Ever since Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil was announced, I was waiting for its release. But I had also made up my mind to not catch the first show of the movie to see how badly the many so-called film critics trash the film.
Proving me right, almost all reviews hailed Hrithik’s performance but that was about it. When I finally saw the movie, I knew I had to write about it.
Kaabil, a revenge thriller, is the story of Rohan Bhatnagar (Hrithik Roshan), a blind man who is on a mission to avenge his wife’s rape. A dubbing artist by profession, Rohan does not consider himself any less than a normal man.
He works, dances, and even rides a bicycle. Like many blind people, Rohan’s other senses are sharp. Supriya (Yami), a blind woman, is similar to Rohan when it comes to her approach towards life. She is independent and earns her daily bread working as a pianist. After being introduced to each other by common friends, Rohan and Supriya fall in love, and tie the knot.
Amit Shellar (Rohit Roy) sets his eyes on Supriya even before she marries Rohan. Post their marriage, Amit, along with a friend, manages to sneak in to Rohan’s house and rapes Supriya. Devastated at what happened, Rohan seeks the help of law, but to no avail, courtesy Amit’s elder brother and politician Madhavrao Shellar (Ronit Roy) and his power. Supriya commits suicide leaving Rohan hungry for revenge.
Contradicting the critics
Movie critics went on a rant about how Kaabil had been stretched, filled with crass dialogues and said it was predictable. Let me take this opportunity to rubbish all of these.
Kaabil is the quintessential blockbuster both Rakesh Roshan and Hrithik Roshan wanted. It is the Rakesh Roshan brand of cinema which has "superhit" written all over it. Dialogues are well-measured, unlike in movies like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil where they were forced, and some made me cringe.
Hrithik’s act is top class, and is already being hailed as his best performance till date. I feel his best was Guzaarish but Kaabil is certainly a close second. Yami does her part well, and the Roy brothers are menacing as villains.
The movie is shot well, barring a couple of scenes employing bad VFX. Sound is outstanding, thanks to Academy Award winner Resul Pookutty, because for a blind man, sound is key.
|Hrithik Roshan’s act is top class, and is already being hailed as his best performance till date.|
Script and direction
Kaabil, based on a solid script, is powered by well-written dialogues. The intelligent script weaves every single shot so well that when the movie ends, the audience realises that all what was shown to them had a purpose.
When such a foolproof script lands with a talented director like Sanjay Gupta, a movie like Kaabil is born. Gupta uses all his resources well. He exploits the actor in Hrithik and the natural Roy brothers.
How Rohan and Supriya’s bright and colourful life in the first half changes to dark shades, Gupta’s forte, explains the contrast in Rohan’s life.
Of course, there is the element of predictability, but Gupta manages to present Kaabil as an experience of how a blind man can take things into his hands, if need be. I saw many reviewers rubbishing the movie, saying it lacked logic, but in my humble opinion, every tool or idea Rohan employs to ensure his revenge is taken, is backed by logic. You just need to watch the movie carefully.
Feminists' rage (spoilers ahead)
This has to be said.
I saw opinion pieces on various websites slamming Kaabil for being anti-feminist. It’s a dialogue in the movie that made the feminists cringe. When I understand why they are disapproving of the said scene - where Supriya tells Rohan that she will understand if he wants to end the marriage since she has been raped, and that she knows they can never be the same again - feminists should also understand the context. Rohan and Supriya are your average middle-class Indians who are taught by society that a woman’s honour lies in her vagina.
Not to forget, Supriya commits suicide when the villains rape her a second time, and threaten her by saying they will make this a practice. She does not end her life worrying her husband would leave her because she was raped.
I cannot fathom how all those people who are picking on this one instance to slam Kaabil, conveniently ignore the part where Supriya tells Rohan that she will go back to her life consoling herself that their romance and marriage were just dreams.
In the suicide note Supriya leaves for Rohan, it is clearly written: “I know we would have got back to our normal life in a few days, but it would be too much for you to take if this (rape) becomes routine,” and I feel such a situation could be taxing for any human being, let alone a blind man who feels he is weaker than others for the first time.
The last word
Kaabil is a movie for the masses, in a language they easily understand. It is well-written and well-made and the entire cast and crew deserve applause - and at least one honest review.