Here’s what the critics are saying about Kabali, starring Rajinikanth, Winston Chao, Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Dinesh Ravi, Kishore, Kalaiyarasan, John Vijay, Riythvika and Rosyam Nor:
Like every other revenge drama, there are revenge kills and fast-paced scenes that keep you on edge. But just as things start getting wild, an emotional drama starts and puts you in sleep mode. This start-stop nature of the film will be criticised and analysed in days to come. But, where the plot stutters, the subtle mannerisms become the strength of the film – deft hand movements, a sarcastic smile on the corner of the lip and close-ups of Rajinikanth where the raw actor in him comes out, reminiscent of his past character roles. And that is why Kabali will be talked about, for Rajinikanth’s emotions. If you liked him in films such as Aarilirundu Arupadhu Varai or Thalapathi, then you will love him in Kabali. Read the complete movie review here.
Straight off the bat, Kabali is not a typical Rajinikanth mass masala entertainer. Like the proverbial curate’s egg, it is good in parts and packaged like a class film. The superstar is outstanding and has made a successful transition from his regular commercial hero role to a more mature, ageing don. For the first time he has neither his trademark introduction song, nor does he have the usual romantic scenes laced with comedy or dream songs. And the action scenes are mostly fierce gunfights, and no punchlines other than the word “Magizhchi” used at regular intervals. Believe it or not, this is the first ever Rajinikanth film with an open ending! Read the complete movie review here.
The Indian Express
The best part of the film, obviously, is Rajinikanth. His charisma pulls Kabali through. From the slick visuals showing the flashback to Rajinikanth playing his age as a don, his fans will not go home disappointed. Add to it the hit Neruppa Da and you hear enough whistles and clapping in the theatre. This one is a feast for Rajini fans, others will find it enjoyable but lagging at certain moments. Read the complete movie review here.
Rajinikanth was not the quintessential romantic hero. In most of his films he has been cast as the action man, to whom women were inexorably drawn.
He has been paired with heroines from the very young Sridevi to Aishwarya Rai and, now, Radhika Apte in ‘Kabali’. It is part of the Rajini magic that he creates on-screen chemistry with actresses spanning so many generations.
Such is the Thalaivar’s ageless star appeal and charisma.