The much- awaited Rajinikanth- starrer Kabali opened to full houses in theatres across India and various parts of the world on Friday. Welcomed with celebrations and excitement by fans, the film hit 4,060 screens across the world and was released even in Tamil, telugu, Hindi and Malay.
The Pa Ranjith film that narrates the story of Kabali, an Indian don in Malaysia, also has Radhika Apte, Dhansika and Taiwanese actor Winston Chao in lead roles.
The Hindu's review by Baradwaj Rangan finds the film 'unsatisfying' and for a Ranjith film, kind of a let down. He has gone ahead to term it as "a Rajinikanth movie".
He says, "Kabali doesn’t have the lovely rhythms of Attakathi or Madras, where Ranjith gave us a sense of life being lived with micro-shots of people just… being. This isn’t to say Ranjith is coasting. He’s still trying to stage scenes."
He ends the review by saying, "Kabali doesn’t pander to his fans. No comedy. No punch lines. And yet, it must be said that Rajinikanth does more for the movie than the movie does for him."
A review in The Indian Express by Goutham VS says that the film lacks the balance between Ranjith's filming style and Rajinikanth’s larger-than-life image on screen.
He appreciates the superstar and says, "He manages to keep his facial expressions, gestures and his signature style intact, even at the age of 65. The actor exhibits how he is a class apart with his expressions, especially during his scenes with Radhika Apte Kumudavalli and during the song, Mayanadhi."
But this is what he has to say about the other cast, "Radhika Apte is elegant as always and complements Rajinikanth well. Dhansika as Kabali’s daughter doesn’t look convincing and Winston Chao, the antagonist simply fails to match up to Kabali’s persona." Goutham has rated the film with three and a half star.
Vignesh Radhakrishnan in his review for The Hindustan Times dismisses the film for its slim plot. But he gives it to the film for its music and its direction and has rated it as three out of five.
About the music he feels, "The music also does its job, straightening our spines during a painfully slow-paced movie. Conducted by Santhosh Narayanan, the background score and songs provide the relief, and also grips us."
Coming to the direction, he says, "After years of mega budget, formulaic Rajini films, many will struggle to digest what Ranjith has done. Breaking away from the tailor-made yet typical screen plays often used, Ranjith ventures pretty far off the beaten track."