In an interview with NDTV, director Pa Ranjith said that Rajinikanth had told him he doesn't want to do a political film. Kaala may not be an out-and-out political drama, but it gives Rajinikanth enough scope to make his stand clear. In Kaala, he is the messiah for the poor - he is Dharavi's Robinhood. He will fight the biggest politicos for his people. The emphasis on fundamental rights is loud and clear. Kaala had to be the first film of the Tamil superstar after he announced his political ambitions on December 31, 2017.
2) Rajinikanth's Magic Still Works
If you want to enjoy this film, you should watch it with a bunch of fans at the cinemas. In Kaala, Rajinikanth doesn't have a major entry scene like one would expect but even then fans go absolutely crazy when they see him on the big screen - he just has to be there. Of course, there are those slow motion and top view shots when he is in bashing up the bad guys. The whistles didn't stop till the villain fell on his face - this is Rajini's magic, and it's very much alive.
3) South Cinema Experiments A Lot More Than Bollywood
Everyone was surprised when the first Baahubali released in 2015. Bollywoodwallas were taken aback when they saw this visual spectacle coming out of a little-known studio in Hyderabad, that's the reason one of Bollywood's biggest producers Karan Johar backed the project. Visually even Kaala is spectacular. The makers created a set of Dharavi, 25 kms away from Chennai and it looks very real. The areal shots and the action scenes in Mumbai rains are nothing less than a treat for movie buffs. When Rajini hits the road, you can't take your eyes off the big screen. Filmmakers like Rohit Shetty and Ali Abbas Zafar are getting new technology and raising the bar when it comes to action films but after watching Kaala, I'm convinced that down south, filmmakers experiment a lot more than they do in Bollywood.
4) Length Of The Film Doesn't Matter
5) Content Is King
Even in one genre, there can be very different perspectives of filmmakers and mixed reactions from fans. Audiences have loved Rohit Shetty's Golmaal movies, but in the same comic space Housefull couldn't catch up. There is a reason Golmaal movies keep coming on the television, the channels have figured that this is a film that has a lot of repeat value. Housefull didn't come close to that as the audiences thought it was plain silly.
Kaala is not a Rajini film where cars are flying, and after every few scenes you will see his slow-mo shot, and he will shoot his gun and light a cigarette. Kaala is a lot more than that. It has a solid story and a serious message. Of course, it has what Rajinikanth fans want, but it goes with the flow and not just there for shock value. The ticket buying audience is clear about what they want and looks like Kaala has given them just that.
(Rohit Khilnani is a senior entertainment journalist based in Mumbai, he is also the author of the book I Hate Bollywood. Information about box-office collections and whereabouts of films stars is at the back of his hand. He starts and ends his day by taking his dog, for walks)
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