CAST: Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte, Dhansika, Kalaiyarasan, Dinesh, John Vijay, Riythvika, Winston Chao, Kishore, Mime Gopi
DIRECTION: Pa Ranjith
MUSIC: Santhosh Narayanan
CRITIC’S RATING: 3.0/5
Kabaleeshwaran aka Kabali (Rajinikanth), who was born somewhere in Dindigul, is the messiah of Tamil labourers who work in Malaysia, after he fights for their primary rights and wages. His rise to an influential person in the society, in a short span of time, is now giving sleepless nights to a few, which further fuels jealousy and enmity towards Kabali. Veera (Kishore) is one among those jealous, and keeps hatching plans to destroy Kabali’s gang, and defame him publicly. He convincingly brainwashes an aide of Kabali and successfully turns him against the latter. After a violent gang war, which takes place unexpectedly, Kabali, being convicted of various false charges, ends up in jail.
Released after two-and-a-half decades, Kabali goes in search of his wife Kumudhavalli (Radhika Apte), who was pregnant when destiny separated them. He seeks the help of his old gang, including Ameer (John Vijay), who are more than happy to help him. Jeeva (Dinesh), an overly enthusiastic youngster, too, joins him as a loyal aide. Thamizh Kumaran (Kalaiyarasan), the son of a yesteryear aide of Kabali, who backstabbed the latter, is another person who promises to help the old Kabali, but is confused. Meanwhile, Veera is ruling the roost in the town, with his own empire and Tony (Winston Chao), one of the dreaded gangsters is his business partner. Will Kabali get his wife back? Will he be able to make up the years that he lost in jail? The suspense continues…
The flashback portions, on occasions, test one’s patience, and lack evenness. The songs by Santhosh Narayanan are soothing to watch on screen, too. The stunt sequences and shoot-out scenes choreographed by Anbarivu, with Rajini putting his best foot forward, is sure to give adrenaline-rush to his fans, and are, in fact, among the things that work in favour of the film, in addition to an emotional scene. The story, perhaps, needed a tighter screenplay, but watch it for ‘Thalaivar athiradi’. Nothing more, nothing less!