Cast: Rajinikanth, Nana Patekar, Samuthirakani, Huma Qureshi, Eshwari Rao, Anjali Patil, Aruldoss
Director: Pa Ranjith
Kaala: After the much-expected untouchable AKA Kabali had opened to mix opinions, the Ranjith and superstar combo is back. Remembering the hype and craze created by the kabali team it was surprising to notice that the same wasn’t done for Kaala. However, did this play in favour of Kaala or not? Let’s see what happened.
The movie revolves around the people who live in Mumbai’s sprawling slum. These are the people who left Tamil Nadu for a better life. The plot unfolds when politicians and land mafia have plans to destroy the slums of Dharavi to make it Digital Dharavi and Pure Mumbai. How the conflict is settled between the King of Dharavi Kari Kaalan and politician Haridada is what you will have to watch to find out.
It didn’t take a long time for me to understand that this film was directed by P.Ranjith in which Rajinikanth was there. Kaala seemed to work for me big time. I loved the way Ranjith had given the film strong flavour on the biases of caste, religion and gender which turned Kaala into a hard-hitting take on poverty, abuse of power and exploitation. Somewhere I noticed that Ranjith during Kabali did have certain action and mass elements be forced in his type of film making but whereas in Kaala the mass moments did work really well.
A powerful hero needs a worthy villain and casting Nana Patekar was a great choice. A character who expresses his will to always rule and to stay powerful showed us that he would do anything to anyone coming his way. Even though we knew Hari Dada was the exact opposite of Kaala the way Ranjith used the colour white(to show purity) on his character was nice to see. A few sarcastic laughs, confused reactions and frustrated anger was dealt really well by Nana Patekar.
There was something special about the character of Selvi (Kaala Wife). Easwari gave a terrific performance she aced the comedy scenes as well. The romantic scenes between Kaala and Selvi are sights to behold. Later on we are introduced to Zareena (Huma Qureshi) who is Kaala’s ex-lover.A happily-married Karikaalan’s heart still skips a beat when he sees his ex-lover Zareena. However during a dinner scene between the two ex-lovers, Kaala shows who and what his priorities are. Probably this track was added to show us what type of person Kaarikalan is. A special mention to the drunk Samuthirakani who did a great job . Kaala scores well in family drama. All the supporting actors, from Anjali Patil , Dileepan, Manikandan and others have done their part well.
How about the King Of Dharavi “Karikaalan Kaala”? In Kabali I felt there was a different Rajinikanth whom I witnessed, however this time Ranjith has ensured that Rajinkanth’s trademark moments are not compromised. He plays Kaala with ease and his usual swag. His evergreen screen presence was strong throughout the film, especially with the aid of Santhosh Narayan’s background scores. There were small scenes of comedy where he still scores high. Watching Superstar in full swing with energy along with Ranjith’s characterisation worked big time.
By referring to Kaala as Raavanan, a man who thinks with 10 brains, Pa Ranjith builds that reference from the start. Soon, we realise it is more than a passing reference – it is one of the highlights of the film. As each head of Raavan is cut off during the narration of Ramayan in the backdrop, we see Kaala’s fight build up in stages of loss, sacrifice and finally victory. While watching the climax you will understand how the story of Rama and Ravanan falls in place is a bit interesting, here Ravan is good and Ram is bad.
It’s been good to see Rajinikanth in some different shades under Ranjith’s direction. Especially for me Kaala really worked well. The film seemed to explore a lot of different topics which was interesting. However, the Ranjith and Rajinikanth combo is now over and now I would love to see the Superstar do his style of entertainment.
Verdict: Ranjith who had a clear message to convey has used Superstar and the team to the maximum extent which ended up working well! Kaala is a film created by Ranjith driven by Rajinikanth.