KAABIL – Is Andheri Movie Ko Hrithik Ne ROSHAN Kar Diya!
Genre :- Thriller / Drama / Action
Run-time :- 2 hrs 19 minutes
Cast :- Hrithik Roshan, Yami Gautam, Ronit Roy, Rohit Roy, Narendra Jha, Girish Kulkarni.
Director :- Sanjay Gupta.
Plot – Rohan Bhatnagar, is a jovial man who lives and loves exactly like any other person in the world. One fine tragedy transforms him into an avenging angel. And nothing will stop him from seeking revenge.
Direction and Screenplay :-
Director Sanjay Gupta, who has a penchant for saturated colors and Korean thrillers, believes revenge is best served cold. He tries to blend in, all the factors necessary to turn this drama into a taut thriller. But unfortunately, the ‘Kaante’ director delivers us a poorly directed and digitized movie.
Speaking of the Screenplay, the story is good. There are certain cliched elements but the highlight is the second half.
The first half is filled with love in its most tender and innocent shape. How two individuals otherwise deprived of vision, lighten up each other’s lives is a heart-melting affair.
Sanjay Gupta consciously didn’t project Rohan Bhatnagar as someone you should pity. This works and you realize, this is the story of an underdog you wants to win. But you need more than a few ‘Kamzor mat samajh’ kind of dialogues to completely root for Rohan. ( I mean, come on. )
So the director allots more screen space for the techniques used by Rohan Bhatnagar. It’s a nice way to take the story forward because Kaabil, in a way, is a mixture of two genres of films. Love and Revenge Drama.
The narrative (by Vijay Kumar Mishra and Gupta) in the first half seems a little stretched. The love story takes long to settle and the songs are just blockades.
It’s in the revenge saga of the second half that Sanjay holds the audience. Kaabil is a one-line story: An eye for an eye. Yeah, we knew that from the promos. So the only question is: How does he do it?
Editing and Cinematography :-
Editor does a first rate job at seaming together all the loose ends and giving us a cliched but refined movie. The problem is the pace, the entire movie should have been wrapped up in a breezy 90-odd minutes, a good 30 minutes less, than it takes to unfold on screen. But fortunately, not even a single scene makes you yawn. To some of us, the build up given to the setting of the love birds, might seem irrelevant; But cut them some slack people, that is the only time you get to see Yami on screen. XD
Cinematography by Anayanka Bose and Sudeep Chatterjee is exemplary. There is a perfect usage of lightings to compliment the moods of the plot. It is vivid, soft with jazzy tones in the first half (Especially, in the song ‘Kaabil Hu Ya Nahi’ when they visit Imagica,) and dark and crepuscular post interval.
They do go over the board in few scenes using VFX for the city backgrounds. But that is just me being a nit-picker.
Music :- The Filmfare award winning composer Rajesh Roshan doesn’t disappoint in Kaabil and weaves magic with his tunes. A melodious and rhythmic number, ‘Kaabil Hoon’ is capable of lifting up your pensive mood. Originally sung by Sir Kishore Kumar, the remake of ‘Saara Zamana’ doesn’t match up to that level, but will definitely be played at pubs and parties.
Soft and romantic ‘Kissi se pyar ho jaye’ and ‘Dil kya kare’ is sung by Jubin Nautiyal and he does full justice to the song. ‘Mon Amour’ is a scintillating and refreshing number that will make you tap your feet.
⏩ The Highs –
▶ The concept. The lead couple, already visually impaired, is up against odds that are even further stacked up against them – as they are caught between municipal politicians (Rohit, Ronit Roy) and a bunch of thug Mumbai cops (Narendra Jha, Girish Kulkarni). Top-rate.
▶ Rohan Bhatnagar’s character. A visually impaired man, with a hyperactive mind, but no obvious super-powers. So well, he is not ‘Daredevil’ (as many of us are saying) by any means. His character does have a elevated sense of smell, hearing and geographical know-how, but that’s probably true for most people who are differently-abled.
▶ The second half. The story becomes a little implausible and the violence, ugly and gore. But there is such conviction in Rohan’s courage that you just can’t look away. The movie shifts gears, and though you know what’s next, the cat and mouse game still gives you an adrenaline rush. Every time the vigilante commits an atrocity, you whistle in the aisle.
▶ Hrithik has given everything to this movie. Right from the word go, this guy keeps you glued with his stellar acting and innate charm. He seems to be aging backwards and his ever standing bouffant seems like a tribute to Late George Michael, you can’t help but drool. Sweet.
▶If you don’t follow ‘Thrillers’ ardently, then the plot might work for you. It’s a simple revenge saga, made unique by the special ability of its protagonist. But if you are a sucker for thrillers (like me), then it is just a been-there-seen-that for you.
▶ The emotions and the characters of Kaabil, the lead pair particularly, is strong and compel the viewer to empathize with their romance and subsequent tragedy. Brothers Rohit’s and Ronit’s characters are classic antagonist caricature of action films, guys who talk crass shit and do everything to look evil and menacing.
▶ There’s none of the bulging muscles and slick stunts action. Just a regular melee of desperate individuals struggling to survive.
But that’s the beauty of the movie. Also, special mention to the choreographer of the uniquely and realistically choreographed song, ‘Mon Amour.’
⏩ The Lows –
▶ The problem with Kaabil is the character development. The nemeses – brothers Ronit and Rohit Roy glare and sneer with ferocity, but these characters are so one dimensional, they feel like they have been picked directly from the 90s. A little more work on the characterization of the antagonists, would have raised the bar high for Kaabil.
▶ Dialogues. Bollywood needs more villains like ‘Jaykant Shikre,’ ‘Gabbar,’ ‘Shaakaal’ with catch phrases that we still remember, because of their character spectrum. Instead, what we get is no memorable lines, no nuances, just pale and repetitive dialogues.
▶ Logic. A powerful politician goes to meet his nemesis without adequate security, the cops are so dim-witted, the neighbors in the colony disappear when crimes are being perpetrated in their middle of the night/day, people referring to the lead pair as “Andha” and “Andhi” in the whole movie, which is enough to make you feel a little uncomfortable. Also, why is there a need to add an item song in the middle of nowhere?
▶ It gives you a Déjà vú of the Korean Film ‘Broken,’ the girl victim in both films is referred to as Su and the plot is somewhat similar. But that is merely an inspiration, eh?
⏩ Performances :-
▶ In his oh-so-passionate filming career, Hrithik has attempted to push boundaries as an actor and play rather difficult characters, often dealing with human infirmities – Paraplegic in ‘Guzaarish’ (possibly his most under-rated film), Man-child in ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ etc. He brings the same sort of skill and earnestness to the role of an under-stated yet raging blind man, who can dance well too. The movie is completely balanced onto Hrithik’s capable shoulders. And the actor invests so much sweat and sincerity in this slim story that he forces us to stay invested in it.
▶ Ronit Roy wears the shade he looks best in these days, the antagonist. Having played the grey character in Udaan, Two States, Boss, he knows his characters like the back of his hand. And he gives a mind-blowing performance. Roy makes sure the audience dislikes him from the very first frame he is in. He plays big brother to Rohit Roy (in real life, too) and can go to any extent to save his brother’s arse. Bade bhaiyya goals, no?
▶ Rohit Roy as the crook little brother has most of the cringe-worthy dialogues and the conviction that he has shown through his character makes you want to kill him with your bare hands. And that is a compliment.
▶ Dear Yami Gautam, aren’t you tired of playing the damsel in extreme distress in all your recent releases? Because we certainly are. Anyways, for a change, Yami delivers a refreshing performance this time, matching Hrithik in his moves perfectly.
PS – First Light Emitting Diode (Fair&Lovely), now over application of blush! Training to be a clown, eh? Makeup artist, kindly take a note. We used to wear too much blush during Dance competitions in school.
▶ Narendra Jha as the cop gives a great performance. He is one of the under-rated supporting actors in the current world of Indian Cinema.
▶ Girish Kulkarni (Coach from Dangal) once again plays the baddie and is given the ludicrous character whom you’ll loathe, but he manages to give a fine performance.
▶ Suresh Menon and Akhilendra Mishra justify the short role given to them.
⏩ Watch o Not ? – YES! If you’re a die-hard Hrithik Roshan fan, it’s a good weekend watch for you. If you aren’t, you’ll still not mind watching this usual run-of-the-mill film.
⏩ Verdict : Hrithik’s performance demands a watch. Kaabil is not extraordinary, but it has all the elements of a ‘masala’ potboiler. The catch is that it’s been dished out in a typical Bollywood style which may not give it a novelty. But there isn’t any particular reason for not watching it. Hrithik and Ronit’s perfectly nuanced performance is the reason you’ll enjoy the thrills of Kaabil.
Ratings – 3.7/5