Kabali, Kaala, and Rajinikanth's refreshing new innings
Superstar's Kaala teaser is out and here are some thoughts on it
Rajinikanth is really embracing his new lease of life, and how. His decision to associate himself with new-age filmmaker Pa Ranjith is really paying rich dividends. The teaser of Kaala -- released in the wee hours of March 2 -- in 30 minutes, has amassed close to 200000 views, and suffice to say, is set to break many records during the coming days. Stats are all you'll hear during the coming days. Consider yourselves warned.
Kaala is his second consecutive film with Ranjith, after Kabali, and some of the echoes are quite interesting. For starters, the music of Santosh Narayanan. The guitars go wild, and towards the end, there's even a whistle bit that's rather reminiscent of what you hear in Neruppu Da. And there's Ranjith's keenness not to change too much about the Superstar's looks. He looks very much his age, like in Kabali, and that's a welcome departure from his old films, where directors worried themselves sick about trying to mask his age. Hint to them: Don't. He's fine as he is.
While Kabali's teaser was mostly about that one monologue, here, you get others talking too. The villain (Nana Patekar) -- dressed in white and likely playing a politician -- begins by being dismissive of the name, Kaala, which is, of course, short for Karikaalan. The narrator explains the meaning: Kaala means black, Karikaalan signifies a violent protector. And indeed, there's quite a bit of violence -- a lot more than you saw in Kabali's glimpse, anyway. Kaala, it seems, is a man defined by his violence. He sends a couple of rowdies airborne with a casual swing of his weapon.
And then, after he's landed two vicious blows do you finally hear Rajinikanth speak for the first time. Karuppu (black), is the colour of labour, he says. He further adds that in his neighbourhood, dirt is defined by its glorious colours. It's an echo of the theme in Kabali's flashback, and why, even the very film was against oppression by the powerful.
He throws another sickening blow at an enemy, and then comes the highlight, as he stands -- his swagger at its romanticised best -- and taunts for his enemies to come out from hiding. It's followed by another stunt shot, this time in a wet look he aces. Damn, does he look good, or have we said that already?
The teaser comes to a close, but not before Kaala, dressed again in black, throws a teasing line -- almost as if at the audience -- that there's a lot more to be seen of his "rowdythanam".
I sincerely hope that they haven't made the Kabali mistake here. That film -- more a romantic drama than a revenge actioner -- was wrongly setup by the teaser, and in a sense, it hurt audience's perception of the actual film. This teaser, if anything, is more dynamic, and in a month, we'll know if the actual film stands up to it, in terms of what this teaser sets up. I can't wait.