Every time you watch a Rajni movie trailer, you expect a pinnacle of entertainment masala.
Kaala - Rajnikanths latest movie and his second one with PA Ranjith comes after Kabaali
PA Ranjith is definitely over rated. For a 2 film old director, he has got his big opportunity too quickly.
His choice of subject matter for a Rajini movie is impeccable. Kabali had the makings of a cult classic. A Malaysian Tamil gangster who has to fight many causes, the Chinese for the trade, the disgruntlement in his community as they get sandwiched and take to petty crime and drug usage and the political establishment that is just different. However PA Ranjith never used the emotional connect that one establishes with the character where he sees a drug addicted girl as his daughter. Also he had to bring out the contours of Malaysia to the audience in a more direct way instead of giving subtle hints. So the bang bang guns blazing second half removed the emotional connect, the identity crisis of the Malaysian tamil was never worked upon in detail and the screenplay was too simplistic to engage the audience.
I fear the same in Kaala.
Again an amazing subject , a Dharavi Tamil gangster against the predominantly Marathi establishment in the 70s in a commercial quagmire of a city like Mumbai. And its Rajnikanth vs Nana Patekar. Two standout people for the communities they come from and maybe represent.
The trailer starts off well with Nana Patekar asking what kind of a name is Kaala and a voiceover answering that Kaala (Karaikaalan) as the guy who fights to glory.
After that start and some amazingly slick shots of Rajni , the trailer goes downhill... Make no mistake - Rajni's swag is simply electrifying in his salt and pepper look . He is stylish
3 Things worry me about the movie
1. Does PA Ranjith know Mumbai well enough? ( I am assuming that is where the movie is based esp Dharavi) Dharavi has 50% Tamilians in the middle of Mumbai. It had Vardarajan Mudaliar who was involved smuggling and liquor trading and provided a helpful umbrella. However this was shown cinematically in Nayagan for some time in a Thotta Tharani re-creation. . And Rajni has played a Mumbai don before in Baasha also. I somehow feel there are many sub-texts when you make a Mumbai movie , even understand the various sub-cultures that exist in Dharavi itself.
2. Where is the anguish? Crime stories and rags to riches stories stand out when there is that anguish. The anguish that Rajnikanth himself displayed in Dalapathi. He briefly says that in Kabali - 'everything is being taken by the Chinakaral ( Chinese)' .. Will there be enough of it?
3. Will the conflict of Rajni- Nana bring the house down? Will there be sufficient intrigue and layers in this conflict or a simplistic view of a politician who wants to access that land under Kaalas control - a conflict seen many times on screen..