Minds Are Like Parachutes, They Only Function When Open

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kabali: A Ponzi get more-rich scheme

1.    a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a non-existent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.

The first investors are indeed Mr.Thanu and his accomplice, an overrated filmmaker Pa. Ranjith and later investors are of course the gullible audiences, capable of digesting any amount of banality in the name of Hero worship.  Most ardent of Rajni fanatics who, given a million chances to choose between a free all-inclusive-holiday to Bahamas and a premiere show ticket to a new Rajni film, would chose the latter a million times. Given you have such Rajniphiles in vast numbers and virtually guaranteed return on investment, any responsibility and dedication to the art of movie-making goes out of window and the result is the baloney rich damp squib: Kabali

Technology has caught up with Hollywood standards and movie makers have now access to a wide range of techniques to enrich the movie experience but more often than not mindless repetition of formula, thread-bare story lines and mediocre screenplay are still the trademarks of mainstream Indian movies. Kabali has all these three ingredients in abundance and interestingly, or rather ironically, this is not where the movie utterly flounders. Every performer has his or her strengths and weaknesses and the Director’s job is to extract the best out of them by concealing their underlying flaws. What makes this film almost unbearable to watch is such accumulation of mediocre acting, not just of the other cast but even our ever dependable protagonist , an otherwise versatile and stylish actor, Rajni for once, has been inanely insipid and mind-numbingly mundane. 

Of course, any director even with best of the endeavours and utmost diligence can still end up making a boring movie. Iruvar, the political drama loosely based on MGR and Karunanidhi is one such movie with painfully slow narration that has a potential to cure insomnia, was for all understable reasons was not a commercial success. But you could hardly question the effort that Maniratnam had invested in this biopic: Mohanlal and Prakash Raj rose to their ranks along with Rehman’s gripping background score and Santosh Sivan’s astounding camera work.

On the other hand, there is not one scene in Kabali that shows Pa.Ranjith’s commitment to his vain enterprise. Mishmash of aerial camera work embellished with slow-motion scenes doesn’t make an engrossing film, if that’s his idea of a captivating movie, then he should consider changing his profession.  

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