KAALA | Tamil

Kaala features a thoughtful, rousing and colourful climax, the best I’ve seen so far. There’s an analogy to the whole film starting from Black-White to Ramayana which defines the class oppression. It’s about the proletariat’s power, Director Pa. Ranjith puts in all cinematic power to the layers of society – hence, the climax puts everything in a thoughtful perspective. Kaala isn’t just a mass Rajini-film, it’s a perfect blend of cinema-politics-socialism which carries menacing charisma of Rajinikanth to conquer the oppression. Quite evident of its political momentum since Rajinikanth’s entry into politics – it’s an achievement where Thalapathy Vijay’s Mersal (2017) and Ranjith’s Kabali (2016) failed. It’s undoubtedly the best Rajinikanth film after Thalapathi (1991) and Baashha (1995).

Land is power, the power lies with the upper class and politics – without succumbing to any star power Pa Ranjith narrates the story of Dharavi on a larger perspective. With every frame speaking a sociopolitical language, for instance we often see characters with backdrop of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Even the colours are suggestive, in a particular scene Kaala ends up in a Police Station with a blue shirt while most of the film he’s wearing black. And here’s the irony of Black-White, black strives for people and white strips the people (works?). Director Pa Ranjith makes it a raging vehicle which definitely strikes chord across the society.

Kaala Kaarikaalan which stands as the God of Death lives for people (political inclination in real-life is coincidental as per the disclaimer) and it was heartening to witness Rajinikanth as one with the people and not a God. His character isn’t distinctive like Sivaji The Boss (2007) or Lingaa (2014), it’s more appealing given the brilliant character writing. Other than Huma Qureshi’s character which brings nothing to the character other than a romantic track, everything works. The most peculiar and thrilling part was the built-up to a confrontation, the flyover fight and strike sequence. Ranjith’s inclination towards oppression cleverly works in the latter sequence where Mumbai stands still and we’re left wondering about its real-life effect. But, the reel narrative affects effectively.

Nana Patekar, whose distinct school of acting brings a kickass menace arc. But, Nana falls prey to a one note character writing. Even if it’s a spin-off to black is evil and white is pure, his character remains far off the pure writing radar. May be, they needed just an evil? Nevertheless, the confrontation between the two is top-notch and chilling. It’s a people’s film – which features a stellar cast from both (Tamil-Hindi) the industries, they’re not just caricatures but characters who leave and contribute to the impact, a terrific ensemble. It’ll be injustice to not name them, Anjali Patil, Dileepan, Samuthirakani, Pankaj Tripathi, Manikandan, Aruldoss, Sayaji Shinde, etc. while Eshwar Rao (Kaala’s wife) steals the show.

As Santosh Narayanan’s electrifying BGM scored to make an impact in the colorful and raging climax, I was already raging in tears for the sheer audacity and cinematic brilliance Pa Ranjith delivered. And the standing ovation which lasted for 3 odd minutes…Highly Recommended!

Language: Tamil
Release: 07 June, 2018
Director: Pa. Ranjith
Rating: 4/5


Copyright ©2018 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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