Superstar Rajinikanth's "Kabali," which was dubbed in Telugu and released with the same name on July 22, has received mixed reviews and average ratings from the Telugu critics.
"Kabali" revolves around the story of Kabaleeswaran alias Kabali (Rajinikanth), who is a gang leader fighting for the rights of the migrant Telugu workers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Local mafia don Tony Lee (Winston Chao) conspires to send him to prison for 25 years. Kabali is released from jail to find his empire and family decimated by Tony Lee. How Kabali takes on Tony Lee forms the crux of the story.
"Kabali" has a routine revenge story that throws light on some social issues. Director Pa Ranjith has been successful in showcasing Rajini's emotions in brilliant way in some scenes, but he falters in narrating an intense story to all sections of the audience. He has failed to have a gripping narration, which is very slow and dragging, say the Telugu critics.
As gang leader Kabali, Rajinikanth has delivered a superb performance, which is the highlight of the film. But the movie lacks regular Rajini moments, which may disappoint his fans. Winston Chao, Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Dinesh Ravi and Kishore, who have played other important roles in the film, have done justice to their roles.
"Kabali," which is bankrolled by Kalaippuli S Thanu, has lavish production values. Santhosh Narayanan's music and G Murali's camera work are the attractions on the technical front. If editor KL Praveen had trimmed certain dragging scenes, the movie could have been a better watch, add the critics.
"Kabali" has been rated an average of 2.4 out of 5 stars. We bring you some Telugu critics' verdict and ratings for the film. Continue to see in "Kabali" review roundup:
The Hindu Ratings: 2.5
Kabali offers many moments to savour, and some gutsy ones at that as Ranjith doesn't pander much to the fandom. But did that also become the film's undoing? If only the storytelling had been gripping enough to make up for that. The film doesn't give you the high of saying 'Manchidi' ('Magizhchi'). If one's looking for a story of an aged don or a do-gooder don, there's still no beating Nayagan and Thalapathy. Those are tough benchmarks to breach.
AP Herald Ratings: 2.5
This is definitely not Rajini movie. Watch with open mind. Get ready to face some slow screenplay. However the director has added all commercial elements in second half of the movie. The first 15 minutes and last 20 minutes before Interval are the highlights of the movie. Similarly the climax is also entertaining. As always, Good triumphs over evil. Cinematography and Music are the two pillars of the movie and they escalate the movie to new level.
123 Telugu Ratings: 2.5
Being a Rajni film, everyone goes in with huge expectations of wanting to see their super star in a certain way. But with Kabali, things are surprisingly different as the narration and seriousness of the film spoil the experience. The film will only be liked by hardcore Rajni fans for their demi god's stand out performance. But for the rest, Kabali ends up as a below average outing with not much entertainment going its way. All those who are hellbent on watching this film, our suggestion is to keep your expectations in check other wise you can get disappointed big time.
Telugu Cinema Ratings: 2.5
Despite Rajinikanth in great form and has come up with terrific acting, 'Kabali' is a letdown. Rajinikanth's stylized performance, introduction scenes, some sequences in the second half are okay but rest of the movie is a bore. Watch it only for Rajinikanth!
Gulte Ratings: 2
First half is a big mess and the second half drags with a lengthy sequence of scenes where Kabali goes in search of his wife. Climax is unexciting. All in all Kabali is a boring gangster drama that fails to impress. It is yet another disappointment from our beloved superstar.