Kaala is a Tamil action film written and directed by Pa. Ranjith and produced by Dhanush starring Rajinikanth in the lead role alongside Huma Qureshi as the female lead with Nana Patekar, Samuthirakani in supporting roles featuring music composed by Santhosh Narayanan. 

We are given a basic introduction of the plot of Kaala in the opening title credits itself. As the film begins to play out, the story unfolds as being primarily about the seizure and confiscation of lands of the poor by the politically powerful, rich and the influential.

Kaala kicks off showing the people of the Dharavi slums protesting against those who are trying to take away their lands to which Rajinikanth provides solutions in a steadfast manner.

Huma Qureshi as Zareena is introduced into the story and it is revealed that she and Rajinikanth were lovers 20 years back and had to be separated due to a crisis that could not be averted in the past.

Despite Kaala’s crux being about the seizure of lands from the poor people, Nana Patekar as Hari Dada is only shown towards the intermission block.

Director Pa. Ranjith has attempted to make Kaala by laying emphasis on the rampant land seizure from the poor by the richer classes and has come up with a story that is quite good. However, it is on the screenplay front that he has faltered with the film turning out to be dragging for the most part. Had he knit it in a tight manner, the result would have been drastically different. 

Post the introduction of Huma Qureshi’s character in the first half, the pacing takes a back seat as it becomes slow and only picks up towards the interval block.

There are a few mass scenes in the first half of Kaala that will leave the fans wanting for more and are sure fire clapworthy moments.

It is a similar situation in the second half, but this time with Nana Patekar, whose character is not all well-explained and lacks motive.

It is only towards the end of the Kaala and 20 minutes before the finish that the film jump starts and the protests scenes in the film connect well with the various current crises in Tamil Nadu.

On the performance front, Kaala is carried all the way forward by Rajinikanth and the veteran actor has executed a praiseworthy performance. Be it the mass or emotional scenes, he knocks it out of the park with a refined act yet again.

Despite earning the tag of a performer in Bollywood, Huma Qureshi has carried the same momentum for Kaala and has given a subtle yet mature performance this time.

Perhaps the most underused person in the casting would be Nana Patekar as his character lacks conviction and should have been more broad and vast.

Although Samuthirakani’s character arc in Kaala isn’t convincing, his comedy hits the right notes on several occasions. He is shown to have a fondness for liquor and the reason is well explained in a flashback sequence.

Easwari Rao as Rajinikanth’s wife in Kaala is convincing to a tee as she delivers a convincing performance with her histrionics.

Manikandan, who appears as one of Rajinikanth’s four sons in the film, has one of the best defined roles and has executed a brilliant performance.

On the technical front, Murali. G’s cinematography is top-notch. The climax sequence especially will remain in the minds even after having walked out of the cinemas. The cinematography has been complimented extremely well for the most part on the editing table by Sreekar Prasad. It is only in the fight sequences that we tend to notice certain imbalances in his cuts and the same can be said about the VFX which is good, but could have been better.

Santhosh Narayanan’s songs are good to listen and the composer has experimented in the background score department, which has without a doubt paid off well.

Thumbs Up

Rajinikanth all the way

20-minute climax

Stunning art direction

Powerful dialogues

Thumbs Down

Dragging and lengthy screenplay

Nana Patekar’s character not well-defined