Sunday, June 24, 2018

Kaala: More Lust Less Love

Kaala is the classic "veri theekira" movie. Somewhat like "Inglorious Basterds" but way less interesting conversations. However, the "veri theekara" aspect is not at all part of the actual movie or its plot or events in the movie. Its the raw mindless lust is displayed by director Ranjith and politician Rajinikanth to prove a particular point. Ranjith wants to piss all over Hindu religious symbols. Rajinikanth wants to piss all over the notion that he is BJP's political ally. These two things, though unrelated to the the movie's actual story or premise, becomes the crux of the movie. Once you understand this, the movie is like a mindless triple-x porn vehicle featuring a cast of 2 people (Ranjith and Rajini) who do the same thing in 6 different poses - in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, garage etc.

During the last 30 minutes of the movie, I was wondering - what is the point of all this? I loved Madras. Really liked Kabali and came in to see a point of view. But I didnt come to see a "record dance". I was unable to imagine that even a firm believer of Ranjith's politics will like this sort of titillation. You will of course have the usual group of Tamil brahmins who will 'ooh' and 'aah' at this movie, to overcompensate for their caste and try and see subtext that doesn't exist. However, why would anyone else like this? There is no screenplay, no emotional investment in characters, key characters can die and there is just no feeling at all. I was actually rooting for Nana Patekar to win in the end. I think MGR's political vehicle movies like Rikshawkaaran had more soul and cinematic dedication than this lust vehicle.

The only thing worth commending in this movie is Rajinikanth's guts to subvert people's political positioning of him. I don't know if this will help him get dalit votes. It doesn't matter. At this point by making everything not about the movie Ranjith has kind of risked his reputation to be a propaganda director. For Rajinikanth, it has usually never been about the movie - but this time it was not about him as a star vehicle as well.  He looks kind of sharp and handsome though.

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