Kaala Karikaalan Reviews (Top Critics)

By Soumyata Chauhan (3/5)

A emotionally-charged film with a strong political core, 'Kaala' reunites demi-god Rajinikanth with writer-director Pa Ranjith after their 2016 film, 'Kabali'. Considering Rajninikanth's recent foray into politics, there couldn't have been a better timing for this reunion. However, it was reportedly written at a time when the star had no political ambitions. Does it make for a compelling watch, anyway?

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By Nandini Ramnath

Pa Ranjith's Kaala, like his previous films Madras and Kabali, is loaded with so much political meaning and revolutionary fervour that it is almost possible to miss the absence of a convincing plot. Ranjith's 166-minute movie is part semiotics lesson about the Rajinikanth mythos and part sermon on housing rights for the urban poor. Rajinikanth's evolution from villain to hero to superstar has made it challenging, if not impossible, for filmmakers to look beyond his demigod status and cast him as a mere mortal with the same fears and dreams as his fans.

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By Divya Nair (4/5)

There are two ways to watch a Thalaivar film. One, where you munch on popcorn and sip on coke in a plush theatre, and you are interrupted only by a 15-minute interval. The other is to watch it with his loyal fans at the Aurora theatre in Mumbai (the theatre even has a brief mention in the film!). And that's where I watched it. As the drama unfolded on screen, hysterical fans were prostrating before the superstar's presence!

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By Sreedhar Pillai (3/5)

Following Kabali, the Rajinikanth-Pa. Ranjith combination is back in Kaala, with a social message film packaged as an entertainer. The film works largely due to Rajinikanth's charisma and his style. Like fine wine, the superstar is getting better with age and has chosen a role which helps him bring out his larger than life image in a convincing manner.

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By Vishal Verma (3.5/5)

Clad in black kurta, beads and black lungi, Kaala Karikaalan (Rajinikanth) gets his middle stump knocked off while playing cricket with kids in Dharavi (Asia's biggest slum situated in Mumbai), this is how Pa.Ranjith's massy cry for revolution KAALA introduces the phenomenon, the superstar, Thalaivar in his next after KABALI.

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By Saibal Chatterjee (3/5)

A high-voltage action-packed film with a strong political core, Kaala unleashes Rajinikanth in the garb of a 'real' character, 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.

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The Hindu
By Vishal Menon

Rajinikanth's Kabali was a film caught in the middle of two different personalities. While it tried to merge the typical Rajinikanth mass film with the sensibilities of its director Pa. Ranjith, Kabali ended up being a film that's neither a commercial potboiler nor an intriguing political commentary.

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The Times Of India
By Subramanian Suryanarayanan (3.5/5)

This time, Ranjith uses Rajinikanth the Superstar to tell his message - land is the common man's right. The story is simple... Migrants from Tamil Nadu settle in Dharavi and help build it, and run the city. When an evil politician-cum-land mafia don sets his eyes on their land, they revolt. Do they succeed?

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta (3/5)

Kaala Karikaalan is a companion piece to the 2016 Kabali (also directed by Pa. Ranjith) and a natural progression for the superstar-of-superstars on the cusp of a political career. It is also a much better film. Pa Ranjith's sensibility and Rajini's charisma work together to give us something that's gone missing from big-budget starry tentpoles: a strong feel for the underclass as the main focus.

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Hindustan Times
By Priyanka Sundar (4/5)

If I said director Pa Ranjith towers over Rajinikanth in Kaala, would you believe me? Kaala is Pa Ranjith's political commentary that Rajinikanth has just lent his voice to. Is it a spectacular film? Not really, but it's a spectacle all right. Kaala Karikaalan, the don who rules Dharavi, is not the star of the story. The plot revolves around the people who live in Mumbai's sprawling slum. These are the people who left Tamil Nadu for a better life and ended up living in world's third largest slum, which has an annual turnover of $1 billion.

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