemed to be in confusion to whether let the scene go on or should he cut them quick enough to keep the film racy. He lets the director and writer get his wish and we end up watching lengthy scenes that never seem to end, even after making their point.

Murali, the cinematographer is good in keeping the frames tidy and blocking is neat too. But the director wanted him to keep everything real and even though he is successful in doing so, he couldn’t experiment much.

Santhosh Narayanan, seem to have just went through his motions as a composer. His songs don’t leave an impression and except for few scenes, none of background score works too.

Writer-Director, Pa. Ranjith, is a director who believes in his political inclination and wants to discuss about it openly. While it is not wrong, for a film with a popular star hero, you cannot make it too polarising. His audience are different and divergent. So, you need to make something that satisfies their apatite and also tell a story.

It is hard to execute but we have to find that balance. There is no escaping from it. Rajni might want to reinvent himself and deliver one final big hit before he moves on, but these kind of characters are too undermining for his persona. Pa. Ranjith at least after Kabali, should have understood that. He leaves many characters without any closure and many threads open ended trying to make it a slice of life, yet larger than life story. They are two different approaches and they don’t gel well.

Analysis : Pa. Ranjith is no doubt a good filmmaker. He has his own style and influences while making a film. Good or bad, you cannot just bring in and preach an ideology in every movie of yours. You need to keep the focus of your story away from the ploarising elements and the director fails again. He tries to correct his Kabali mistakes but makes a too predictable movie that serves more as a political film than an entertainer. Take a precaution before you step in to the theatre to watch the film, as it moves nowhere.

Rating : 2/5

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