Monday, June 11, 2018


In one crucial scene, the cops (I think) try to shoot Rajini. Four others come and say "Engala Sudunga Mudhalla..."
No, I'm not talking about Baasha or Nayagan here. This is a scene from Superstar Rajinikanth starrer 'Kaala' directed by Pa. Ranjith. My biggest problem with the film is that its oosipoana presentation of a story which was filmed with MGR a dozen times in the '60s and '70s.
Thanks to Rajini, Easwari Rao, Manikandan, Samuthirakani and other actors, the film gets saved from being a mega blade fest. It was still a blade fest at the end of 2 1/2 hours + Jana Gana Mana + Interval + Rahul Dravid putting advice twice on No Smoking

Since you've already watched a dozen reviews on YouTube and read a dozen "thoughts" on how the story is about whether Hari dada won against Kaala or that the movie is more of a Ranjith film than that of Rajini's (this, I've read a million times across), I will cut straight to my other "thoughts".

Kaala, Kaadhal, Katthirikkai

Mahendran filmed this scene with Rajini and Sridevi in the '80s. The situation in Kaala is slightly different though, but the director saab has tried to create similar emotions between the characters Karikaalan and Zarina. Rajini is Rajini but Huma is no Sridevi, nor is Ranjith, Mahendran. Whenever Karikaalan and Zarina meet, the pauses in the latter's dialogue delivery are so awkward than the situation itself. Huma looked confused all the time wondering how she was supposed to emote.  Paavam Avare Conphuse aayittaru level.

Kaala -vs- Whitea

Nana Patekar, as an actor undoubtedly is great and all that. With two good actors - Nana and Rajini, in several scenes together, shouldn't the dialogues/ situation light up the bleddy screen? BGM is the only merattifying factor in such scenes urging you to mirandify.  Black Shirt -vs- White Kurta, White cushion -vs- Black Pillow, White SUV -vs- Black Mahindra, Black Panther -vs- White Neta and all the other nuances are ok yaar, but scenes between the two fall so flat. Not sure if it's the dialogues or the situation itself, the spark was missing and it was such a busvaanam.

Kaala, Kaamedy, Geemedy

The police station scene is funny because it brings you back the kaamedy Rajini we remember from Annamalai, Padaiyappa and so on. It's time He acts in a full on kaamedy film instead of clinging on his Ezharai a.k.a Ranjith type directors. And atleast this time, it'd be great if directors with such scripts approach him than scoot off to Bombay for 4 months sitting in Dharavi, writing one khichdi.

Easwari Rao and Samutthirakani are really good with kaamedy dialaaks that are fun. Really wish they cast Easwari in good roles like these that are not just Amma based. Else she'll become another Saranya Ponvannan doing the same thing over and over again.

Kaala's Cast

Along with above actors, Manikandan who plays Rajini's son and Anjali Patil as his friend are fabulous with their asaalttu acting. The casting overall is top notch with this Vengat Prabhu jaalra actor (who played Shivaji Rao Gaekwad), reduced to a 5 second cameo, which is a good thing.

SaNa for Kaala

Most of the songs work with the film. Yes, some of them have a Kabali-ish hangover which I was ok with. #YogiBRoxxx & Arunraja Kamaraj in Kattravai Pattravai are superb. This track along with Semma Weightu Kannamma work really well in the film. Pradeep in Kannamma 😊
The Dopeadelicz tracks were such forcefits. Villains kill one fellow and these rappers start singing randomly "Sollu Kaala Sollu Kaala" types. Dei.

More than the soundtrack, most of the BGMs as standalone pieces were epic. Wish the scenes were as impactful as their background scores.

Kudaikkul, Colourukkul Kaala

The best sequence in the film is the Kudai fight filmed on the Marine Drive flyover. For once, I wish the film had more fight sequences than verbose dialogues which became repetitive after a point. "Shadaap and give us more Sandais", one wanted to scream.

Even the colourful climax in the end, to me, fell flat because after 3 hours, one wanted to sleep, singing "Raaman Aandalum Raavanan Aandalum enakku oru kavalai ille..."

Kaala - The Konclusion

It's very evident that Superstar has signed the film after Pa.Ranjith pongi ezhundufied with feelings about "Nilam, Urimai, Poraattam, Iyakkam..." type emushuns without bothering to read or listen to the script. Neither did the film push Ranjith's ideology nor did it justify Superstar's persona. In times of Vikram Vedha, Rajini who so wants to be cast in roles like Assault Sethu or a Vedha, ended up doing a Vedalam. What a wasted opportunity, this was.

Kaala - In Karthik Subbaraj we trust. 2/5