For a generation of viewers who know him only from the Rajnikanth jokes and memes, or from blockbusters like Baasha, Sivaji and Enthiran, it would be wise to watch some of his earlier work – I strongly recommend Mani Ratnam’s Thalapathi. This is before Rajnikanth became trapped in roles whose only purpose was to further the cult of Rajni.
Kabali, directed by Pa Ranjith, is an attempt to tell a coherent story, but the makers can’t resist the temptation to cash in on Rajni-mania.
Set largely in Malaysia, the film is a violent drama about an inter-gang rivalry. Rajni’s character Kabali is pitted against an Asian villain, Tommy Lee (Taiwanese actor Winston Cho), whose men are responsible for the death of Kabali’s wife (Radhika Apte).
The film’s first half moves briskly as flashbacks detail our hero’s rise to power, and the history behind Kabali and Tommy Lee’s rivalry. Post intermission, however, the film becomes an orgy of gunfire and violence, and any semblance of plot and story quickly goes out of the window.
If you are a Rajni fan, Go watch it to enjoy his antics and mannerisms on screen.