Friday Film Wrap: Rajinikanth’s ‘Kaala’ dominates the week
New Delhi: The dull run-up to Eid has thrown up little to contest Rajinikanth’s star power in theatres this week.
His action film Kaala directed by Pa. Ranjith (also featuring Nana Patekar and Huma Qureshi) is better than Kabali, the two’s previous outing together but still an odd fit for both, says Film Companion. Because you cannot take Rajinikanth entirely out of a Rajinikanth movie, the superhero clichés crawl back in, and despite the empowerment of the masses, the story plays out for the longest time like a routine hero-versus-villain saga. Adding to the narrative chaos, the ideator/ideologue in Ranjith seems to have taken over the writer/filmmaker in him. The ideas are great, and make you think but what about execution?
A high-voltage action-packed film with a strong political core, Kaala unleashes Rajinikanth in the garb of a ‘real’ character, says NDTV, instead of the unstoppable comic-strip superman that he has usually played on the big screen in recent years. An appreciably toned-down superstar takes something away from the film’s power to deliver the big thrills but places at its disposal a radical, relevant range of issues that burst out of the confines of the genre and take on a life of their own beyond the persona of the overpowering lead actor.
For Hollywood fans, American science fiction adventure Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdomdirected by J.A. Bayona starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B.D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum comes to India this week. The Hollywood Reporter says that working from a script by the last film’s Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, Bayona not only nods to the history of classic monster movies and the legacy of original Jurassic helmer Steven Spielberg, he brings his own experience to bear, treating monsters like actual characters and trapping us in a vast mansion that’s as full of secrets as the site of his breakthrough 2007 film, The Orphanage. Audiences put off by some dumb characterisations in the last film have much less to complain about here, while those requiring only some spectacular predators and exciting chase scenes should greet this outing as warmly as its predecessor.
None of the moments produce a hint of the awe, says Variety magazine, the gargantuan fairy-tale wonder and surprise that has sustained the Jurassic franchise for 25 years. Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park had a storyline that was more functional than inspired, but it worked as a frame on which the director could hang his brilliantly imagined, breathlessly choreographed stomping-reptile magic. Fallen Kingdom doesn’t pretend to wow us as if the sight of digital dinosaurs were still eye-poppingly unprecedented and amazing. It tries, instead, to tuck the dinosaurs into a busy and “topical” conspiracy adventure thriller. Though Bayona does a competent job, keeping the action thrusting forward, there’s not much he can do to transcend the script (by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly), which is a kind of furrowed-brow disaster-movie pastiche.
Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Telugu romantic drama Best Lovers, Marathi comedy drama Land 1857, Marathi dramas AA BB KK and Trushart, Marathi suspense thriller Lagi Toh Chhagi and Bhojpuri action drama Yeh Ishq Bada Bedardi Hai.