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January 26, 2017

Review: Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil

Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar Saxena

We give you a breakdown of what worked and what didn’t

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Yami Gautam, Ronit Roy, Rohit Roy, Narendra Jha, Girish Kulkarni.
Producer:  Rakesh Roshan.
Director: Sanjay Gupta.

In the land of the sighted, this blind man is king. Kaabil marks the return of Hrithik Roshan and it is easy to understand why the actor did this movie, produced by Rakesh Roshan, his father who knows his son the best. It is his film from the word go and director Sanjay Gupta spares no effort in giving his lead actor the canvas he needs to explore every emotional nuance – ranging from romance to revenge. And even though the plot of the rape and revenge drama may appear predictable as it moves swiftly to its finale, Hrithik holds our interest right till the very end.

The plot: It is a tale that can be told briefly in a few lines. Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) and Supriya (Yami Gautam), two individuals who cannot see, meet on an arranged blind date – and as Rohan puts it later it’s a case of love at first sight. They get married but before their life together can really take off, tragedy strikes. Unable to bear the trauma of rape (to say more would be a spoiler alert), Su as Rohan fondly calls her, commits suicide. And this act sows the seeds of revenge that drive the rest of the film.

The hero: Hrithik has played a person with disability earlier – in Koi… Mil Gaya and Guzaarish. Here he slips into the avatar of a physically challenged character driven by a large degree of angst. The screen belongs to Hrithik who returns to form (putting his earlier professional box office disappointment Mohenjo Daro and his personal ups and downs behind him). The movie seems to offer him the scope that his debut Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai gave him, where he assayed the romantic Rohit and the suave action hero Raj – two characters who looked the same but were miles apart in nature. Here, in one persona Rohan, the writer has given his lead the opportunity to showcase both aspects of his personality – and Hrithik takes centre stage effortlessly as the gentleman who has fallen in love and the angry vigilante who seeks and succeeds in avenging his wife’s death. Lines have appeared on his face giving him a certain maturity bestowed by time, but the actor still moves with his trademark agile grace. And his silhouettes are classically beautiful.

The cast: In a role cut short by death, Yami looks beautiful and does try to capture the expressions of a blind girl. In some scenes, her effort can be seen but she comes into her own when the going gets tough. The characters that the Roy brothers (Rohit and Ronit) portray come across as stereotyped and uni-dimensional, even though the actors do deliver creditable performances, especially Ronit as the conniving and corrupt corporator. The rest of the supporting cast goes through its emotions and motions with efficiency. Although I would still root for the officer played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Kahaani, Narendra Jha as the police officer Chaubey has his moments here.

The songs: Nothing much to hum about once the movie is over if one rewinds to tracks like Ek pal ka jeena (Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai) or It’s magic and Idhar chala (Koi… Mil Gaya). But, Mon amour here proves to be catchy with its foot-tapping rhythms enhanced by Hrithik’s moves.

Most of the characters are either good or bad – there are no shades of grey here. Some of the emotions and thoughts expressed hark back to earlier times. Sometimes the rendition appears clichéd. And even though the leads are physically challenged, the words andha and andhi are repeated a tad bit too often in the film.
Yet, Kaabil will make you stay with it right till the end – for the way the revenge is exacted. And if nothing else, watch it, for Hrithik.

 

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