For the uninformed, Kabali is gangster-drama film released in the month of July, 2016. It stars none other than the legend himself, Rajinikanth in and as Kabali.
The story involves Thalaivar (Tamil for leader) getting out of prison and taking charge of his gang. Much of the movie involves scenes from the past where he joins a gang as a young boy in Kuala Lumpur, which was initially formed to provide equal rights to Tamilians living in the capital city of Malaysia. Soon after, the gang leader dies and Rajinikanth is named as the next leader of the gang. This news upsets the deceased leader’s son and he goes on to form another gang called ‘Gang 43’ which involves itself in activities of drug smuggling, prostitution and other unlawful ventures.
At a temple function, Kabali is called with his pregnant wife and soon he realizes that it is a plot and ends up in prison for quarter of a century on a false charge of slaughtering many innocent citizens during the function. He soon comes to know that his wife and child are alive. Once he is released, he finds out that his daughter was hired to kill him by Gang 43, and soon the daughter realizes that the person she is trying to kill is her own father and joins his gang. Then, in search of his wife he ends up visiting Madras and then Pondicherry. He finally discovers that his wife is living with a French family and is happily reunited with his better half. Finally, he goes back to Kuala Lumpur and finds out that his gang members have been injured and are critical. In a bid to finish off the rival gang, he starts shooting their members at a party. In the last scene, the screen blacks out and there is a gunshot heard wherein Kabali may have been killed.
For a film actor having God-like status in Tamil Nadu, the fuss and hype surrounding this movie is justified. 65 feet cut-outs of Rajinikanth are the norm before his movie releases and 4 meter long garlands are adorned along with aartis (praying) and abhisheks (pouring of milk). At 65 years of age, the Padma Vibhushan superstar has class and finesse that probably no actor in the country will ever have. Every movie of his that releases is like a mini festival where people impatiently wait for his movie to release and there are extremely long queues to get tickets for his movie. Getting a ticket on the first day is an achievement in itself in South India where the rates go as high as thousand rupees for one ticket.
Given his age, his status in the film industry and the way he acts with all the style and jazz, I’m sure you will not agree to disagree that all the hype surrounding Kabali is not just smoke without fire but a volcano in itself!