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Dhoni Kabadi Kuzhu Review: An awful discredit to Kabaddi- Cinema express

Dhoni Kabadi Kuzhu Review: An awful discredit to Kabaddi

For a film which talks in length about the pride of Tamizh and Kabaddi, Dhoni Kabadi Kuzhu only ends up being a discredit to both due to its intolerably careless writing and making

Published: 07th December 2018

Remember Dhoni's popular dialogue in an advertisement, "Experts would've told me to go with a lead spinner. But I had other ideas. Because to be successful you have to be different," with footages of the 2007 T20 world cup in the silhouette? Unfortunately, the voice which inspired a generation of youngsters seems to have misled debutant director P Iyyappan, and the director's quest to be 'different' has resulted in a nightmarish crossover of Kabaddi and Cricket. 

Director: P Iyyappan

Cast:  Abhilash, Leema Babu, Pugazh, Thenali

Dhoni Kabadi Kuzhu (DKK) has a wafer-thin storyline. Tharani(Abhilash) and his friends are die-hard fans of Dhoni, who do nothing for a living except playing gully cricket in their local ground. One day they discover that their playground has been sold to a local goon and the only way to reclaim it is by paying a sum of Rs 3 lakh within ten days. The friends set out on a mission to collect money, but they fall short of a few thousand and their last option is participating in a kabaddi match for the prize money. The rest of the story is about whether the cricket players win the kabaddi tournament. 

Well, if the conflict faced by the protagonist had happened in our real world, he would've scouted for a new ground along with his friends and started his next bet match within the next few hours. But the story seems to happen in a weird parallel universe, where the hero is hell-bent about playing in the same ground and goes to the extent of selling his house, collecting money from the villagers and hold your breath, contesting in the councillor elections. Going by any random calculation he should've enough money to dance to "Kaasu panam thuttu money" by now, but poor Dharani still falls short. Despite forcing myself to swallow this unworldly reality, it still puzzles me why his team chose to participate in a Kabaddi tournament, instead of their strong zone, cricket.  

Every now and then, DKK transforms into a propaganda meeting that tries really hard to glorify Tamil, Kabaddi, Dhoni, Jallikattu and lot of other things. Random characters like the tea shop anna break the fourth wall and talk incessantly about Tamil Mann, Tamil Parambariyum, Tamil Kalaacharam, and Tamilarin Perumai. The misery only increased as the film progressed and I was hit by the biggest identity and existential  crisis of my life when a character said, "Kabaddi dhaan Tamilaroda adayalam, Kabaddi vilayadravan dhaan Tamizhan."

Venkatesh's camera, just like our heroes, keeps searching for focus throughout the film zooming in and out, does a better job as the antagonist of the film than Pugazh as the underwhelming Kasi. 

For a film, which talks in length about the pride of Tamizh and Kabaddi, DKK only ends up being a discredit to both due to its intolerably careless writing and making. Even the jersey and banners are wrongly spelt as Kabaadi instead of Kabaddi.

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