Kabali Movie Review & Ratings

By - July 22, 2016 - 12:09 PM IST

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Cast: Rajnikanth, Winston Chao, Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Dinesh Ravi, Kishore, Kalaiyarasan, John Vijay, Riythvika, Rosyam Nor
Banner: V Creations
Music: Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography: G Murali
Editor: Praveen KL
Producer: Kalaipuli S Thanu
Writer-Director: Pa. Ranjith

An emotional drama driven by Superstar Rajini. Dump your expectations, you may like it! #manchidi


Kabaleeswaran alias Kabali (Rajinikanth) is a rebel, leader fighting for the rights of Tamil working community in Malaysia. In a ploy hatched by his arch rivals Tony Lee (Winston Chao), Veera Shankar (Kishore), Kabali suffers a prolonged imprisonment losing his wife Kundanavalli (Radhika Apte) and daughter. Years later he is released by the Malaysian government and veteran don Kabali is back again with same vigour and power for vengeance! What happened to Kabali family, did he meet them and how did he accomplish his mission forms the rest of the story.


Superstar Rajinikanth: He is indeed the heart of the film and every time the pulse beat falls down, he pumps it back. Besides his style and swag that pulls crowd to the theatres, Rajini brings the emotion of the film to life with his prowess. With a character and emotion that suits his age, Rajini gives what you expect and at the same time tries to do justice to the story. But if a regular commercial entertainer is what you expect, that is one thing Kabali can't offer.

Radhika Apte: She gets into the skin of her role ‘Kundanavalli’ and shines with such ease and poise!

Wiston Chao: Meet this new baddie from Taiwan. As an antagonist he adds great value and manages to grab attention in this ‘Rajnikanth film’.

Prakash, Arun, Dhansika & others gave their best in their respective roles. Nassar gives a crucial cameo.


We would like to start this segment appreciating director Pa. Ranjith for making a content driven film with a tenacious grip over his narration especially with a Superstar like Rajinikanth. He once again displayed fine integrity staying loyal to the soul of the film. His films Attakatthi, Madras speak for his style and strengths as a filmmaker and Kabali is no exception.

He totally put fans’ expectations on the back burner and rather focussed on telling the story of a veteran don tapping on his emotional side.

A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man

- Don Corleone to Johnny Fontane (from the popular gangster trilogy Godfather (part 1).

This dialogue will help understand Kabali’s tale and emotion better.

Yes! The director failed to deliver a commercial feast that might quench the thirst of the masses. Besides the first half an hour, interval twist and the last 15mins, the film is driven by strong emotional content. And the twist in the end gives the final ‘Kabali blow’ (do festival). However the film has the quintessential “Thalaivar swag” moments that can give you goosebumps.

A powerful charismatic protagonist, an equally menacing antagonist, a painful back-story, a strong emotional drive, an engaging vendetta topped with realistic treatment– this is all about Kabali. Sorry.. Commercial entertainment is out of Kabali’s syllabus. DOT.


- The lead cast performances especially Rajni

- Story and screenplay

- Cinematography

- Editing

- Background score


- Sluggish Narration

- Lack of commercial entertainment!


Santosh Narayanan brought to life this emotional gangster drama with his music and background score. He explores the versatile emotions of the script yet retains the soul of it with his score. Of course you’ll miss the commercial numbers, forced placements and all the colourful stuff but if you’re in sink with the film, you’ll find them inessential.


Production design deserves a special mention keeping the film so real yet opulent.


Kabali movie is not a typical 'Rajini mark entertainer' but indeed a Ranjith mark film high on emotional content. Superstar Rajinikanth pumps life into this realistic especially non-commercial gangster drama. As mentioned earlier, dump your expectations – you may like it (and if this review could puncture that bubble #manchidi)

Avg User Rating- 3/5

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