Rajinikanth's "Kabali" fever has gripped Bollywood critics. The film, which was released in the Gulf region on Thursday, has received positive to mixed reviews from critics.

"Kabali" is an action-thriller directed by Pa Ranjith and produced by Kalaippuli S Thanu. The film features Rajinikanth as don Kabali, Radhika Apte is paired opposite him and plays the role of his wife, Sai Dhanshika plays the role of a sniper and well known Chinese actor Winston Chao is featured in the negative character.

While all the actors have given their best, it is without any doubt Rajinikanth who shines as don Kabali. Rajinikanth's performance is the only saving grace, otherwise, the film is a letdown, critics said. "Kabali" fails to live up to the expectations because of its slow pace.

Read below what critics have said about it:

Kamaal R Khan praised the Rajinikanth-starrer and said that it is a great film. "What a great film #Kabali! Full of emotions n patriotism. It's going to be sure shot blockbuster all over south India. Salute to Rajnikant. Hey @saidhanshika you have done a great job in #Kabali n you are looking really hot there. Your neck tattoo! Uff Qyamat! It's interval n what an emotional film #Kabali! I am sure, it will be one of the biggest hit films of mega star Rajnikant," he tweeted.

J Jagannath of Business Standard said: "If you want a taste a sliver of that illustrious career on big screen, you ought to watch it in Tamil. English subtitles are being beamed across the world. His sonorous Malaysian gangster baritone was music to my ears even though I don't know any Tamil."

Hindustan Times reviewer Vinu tweeted: "#Kabali The placement of the first song and choreography is one of the best in recent years. Excellent pacy start. #kabali  |  No dance. No running around the tree. No unwanted heroism. Just serene acting. Natural dialogues but slow pace."

Mridula Ramagudu of Firstpost said: "The story of Kabali is simple and nothing you haven't seen before. It's also clichéd in many aspects. But what drives it is Rajnikanth." 

Srivatsan of India Today said: "Kabali doesn't even serve the typical Rajini moments to Thalaivar's innumerable fans. There's the iconic scene of the 'Style Samrat' ruffling his hair, which we had a glimpse of in the teaser, but that's all."

Krishnakumar Padmanabhan of Mid-Day said: "In theory, this could have been a great film, but the characterless – literally and figuratively – script is not only bereft of any intelligence or imagination but also telegraphs what little plot twists it has."